Just the Facts: by Crystal Renaud. 160 p. Published April 2011 by Moody Publishers. Advanced copy provided in electronic format courtesy of the publisher, through NetGalley.
Who Cares? Self-Help/Christian Growth
Short Bio: Crystal Renaud shares her own personal story of pornography addiction, along with the stories of seven other women with similar struggles and her own adaptation of the 12-steps from Alcoholics Anonymous and Sexaholics Anonymous. Crystals steps form the acronym “SCARS” – Surrender, Confession, Accountability, Responsibility, and Sharing. Beyond an engaging narrative, the book includes many useful tools for anyone dealing with/in sobriety of a pornography addiction – from a personal inventory quiz to challenging application questions, as well as information on additional resources through other organizations, ministries, and websites (including Dirty Girls Ministries).
Eyewitness Account: This book is little powerhouse!! It is one of the fastest reads I’ve had in a while – yet still gave me quite a bit to think about. I struck by Renaud’s description of the problem (data from 2003 concludes that 17% of all women struggle with a pornography addiction and that 1 in 3 visitors to adult websites are women) and by the testimonials of other women (including Renaud) who claimed that they each felt like they were the only person who had this problem! It’s no surprise that Renaud’s SCARS steps heavily involve community – confessing to one another, being held accountable by someone else who is succeeding in their battle against addiction and sharing your story with others who need mentors and examples of standing strong.
Even though I wasn’t quite Renaud’s target audience, I did find some principles that are relevant to any Christian struggling against the power of sin and temptation in their life. Renaud makes a point that our resistance to confess our sins only to God and not to each other usually reveals our continued deception – to show the world our “good” side and, in doing so, claim that we are our own saviors (see quote below). I also appreciated Renaud’s statement that we can play the blame game (excusing our current addictions by saying they are the result of our messed up parents or lack of emotional intimacy growing up) all we want, but it will not produce any growth or change in our lives. We don’t actually move on and see different results until we take ownership of our own actions and choices and change them.
I requested this book to review on NetGalley because I’ve never seen another book like it. I’m very thankful I did because I plan on recommending it to any woman who struggles with sexual addiction!
“But why is it that confessing to others seems so much harder than confessing to God? . . . When we confess to God and not also to others, we cheapen God’s grace. Your sins are of no surprise to God. You won’t find a person on earth who isn’t carrying some piece of luggage they are ashamed about. When God talks about healing through confession, He is talking about healing from having to be our own savior. That’s why Christ died. It is okay to be a screw-up because there’s grace enough to cover it.”
“But I’ve learned something over the years . . . that blaming others for my choices would not produce much change in me. In fact, it would keep me in a holding pattern. One that says that no matter what goes wrong in my life, no matter how screwed up things get, no matter how badly I mess something up . . . I could just blame someone else and everything will turn out fine. We all know that doesn’t work in real life so it certainly won’t work for this. Unless of course I wanted to remain in an emotional prison.”
Other Books Read by This Author: None.
★★★★☆ Writing Style
★★★★★ Original Idea
★★★★★ Page Turner