Again, we will continue looking at the Sexual Sin Recovery and Sex is Sacred pages from my site. All of life is sacred and is all about worshiping and glorifying Jesus! The gospel sets us free! We are free to worship Christ alone and not bow down to false idols, like sexual sin.
Sexual Sin Recovery
Reminder: The recovery process can take close to a year or even longer. In reality the road to freedom is a lifelong journey.
Let’s take a look at what our previous posts have covered:
Books to Read
First 30 Days of Recovery:
- Read Psalm 51 and repent your sin to God.
- Confess to those in your life that you have hurt because of your sexual sin.
- Find a mentor to meet with who understands how to walk in freedom from sexual sin.
- Sponsor – Contact this person daily to check in so they can hold you accountable.
- Sexual Sin Inventory
- 30 day Media Fast
- 30 minute Escape Plan when tempted
- Put filters on all internet devices
- Be surrounded by strong accountability.
Today we will look at the Temptation Tracker:
We must remember that we are not just in the business of behavior modification. We want Jesus to transform our hearts! This is why the Temptation Tracker is so important. The Tracker can be very useful in helping me determine what is really going on in my heart.
First, let me explain the tracker:
Temptation Tracker (created by Doug Hutchins with goingtransparent.com)
- Assignment: Create a 30 day calendar. For 30 days, track when sexual temptation strikes.
- Tracking Details: If you DO NOT encounter sexual temptation, then place a √ on the corresponding calendar day. If you DO encounter temptation, then do the following:
Day: circle the day in which temptation occurs
Time: record when sexual temptation strikes (looking for a specific time)
Location: where were you when it happens (bed room, living room, etc.)
Feeling: how were you feeling when temptation hit (Bored, Lonely, Afraid, Angry, Stressed, Sad, Tired, etc.)
Questions to Answer Regarding Tracker
- What were the most common days that temptation struck?
- What were the most common times (be specific)?
- What was the environment like – where were you? Were you alone?
- What were the most common emotions?
- What device was the most tempting?
- What devices were you tempted with—cell phone, home computer, laptop, ipad, etc?
By tracking your temptation for 30 days, it is possible that you might see some sort of pattern. Let me give some examples:
Example 1: You may determine that you are tempted every night before you go to bed. This will help you know to go to bed without any devices near by. You can do your 30 min plan right before bed, and you can contact who is holding you accountable and ask them to pray.
Example 2: You may discover your primary point of temptation is your phone. Maybe the best thing to do is get rid of your smart phone and get something simple like a flip phone.
Example 3: My issue was anger. I was really battling anger almost every time I was tempted to lust and look at porn. What does that show? It shows I really don’t have a lust problem, but that I have an anger problem. My anger issue was impacting my lust. I wasn’t dealing with my anger so I was escaping into porn. I did not need to modify my behavior and be more pure. I needed God to deal with the anger in my heart. I needed to know my own forgiveness and be able to give that forgiveness away to others. Once I understood that, it really reduced how often I was tempted to lust.
Don’t misunderstand me. I was still tempted and am still tempted. Behavior modification is not wrong. It is just incomplete. We must retrain our brains in how to respond to lustful temptation. We must change our behavior, but long term behavior change only happens if I look at my heart. The reason I love the Temptation Tracker is because it helps with both.
Let’s assume your issue is not sexual sin. You can apply this tracker to anything (video games, eating, fantasy football, social media, movies, shopping, overworking, etc). I am sure I am leaving some out, but you get the idea. None of the things I just mentioned are sinful unless I make an idol out of them.
My point is this: Ask the Lord if there is an area of idolatry where you struggle. If he reveals one to you, then utilize the tracker for 30 days and see what God reveals to you about your heart.
I am so thankful I had the chance to meet Doug Hutchins so he could show me this tool. I hope it is as helpful to you as it has been to me and so many others.