Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Steps into Slavery
"Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 7:24-25 NLT)
Thoughts for Today
Yesterday we discussed how the road to slavery begins with a faulty belief system and impaired thinking. People deny certain sinful actions are wrong and become deluded and confused. They rationalize sin and blame others for their problems. This impaired thinking leads to other steps in the cycle of sexually addictive behavior: preoccupation, ritualization, compulsive actions, and despair.
Preoccupation: The person becomes obsessed with sexual stimulation, thinks about it all the time, and enters a trance-like state when contemplating being sexual. Most people in this stage find certain situations, circumstances, or even people act as "triggers" that move them toward their ritual and sin.
Ritualization: The person goes through routines when contemplating a sexual experience. These routines intensify the trance-like state and heighten arousal and excitement. Examples: Someone may wear a particular t-shirt without any Christian symbols on it when contemplating a sexual encounter later in the day. Another may have a particular path through the mall to get to the bookstore or to walk past a lingerie store.
Sexual Compulsiveness: This is a seemingly overwhelming compulsion to act out sexually with no regard to possible negative consequences.
These three steps lead to despair - we'll discuss that more tomorrow.
Consider this …
The addicted person's life becomes unmanageable as he or she struggles to manage two lives: the public life and the addicted life. The four phases we have described today form a behavioral loop, a vicious circle that intensifies the guilt, shame, pain, and fear each time the person goes through them. Trying to manage these negative feelings, the addicted person seeks to find comfort once again in compulsive sexual behavior.
So where can a person struggling through this cycle turn? Is there hope? Only in one place, and today's scripture gives the answer: Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Father, I am tired of the guilt and shame, but I have not been able to stop. Sometimes I don't even want to stop. Please forgive me. I know the Bible promises I can do all things through Christ. I know the only answer is in him. Help me find my way back to him. In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …
Crossroads: Choosing the Road to Sexual Purity by David E. Longacre. Crossroads deals with choosing the road to sexual purity and is suggested for use in support groups and Christian counseling.
- Describes the sexual addiction process
- Shows how the sin of proximity often precedes sexual sins
- Shows the way out of sexual addiction
- Presents biblical insights to help a person break free and stay free
- Gives practical actions for renewing the mind
- Serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by providing a way to minister to people's felt needs and then pointing them to Christ
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