"How does a man who was a slave to sexual addiction for 25 years stay free?"
It's the one question I've been asked hundreds of times.
By God’s remarkable grace, I am so grateful to be walking in my seventh year of complete freedom from my horrid past. To be clear, when I say complete freedom — I mean no relapses of any kind.
When I share this testimony with men that I coach out of porn and sexual addiction, most question whether that is even possible for them. And I completely understand — it felt impossible for me the first 12 months of my resurrection.
This is why I am a huge fan of Roger Bannister.
Roger Bannister broke 4 minute mile in 1954 for the first time in world history. Within 60 days, John Landy duplicated Bannister’s feat — and in following years, dozens of athletes would accomplish the same.
What changed for John Landy?
One solitary thing.
He saw that it was possible.
And he believed.
Freedom is possible. If we dare to believe it.
Here are 7 practices I live into every day to stay free and sustain my resurrection into a brand new life.
1. I pray The Lord’s Prayer every day.
According to the Didache, (an early church believers manual) Christians were encouraged to pray this prayer three times a day. Here’s what it does for me:
It centers me.
It reminds me whose I am.
It relinquishes my will for His.
2. I practice daily sabbath, as well as weekly.
Along with my weekly day of rest, I believe in finding margin and space in my life each day for rest, meditation and reflection. It may be reading. Or listening to music or a podcast. It could be writing. Or perhaps just quiet contemplation. But 30-60 minutes a day is dedicated to renewal of soul. Remember that Jesus said that sabbath was not made for God, but rather for man. (Mark 2:27) It is a gift of rejuvenation, recreating and reimagination.
I love the words of Dan Allender on this subject.
3. I journal.
I have an entire file on my laptop that is nothing by a collection of my thoughts about the past, present and future. It is therapy for me. I love looking back to entries I made 8 years ago and realize how far the Lord has brought me. And I love to dream forward and do spiritual speculation on where the Spirit might be blowing in Lori’s and my life.
4. I have good conversation with Lori.
Lori and I have a life routine. We meet on the porch after work each day. We talk. We dream. We work through challenges. And sometimes we just sit there and look at each other. Communication isn’t alway verbal in our world. We stay in touch with each other’s soul.
5. I respect my boundaries.
I have clear borders and boundaries. They protect me from returning to my past. I avoid certain parts of the city I live in. I never rent cars when I am alone in my travels. I never go near magazine racks in stores. I have high walls up in all my technology. I don’t stay up late alone — Lori and I always go to bed together. Jesus said, “If your hand offends you, cut if off.” (Matt. 5:30) I have learned to cut off and cut out anything that could be offensive to my resurrection.
6. I remain humble and vigilant.
Sexual temptation 8 years ago was like a bullhorn in my ear from the morning I woke up until the time I went to sleep. It was loud. It was unavoidable. Today, it is closer to a whisper. But I am not stupid enough to take it lightly. I remind myself each day that the continued grace I experience in my life is directly proportionate to the humility I walk in before the Lord.
In fact, God treats us with even greater kindness, just as the Scriptures say, “God opposes everyone who is proud, but he blesses all who are humble with undeserved grace.”
James 4:6 CEV
7. I practice honesty.
I lied for years. And ultimately my lies destroyed me. Today I am honest to a fault. Lori tells me I am too honest sometimes. But I simply want to live in the light the rest of my life. What a complete delight it is today to know I have no secrets to hide. There is no internal stress or nagging fear that the hidden house of cards could fall at any time. I am honest with my wife, my advocates and my family and friends. And if you and I ever talk, I can promise I will be honest with you.
All of these practices contribute to a healthy soul. They help to dismiss anxiety, stress, exhaustion, entitlement and anger — many of the contributors to my past behavior.
And yet it all starts with this. I believe.
With Jesus, it is possible it be free. And stay free.
HOW CAN I HELP YOU?
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