I’ve been getting yearly mammograms ever since I turned 20 years old. I’ve had a total of 26 of them so far. The doctors don’t recommend everyone start getting them that young just people with a family history, but my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30. She ended up getting a double mastectomy on my first day of school in the fourth grade. Thankfully they caught it early, and she is doing great still today. Early detection played a role in that. No Christian has ever questioned my trust in Jesus because I get yearly mammograms. I don’t live in fear of getting cancer. It’s just something that is wise due to my family history. I realize that if cancer should appear, early detection is your best hope of beating it. Sexual addiction is very similar.
Nothing brings awkward into a conversation like recommending the use of a polygraph as a great accountability tool. Once when my husband Scott and I were preparing to be interviewed by a ministry on their men’s podcast, they told us they loved our story of forgiveness, mercy, grace, and life transformation…but not polygraphs. That is where the love and conversation ended. Once we mentioned the word polygraph, the conversation shifted from, “Wow, that is beautiful attitude,” to, “Don’t call us. We will call you.” Which of course they didn’t.
Honestly, we don’t understand why. We believe that this tool is very biblical. After all, Jesus says in Luke 8:17, “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.”
The first person I ever knew to get a polygraph was my husband when we were first married. He was applying for a job as a fireman for a big city. The city took seriously the people who would be wearing their uniform with their name attached to it. They wanted to know EVERYTHING about you, and they hooked you up to a polygraph to see how truthful you were. I remember them telling my husband, “Whatever you do, just don’t lie.” They didn’t expect perfection, just honesty. That was the price of getting a well-paying well-respected job with benefits. It was worth the hour of being attached to some wires answering questions. If you have nothing to hide, you should have nothing to fear. But therein lies the problem (no pun intended,well maybe). It is in our nature to hide as humans. We have been doing it since the beginning of time. The problem with hiding is it keeps us trapped as a prisoner of our secret sin. Jesus tells us how to break free in John 8:32 when he says, “The truth will set you free.” Not lies and not cover-ups. So when the church discourages the use of polygraphs as tools, they are encouraging people to stay in bondage. Colossians 3:9 says, “Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.”
The first time I heard of a church administering polygraph tests was while watching a Pure Desire Ministry training video. In this video Dr. Ted Roberts’ wife, Diane, explained that anytime a pastor comes to them for help, the first thing they have to do is submit to a polygraph test. She explained, “The sexual addict is so used to lying and so ashamed that they don’t even know how to tell the truth.” She also said that whatever the addict has told you is usually just the tip of the iceberg. They call it stagger disclosure. We have seen this time and time again in the men my husband has mentored. I can also say from experience that my husband did this with me. It isn’t until a polygraph is ordered that the whole truth usually comes out. My husband is now a free man. He recommends polygraphs to other husbands who struggle. Living your life without secrets is much easier way to walk around on this big ball we call Earth. He has been 100% clean since 2009, and we have three polygraphs to back that up. I don’t have him get polygraphs because I don’t trust Jesus. I have complete trust and peace in Jesus.
A great Biblical example of men who trusted got but used honesty checks is in Ezra 8. In this chapter Ezra calls for a fast to ask God give them safety as they travel with their children and a pile of gold, silver, and other valuables they were transporting. Ezra says in verse 22, “I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, ‘The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.’ So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer.” What faith! But then we see in the following few paragraphs that Ezra sets apart twelve of his leading priests and uses a scale to weigh all the gold and silver before passing it out to them before transport. His parting words to the priests are, “When you arrive we will be reweighing all of the treasures in front of everyone” (paraphrase mine). Ezra trusted God to protect them from outside thieves…but he still used a scale (an Old Testament polygraph) to keep his top guys honest.
We need to follow Ezra’s example. We in the church represent something far more valuable and eternal than a city fire department or gold and silver. How much more important is it to make sure those who are going to be wearing the “uniform” of Christ are staying honest?
If you are interested in finding a polygrapher in your area visit www.polytest.org
And please don’t get a polygraph without first establishing a relationship with a good counselor. I recommend visiting Pure Desire Ministries for more information on polygraphs and how to recover from sexual addiction.