Archive for December, 2012

Step 2 – Understanding The Addiction and Cause

The next step in the healing process is to get an understanding of what an addiction is and the cause of the addiction. Ed Welch defines an addiction this way, “An addiction is a sin that you cannot seem to stop because it has great power over you. In this way it is a self-selected enslavement to an idol.” Whatever we are struggling with, it is not the main problem; it is the symptom of something that is going on deeper in our hearts. A lot of people try to manage their struggle or try to cut their struggle off. They never deal with the root issue of the struggle. When I am working in my yard the one thing that amazes me are weeds. They can grow anywhere no matter what type of soil they are in. How do you get rid of a weed? You have to pull the weed out with its roots. If I just cut a weed off at the ground level over time it is going to grow right back. If we are trying to manage our struggle all we are doing is cutting the weed off at the ground  level, we have to get the roots out. So what cause an addiction? Those who struggle with sexual issues have selected “sex” to be their “self-selected idol.” They are going to sex, porn, etc., because in their minds it is helping them deal with something much deeper inside of them, and if I had to guess it’s some type of pain. In reality the sex, porn etc., it’s just causing them more pain. Where is this pain coming from? More than likely there was some time of emotional wound that took place in their early childhood years. Left untreated this wound starts to bring intense pain, and in order for them to deal with the pain they turn to something in the flesh to suppress the pain. This in turns effects every are of their lives. It affects their marriage, family, job, etc., this then cause more pain and the cycle repeats itself. The wound is the root and one has to find it (most of the time by God’s help) and has to allow God to bring healing to it. Often times there are more than one wound, there are many. I understand too, that one may be pissed off at God for the things in their lives, but they have to allow God to help them work through the angry and to bring healing.  So what are some characteristics of an addiction?
1. Compulsivity – The loss of the ability to choose to stop a certain behavior.
2. Obsession – Is a complete pre-occupation with a behavior. At the height of an addiction an addict cannot stop dwelling on a behavior and will structure their day to get back to the struggle.
3. Tolerance – Over time what a person is doing no longer gives them the “high” they once experienced. It takes more and more to maintain the “high” created by the addiction.
4. Escapism – The addict is using the struggle to escape unpleasant and painful feelings.
5. Detachment – The struggle allows the addict to detach from the reality of their lives, even if it’s just for a short time.

By understand the addiction we can then start learning how to have victory over our struggles, and to continue to move in the healing process.

Step 1 – Who Are You Going To Call?

As we start to look at the steps in the healing process for sexual struggles; the first step is the biggest and hardest one we will have to take in our journey to healing. Step 1 – You have to tell someone of your struggle. The reason this is so hard is because you are letting someone come into your life and see your brokenness and sin. This is the one step most people cannot do, and will not do. Even though this is the hardest step, it is one of the most freeing steps. If you don’t ever take this step you will never be able to receive the healing that God wants to give you. I once heard a man say, “Our sickness is a result of our secrets.” The struggles we keep inside of us will eat us from the inside out, they are toxic. The first part of James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” Part of our healing is tired directly into our confessing of our sins to others. I understand there is a fear, and there are so many questions that race through someone’s mind when they are thinking about letting someone come into their brokenness. I can honestly say this was one of the most freeing steps I took in my journey to healing, and it is the hardest one. I came to a place in my life that I didn’t care who I told, I wanted help and I did not want to be a slave any longer to a struggle that Christ had set me free from. You have to ask yourself the question, do I want to be healed and have victory, or do I want to continue to struggle and continue to live a life a secrets. When you bring someone into your struggle you are letting the Light come into the darkness. With sexually struggles there is a lot of lying and covering up the struggle so that others won’t find you out. This is especially true if you are married. Sin will always find its way out. You can only continue to lie for so long and cover your steps, but you will make a mistake and the cat will be out of the bag. Studies show that 4 out of 5 people get help with their sexually struggles only after they have been caught and their loved ones demand they get help. So who are you going to call? Think about that one person that you can trust, think about that one person you know will get down in the mud with you, get in the fox hole with you, and will battle like hell with you. Once you got that person, call them, sit down and let them come into your world. Men, try to find that older guy, women same for you, find that older women. If you don’t have that person, ask God to give you that person. He will show you the person you are to call. More than likely they will understand, and may have already walked down that road you are on. How bad to you want to be living in freedom? Living in bondage and slavery is no fun, its death, and trust me you cannot do it by yourself. I tried for years to do it by myself and failed for years. It wasn’t until I started to let people into my brokenness that I started to have victory and healing. God uses other people to help us, and there are people who will understand your struggle and will not judge or look down on you. There are people that you can trust. So once again, who are you going to call? Step 2 coming shortly.

Steps

The other day I came across a book review on a new book that was coming out on men who struggle with sexual issues, and the person making the review made an interesting statement. To sum it up, people are looking for practical steps to help them in their struggle with sexual issues. This book in review didn’t give a practical step until chapter 12. People who are struggling with sexual issues want answers and they want steps. It comes down to the fact that people are hurting and they want to stop hurting. I was the same way. I look for some many years for a formula to overcome my struggles. I looked in books, I look to other people, I looked everywhere, and I could not find the formula to get out from the struggle. The formula is a person, and that person is Jesus. Jesus is the only person that is going to help us to get out from our struggle with sexual issues. Now, are there steps involved? Yes. Now, will these steps save us? No, only Jesus can do that. These steps are to bring about healing, and healing leads to victory over our struggles. Do these steps lead us away from pain? No, they drive us right into the core of the pain. The one thing God tends to use more than anything else to help us heal is our pain. Look at the cross. The way that God set us free from sin and death was by the death of His Son Jesus. Jesus endured the pain of the cross so we can be healed and set free from the power of sin and death. Pain and healing go hand in hand. Over the next few weeks I will share some practical steps that we use in Refuge to started the healing processing. The healing process is a process, and it is a process that takes time. This is not something that happens overnight. If God did it overnight, then we would check out on God and wouldn’t need Him anymore. One thing to remember is, Christ did not die on the cross for us to manage our pain, but for us to be healed, and I believe we can be healed on this side of Heaven. I hope the upcoming steps will be useful for you.

%d bloggers like this: