Recovery: Getting Started Part 3
Recovery: Getting Started Part 3
Recovery is not hard. It’s impossible without the help of Jesus Christ and His followers. Last blog we looked at the idea of participating in a media fast, as well as looking at the importance of doing a sexual sin inventory. In this blog we will look at the importance of having an escape plan when tempted and what does it mean to have REAL accountability. This Blog will be part 3 in the “Getting Started On Recovery Journey”. Like we have said and continue to say, may these tools you read about today help you on the journey to be free from porn and free from shame!! Enjoy the blog! Keep letting Jesus and His people help you on your recovery journey.
30 Minute Escape Plan (overview) -
When tempted (Based on 1 Corinthians 10:13), Change location, Contact mentor/sponsor/accountability, cardio exercise if you can (this helps increase your ability to reason, seriously!), and cry out to Jesus (The Word, prayer, your journal, music that stirs your affections for Jesus, sermons, etc.)
30 MINUTE ESCAPE PLAN (more details) –
This escape plan is applicable to all regardless of idolatry struggle (unless your idol is working out), but it is especially helpful for the one who bows down to pornography and other aspects of sexual sin. I don't necessarily understand this, but I am told the primary chemical releases in the brain related to pornography are adrenaline and dopamine. I am also told that when those chemicals start firing, then it can feel hard to resist temptation. It is not just the forces of darkness attacking. It is not just what culture tempts us with. It is not just what our flesh desires. If we have trained ourselves to respond a certain way, then literally we have a physiological problem when we are “triggered” to bow down to our idol. The forces of darkness, culture and our flesh are hard to fight. Retraining our brain how to respond is without a doubt as hard, if not harder. Based upon what I have been told by guys smarter than me, it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to calm those levels of dopamine and adrenaline down.
How do we do this consistently?
The Bible offers us a road map on how to do this.
1.Romans 12:2 and 1 Corinthians 10:13 - I am not conformed to the world, but I allow myself to be transformed by renewing my mind. I realize that my temptation is not unique to me, and God has provided a way of escape. I must choose to take it and let Him transform me and renew my mind.
2.Example of Joseph -I can renew my mind by following the example of Joseph in Genesis 39. Joseph literally fled. He ran away from sexual temptation. I can renew my mind, and I can retrain my brain how to respond to temptation if I will do what Joseph did. I must leave! I must flee! If I have 30 minutes to flee, then I get out of there for 30 minutes. If I have 5 minutes, I take 5 minutes. If I have 30 seconds, then I take 30 seconds. The bottom line is that I leave. I must flee. I change location.
3.When I leave I contact my mentor of sponsor/accountability/mentor and let them know I am tempted and that I am fleeing. This helps us live in the light with our struggle. This helps us fight with the body of Christ and not fight on our own.
4.This is going to sound crazy, but when you leave/flee, you must try to do some cardio exercise (preferably walking or jogging). Why? Again, I am told by those who know way more than me about this stuff that when I walk or jog my right brain and left brain connect with one another. What I cognitively know to be true in my left brain, I can begin to experience in my right brain. Example: I know God loves me because of the cross of Christ, but I am not experiencing that. I feel like escaping into something that will make me feel better, but it really will not satisfy. Only God will satisfy. I go on this walk or jog (bilateral movement) and my left brain and right brain start communicating. It is possible that what I know to be true about God I begin to experience as I walk or jog.
5.Which leads me to this last point. I can't just change location by leaving/fleeing. I can't just contact my mentor or sponsor. I can't just participate in cardio exercise. When I start walking or jogging, I must choose to cry out to Jesus. I can walk and pray. I can jog and listen to the Word or music that stirs my affections for Jesus. The bottom line is that I must try to connect with Jesus. Connection may just be normal conversation. It could be crying out to God from places of anger and sadness. Regardless, when I flee temptation to bond with my idol, I must then bond with the only one who can really satisfy, Jesus Christ! (Jeremiah 2:13 and John 6:35)
We can rewire our brain. We can fight the forces of darkness. We can fight the culture. We can fight our flesh. We must choose to flee and run to Jesus EVERY TIME we are tempted!
Let us purpose in our heart to do this!!!
Filters (overview only)-
This is specific to those who struggle with things like pornography, etc. If that is not your idolatry struggle, go to the next step. My personal opinion is that filters don’t really work that well. Some may disagree with this. If that’s you, I get it. Let’s not argue about it. If you want to pursue the filter route, pursue Covenant Eyes. Google it, go to their website, and get started. Another great option is to contact Buddy Knight with Knights Quest Ministries. Google the ministry, contact Buddy, and let his ministry set you up with great filter software.
FYI: Instead of a filter, it might be better for you to eliminate using social media all together, or it might be better to take disable the web browsers on your phone and other devices. With guys I have helped, that method tends to work better than having filters.
Get in a strong accountability group, same sex, not simply management of sin, needs to look like how Galatians 6 describes accountability (must have a mix of more mature guys and guys who struggle so more mature can help carry the burdens of those who struggle). Something like Celebrate Recovery can be good for this. If you happen to live in the Dallas area, Regeneration through Watermark Church is an excellent option for this.
ACCOUNTABILITY (more details) -
Accountability never worked for me when I was bowing down to the idol of pornography. Why? 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 idolatry, I need accountability, but I don't need accountability from a bunch of guys who struggle with the same kind of idolatry. 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 walking in freedom from that idolatry struggle. (12 months of sobriety).
A great option to help you is Celebrate Recovery - Celebrate Recovery is a great ministry that is offered at several churches around the country. Google Celebrate Recovery and go to their website, and you can 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. If not Celebrate Recovery, then (for those in Dallas/Ft. Worth area), google Regeneration Watermark. They want you to find freedom and healing in Jesus as you pursue authentic community.
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, 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!