Request And Cry Unto God For Grace To Change
Titus 2:11-14, Psalms 107 Romans 5:17 Psalms 34 Jeremiah 3:21-25.Without Gods grace, we are powerless to change our ways. When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles, says Psalm 34:17.
If you are troubled by the sin of lust, pray to God for deliverance and the grace to change.
Christ has the ability to give you a new heart, restored joy, and a clean and restored conscience.
True change is impossible without Gods grace, so as you read on, pray for Gods grace to apply these principles.
Access The Wound That Makes You Return To Unhealthy Addiction
We live in a broken, fallen world. You can grow up in a perfect family with tons of support and still get hurt. Some people can process their pain relationally with others, but many of us cant do that. We dont know how. We find ways to numb our pain, and those can become addictions.
Ultimately, you must go on the journey of exploring your own life and ask, “Where have I been wounded and how do those wounds affect me today?”
Have you been hurt by abuse? Divorce? High school? If we dont identify these wounds, well end up treating the symptoms rather than the root problems. You must explore your own story with safe people. Discover where youve been wounded and allow yourself to process that pain. Then you can find healing.
How Desensitisation Occurs
To understand desensitisation, you must understand how individual nerve cells communicate. Dopamine-producing nerve cells affected by desensitisation originate from the beginning of the reward circuit and make connections with other nerve cells in the reward centre. Nerve cells send messages using chemicals such as dopamine. Nerve cells bond to each other to form a reward pathway.
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Fight For Your Future
Jesus used violent language in the fight for the future:
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two hands and go into hell, into the unquenchable fire. If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.
Of course, you realize that its not the hand or foot that causes you to sin, but it is rather the person making choices with hands, feet, eyes . Id argue that if you had the willpower to actually cut off your hand, then you would also have the willpower to cut off your bad habit. So why is Jesus speaking this way? I think Hes being somewhat absurd to illustrate these points:
- The sin that we engage in ruins our lives.
- We have the ability to know our own particular weakness .
- We have the ability to make choices to fight against even worse consequences.
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The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
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Develop And Pursue A Stronger Love For Both God And The Gospel
Seek to grow in your love for God and appreciation for His love for you in the gospel.
Praise Him for His holiness and grace. God not only provides us with saving grace in the gospel, but He also provides us with sanctifying grace, which prepares us for service and is essential to who we are in Christ .
Ask God to increase your love for Him and your understanding of your role in the gospel.
Rejoicing in the goodness of Gods good design for sexuality: sex between one man and one woman who are committed to each other in covenant for life, is an important part of loving God.
Practice Accountability To Other Believers
One of the lies that sin can convince us of is that we are alone and have no one to help us.
God has provided us with the church and the opportunity to meet spiritual friends who can assist us in our battle against sin.
Pray for godly accountability to drive you away from sin and toward the Savior. Look into accountability programs such as Covenant Eyes to help you be more accountable.
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Activities That Speed Up Your Reboot
Hypofrontality also reverses, but this takes time. You may speed up this process by engaging in activities such as meditation that are known to engage your frontal lobes. This will help reverse hypofrontality and thus strengthen your willpower. This will mean urges will become easier to ignore and healthy choices such as exercising and socialising will become far more appealing.
Engage In Physical Activity
Engaging in physical activity has been shown to positively impact the reward center of the brain which promotes overall well-being. Exercise is known to improve the physical and mental health of individuals by controlling the reward impulse, which may help explain its ability to mitigate internet addiction.45
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Alcohol Tobacco And Other Drugs
The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. SAMHSAs 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that approximately 19.3 million people aged 18 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year.
Install A Good Filter Or Accountability Program
Along this journey, youre going to need to gain some self-control in the face of sexualized images everywhere, but that doesnt mean you cant give yourself some reprieve when you can. Download a filter or accountability program such as Covenant Eyes on every device you use phone, tablet, laptop, work computer and dont forget to put some safety controls on your TV, as well.
These will help you avoid gateways to binge sessions, as well as find some space to focus on more important things. Like the next thing on the list.
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Why Cant I Just Stop It
Theres a famous Mad TV sketch in which comedian Bob Newhart plays a psychotherapist whose sole advice is two words he forcefully states to his patients: STOP IT! His approach illustrates the simplicity and complexity of habits we wish werent ours. All we have to do is stop it, right? But the fact that we dont just stop it speaks to the complicated nature of our desires.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans about this very struggle:
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do. I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do. Instead, I keep on doing the evil I do not want to do. So this is the principle I have discovered: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. What a wretched man I am!
If you were to stop reading right there, you might think that Paul, too, resigned himself to hopelessness. In this moment he asks the same question youre askingIs there hope? He words it this way:
Who will rescue me from this body of death?
His answer isnt no one. With gratitude and thanksgiving, he declares, Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord!
The following statement is true of you if you have received the gift of Christs salvation: You, however, are controlled not by the flesh, but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you . Thats a true statement even when you dont feel it or feel like it.
In Search Of Transcendence
Christian writers have noted similar forces: Our heart will carry us either to God or addiction, wrote Brent Curtis and John Eldredge in their work The Sacred Romance: Drawing Closer to the Heart of God. They, too, appeal to ancient religious activity: In the religions of the Fertile Crescent, access to God was attempted through sexual intercourse with temple prostitutes. Perhaps, as we indulge our addictions, we are doing no less than prostituting ourselves and others in this very same way. Every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God, said G.K. Chesterton.
While Brands reference to spiritual things is more primal or pantheistic than Christian spirituality, this idea of the desire and ability to be present with the transcendent is an apt description of what happens in Genesis between the naked, but now afraid, first couple:
And the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked so they sewed together fig leaves and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the breeze of the day, and they hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called out to the man, Where are you?I heard Your voice in the garden, he replied, and I was afraid because I was naked so I hid myself.
But we should.
You can escape that trap.
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Reward Circuits: Seeking Pleasure And Avoiding Pain
At its most basic level, the reward circuit allows us to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. Our very survival depends on the avoidance of pain and the repetition of pleasure. To this end, the reward circuit encourages us to engage in activities that either further our survival or the survival of our genes. These activities include sex, eating, bonding, achievement, play, novelty and taking risks.
We literally do not make a decision without consulting our reward circuit. The reward circuit emotionally justifies what we do like and what we dont like. When you are addicted to something, your reward circuit is out of balance. This affects your mood, your perception and your decision-making powers.
What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline
SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.
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Sensitised Pathways Remain Even When You Quit Your Addiction
Thus, its really DeltaFosB that causes sensitisation and it does this by creating stronger and more powerful nerve connections in the brain. Long after an addict has quit using and DeltaFosB levels have returned to normal, these sensitised pathways remain. This explains why alcoholics who have been sober for many years may still suffer from strong cravings when they walk into a pub.
Remove All Forms And Source Of Temptations
Fighting our sinful habits entails not providing for our flesh and eliminating sources of temptation .
Jesus demonstrated the significance of this in the Sermon on the Mount with the hyperbolic command to tear out your eye if it causes you to sin .
This could include installing filters on your computer, phone, or television and removing anything that irritates your skin. You would not tolerate your sin any more than you would an armed killer living in your home.
You are weak, and you must make straight paths for your feet so that when you are weak, you can stand firm in Gods strength.
If you dont kill sin, it will kill you. Owen, John
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If Youre Concerned About A Loved One
It may be a problem if you notice that your loved one:
- watches while at work or at other inappropriate places and times
- is unable to keep up with their social, occupational, or other important obligations
- is experiencing relationship difficulties
- has tried to cut back or stop, but cant keep themselves away from it
If someone you care about shows signs of a compulsion or addiction, it may be time to open the lines of nonjudgmental communication.
Figure Out Your Triggers
Triggers are different for everyone. We sin when we are enticed and drawn away by our own lusts. Sin is, essentially, personal.
What triggers you may not trigger anyone else. For some people, triggers are emotional. For some, theyre situational. My triggers were a little bit of both. I found myself more tempted when under a lot of stress, when I watched movies on my laptop, and when I used a lotion I used in college. I learned to manage my stress, got rid of my laptop for a while, and threw away the lotion.
Not every trigger is avoidable, but when you know what triggers you, you are able to develop a plan for how to approach each one.
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Remaining Where You Are Is Risky Too
There are some truths that you know regarding porn: its causing you to lose hope. Its a threat to you physically and psychologically. It is poised to ruin your marriage and other important relationships, job, finances, social life, mindset, goals, focus, contentment, etc.
Scripture warns against a pattern of suppressing truth. Eventually, the grace of God gives way to the freedom of our own choices. This sad pattern is revealed at the beginning of Romans . The pattern of Gods activity in Romans 1 for those who suppress the truth is this:
- He gave them over in the desires of their heart to impurity for the dishonoring of their bodies with one another.
- He gave them over to dishonorable passions.
- He gave them up to a depraved mind.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, reserved in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by Gods power for the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in various trials.
But this is exactly the sort of person to whom Christ gives hope.
Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
There is hope for the addicted. Jesus said:
Understand The Nature Of The Battle
There is more knowledge about how the brain works now than ever before. Sexual addiction is not just a moral problem it is also a brain problem.
We can develop a brain problem with moral implications that cant be healed by moral solutions alone. We cannot just read our Bibles more, pray more or attend more small groups. We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and we must find healing for our wounds.
So where is healing found?
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Deltafosb And Genetic Survival Via Memory And Repetition
Sensitisation begins with high levels of dopamine. This tells our primitive brain that this activity is really valuable and you should engage in this activity again and again. Dopamines goal is to have us remember and repeat behaviours that further our genetic survival. Dopamine achieves this by triggering a protein known as DeltaFosB. DeltaFosB remains in the brain for around eight weeks following your last binge.
DeltaFosB also activates certain genes that change the physical and chemical structure of the brain. As DeltaFosB levels rise, this protein begins to rewire the brain to crave for the substance or behaviour that led to a rise in DeltaFosB levels in the first place. This creates a circular process where wanting causes doing. This causes a surge in dopamine which leads to even more DeltaFosB being accumulated. As DeltaFosB accumulates, so does the urge to engage in the behaviour that created its accumulation in the first place. And so this cycle continues until you make a conscious effect to cease the addictive behaviour.
What Are The Consequences Of All This Dopamine
If you have managed to read this far, you may be wondering what damage all of this dopamine has on your brain. The consequences are mainly in the form of brain changes. These changes cause the symptoms and conditions listed earlier. These symptoms and conditions are physical and psychological in nature.
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Get Physical & Get Away From The Computer
Crackheads arent just addicted to the high of crack cocaine. Theyre addicted to the stuffing, lighting, and the passing of the crackpipe. Its the ritual.
However, you almost certainly have to use a computer.
This creates a ritual. You sit down with the intention of working, but you get the urge to jerk off. Good old-fashioned physical activity works best for me at those times.
Go for a run, lift some weights, stretch, whatever.
This also has the side benefit of getting you in shape, which will make the next step that much easier.