Sexual Sin Recovery, Sex is Sacred (Part 8)

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

Surfing for God

Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children

Girls Uncovered: New Research on What America’s Sexual Culture Does to Young Women

Counterfeit Gods

Romans 1-8, Ephesians 1-3, Colossians 1-2

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

  1. What were the most common days that temptation struck?
  2. What were the most common times (be specific)?
  3. What was the environment like – where were you? Were you alone?
  4. What were the most common emotions?
  5. What device was the most tempting?
  6. 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.

 

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Sexual Sin Recovery, Sex is Sacred! (Part 7)

Let’s 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!  There is freedom from idolatry no matter what that idolatry is, and that freedom comes through the gospel!

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

Surfing for God

Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children

Girls Uncovered: New Research on What America’s Sexual Culture Does to Young Women

Counterfeit Gods

Romans 1-8, Ephesians 1-3, Colossians 1-2

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

Today we will look at the issue of accountability.  Accountability never worked for me when I was in college battling pornography addiction.  It went something like this:

Me – “Dude, I gave in last week.”

Person I was accountable to – “Bro, yea, me too.”

Me – “Let’s pray.”

The next week it would be the same conversation.  This did not help at all.  In fact, it made us numb to our sin.  Accountability looks much different in Scripture than how we talk about it in today’s American Christian Culture.

If I struggle with sexual sin, I need accountability, but I don’t need accountability from a bunch of guys who struggle with sexual sin.  That is like the blind leading the blind.  There can be several guys in my accountability group that struggle, but at least one person needs to be free from sexual sin (12 months of sobriety).

There are churches that offer Sexual Sin Recovery Groups.  There are also churches that offer recovery for any hurt, habit, addiction, etc.  Let me tell you about 3 of them:

  1. Celebrate Recovery – Celebrate Recovery is a great ministry that is offered at several churches around the country. You can click on the link provided to find a recovery group near you.  Celebrate Recovery is a biblical program that helps people overcome hurts, habits, and addictions.  It is based on the actual words of Jesus.
  2. Restore at The Church on Rush Creek – If you live close to Arlington TX, then this is a great option for you.  Most of the participants here have struggled with hurts from their past, as well as the guilt and shame associated with these struggles, resulting in various unhealthy habits of coping.  The hope, when you go to Restore, is that you will find acceptance and learn practical steps of recovery in a Christ-centered community.
  3. Grace Covenant Church – Again, if you live close to Arlington, TX, then this would be a great option for you.  At this church, they have a sexual sin recovery group for men that meets every week.  The goal of this group is for men to have a safe place to discuss their struggles in the sexual arena, and this group wants to provide strong accountability as well.

You do not have to get in a group like this, but it can be a great help to have some people of the same gender holding you accountable.  I like to look at the accountability that Galatians 6 talks about.

In Galatians 6, Paul talks of how the one who is stronger spiritually needs to help restore the one who is struggling.  He also talks about how the one who is stronger needs to do the restoring in a gentle manner.  The thing I really think Paul emphasizes is this: When I help restore a brother or sister in Christ or when I help hold this brother or sister accountable, I am literally helping to carry their burdens.  God wants us to have people in our lives who help carry our burdens of sin.  He does not want us to carry them alone.

Whatever your sin burden is, sexual or otherwise, I would encourage you to find a group of believers who can hold you accountable and help carry your burdens for you.  We are not alone!!!

Let’s not use accountability to simply manage our sin, but let’s use accountability to help us run to Jesus and pursue freedom from that sin!