I Found a New Life After Addiction
It's easy to feel like there's no way out of sexual addiction. Jordan Yoshimine shares his story of victory to prove that there really is something better on the other side.
Jordan, can you share a brief synopsis of what your struggle with sexual sin looked like over the years?
I grew up in a Christian home. And even in that environment, from a very early age I'd begun to have same-sex attraction. And this continued to manifest itself. I was definitely giving into self-gratification and fantasy all throughout my middle-school and high-school years. And then when I turned eighteen, I had my first physical interaction with someone. And over the next three decades, really, I lost myself in the homosexual lifestyle. I definitely still presented myself on the outside as a Christian. But I had this secret life where I would go seek out sexual encounters, whether it was at an adult book store or a park or cruising different streets...whatever. And over the three decades I probably had thousands of encounters. All the while I was maintaining a job and professing to be a Christian...but I was just totally given over to my sin. After three decades of being in this sin, in the late '90's, I definitely just got tired of it.
Around 2005, I went back to church, and my sin got exposed, and I ended up at Pure Life Ministries. What God has done in my life since then is nothing short of a miracle. The thing that I had always been looking for and searching for through my homosexual encounters…I actually found it in Jesus Christ. That’s where I found the satisfaction and the contentment that I had always been looking for. I just didn't know what that was before. And I was looking in all the wrong places for what God always intended for me—and that was to be in relationship with Him.
In spite of the level of addiction you were in, you were always confident that you were a Christian. But now that you can look back on those years, what do you think was missing then?
I mean, Jesus, first of all! But it really was a lack of understanding of the scripture—when scripture says, "Do not love the world," or James 4:4, which says "friendship with the world is enmity with the God." I was in love with the world. Honestly, there was no devotion to the Lord. Putting homosexuality aside, I had been so entrenched in the world...watching TV, on the internet, entrenched in social media, vying for entertainment, a season ticket holder for hockey. And even at church, we weren't talking about our relationships with the Lord, but we were talking about the things of the world. I was just married to the world. And because of that, I was in enmity with the Lord. You know, that's just biblical. And what is the world preaching today? "You can be who you want! You can be homosexual. You don't even have to be a sex—you can be non-binary....you don't have to be anything!" So of course, because I was in love with the world, when Satan comes in and starts messing around and gives you these thoughts and these desires, there's no defense system. None.
You finally found real change during your time in the Pure Life Ministries Residential Program. But since you’d known about Christianity for so long, what made the difference at that point?
The difference in the message being preached was responsibility for my own actions—my sin. You know, I'd gone to Christian counselors for decades, and because they were integrated and really relied heavily on psychology, I was always able to stay as a victim. In fact, the last counselor I went to for five years really in many ways enabled me to stay in my sin, justify my sin, and remain a victim. And when I got to Pure Life, that victim mentality was pulled out from under me like a rug, and I had to take a hard look at the way I lived my life.
It happened through the teachings, through the sermons, through actually getting in the Word and reading how much it talks about pride and sexual immorality and the love of this world. It was like God was taking a searchlight and shining it in my heart. For the first time in my life, I had to take a look at myself and see what idolatry I was in. And really, I was my biggest idol! I loved myself! I steamrolled over anyone who got in my way and kept me from getting what I wanted in life—whether it was a job, money, sex, whatever. I didn't care who I hurt. And for the first time in my life, I was presented with the fact that I was indeed a sinner, and it was my responsibility, and I had to do something about that. It's just scriptural. That's what I had to do—I had to repent. Really, once repentance came in—true repentance and godly sorrow—that's when things really started changing for me.
Can you describe the new life that you've found now—after having dealt with your addiction problem at a deep level?
Man, I am now living a life I never thought was possible! I never, never thought that I would be free from the bondage of sexual sin—never. I thought I would be coming to this program at Pure Life to be able to suppress my feelings or maintain purity...and not sleep around. But I thought I would always be dealing with this person who I thought I was...and who the world thought I was. Never in a million years would I have thought I would be completely free from that bondage. Free—not from temptation or free from my flesh—but free from that bondage of sexual sin. And that means I can live freely and holy in Christ, being completed in him and working to complete that holiness that Christ is working in me.
I would also say that it's worth the pain and the agony that it's going to take to walk through some of this. It's worth it! Because of what you get on the other side. What Satan is trying to tell you is that all your life will be is pain and agony. But on the other side of letting go of those idols, what you have is joy and fullness and new life. And I never would have discovered any of that if I'd not let go of everything to have God.
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