Archive for January, 2016

Steps to Healing – Part 3

In life we need others to help us, no matter what we struggle with. Proverbs 24:11 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Men, bottom line, we have to have other men in our lives to help us. Same goes for the ladies, women you need other women in your life to help you. When dealing with any type of struggle we need to have accountability in our lives to help us. “Your A-Team” One of the things we do with Refuge is we encourage our men to put together accountability teams to help them with their struggle. Being accountable to someone is doing life on life with them. I want to share what your accountability team looks like and what your team does.
What the team looks like: Pray and ask God to give you a few men to be a part of your team. I would look at asking some older guys and some guys that are the same age as you. I would start looking at some of your closest guy friends. Your team members need to be men you can trust, are safe, men who love you, and guys you can share things with. When you think of someone you may want to be a part of your team, ask to speak with them and share with them that you are putting together a team of men to help you in your walk of purity. Ask them if they would be willing to be a part of your team and tell them what you want them to help you with. Different members of your team may have different roles. It’s your team, set it up how you need to and how it will best help you. What does your team do? Any member of your team can at any time ask you how you are doing in the area of your sexually purity. You are going to have to tell them to do this. If you sin, you have to confess that sin to someone on your team. Why do this? This keeps one from having secrets, and it goes back to the healing processes. James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” Use your team to your advantage. You want to contact your team before you start to fall into sin. If you are starting to be tempted or you start to see red flags go up, contact your team so they can pray with you. If you cannot get in touch with them, leave them a message. It’s amazing how when one is being tempted to act out, and they reach out to a brother how fast the temptation leaves. Why is that, because you are allowing the Light to come into that dark situation. Your team is a lifelong team, and team members will come and go. Stay in touch with your team and they with you. Most of the time when I’ve had guys reach out to another guy for accountability, the guy they ask to enter into the accountability relationship is looking for the same thing. So now you have a two-way street, you get to help them and they get to help you. We cannot do life by ourselves, we need others and this is how God intend it. We need community and we need men in our lives and women need women in their lives to help us battle through life’s issues. Your accountability team is to be a helpful tool to help you, men to come along side of you and love you and to spur you on.

Steps to Healing – Part 2

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.

Steps to Healing – Part 1

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.

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