It’s crossed my mind a few times in the past few weeks.
Prior to that, it had been a year since I thought about it. That’s because I was in a committed relationship during that year. Now that it hasn’t worked out and I’m healing, lots of different thoughts are running through my head. Occasionally that one rears its ugly head.
The last time I hooked up was June of 2012. Four years is a great victory for me. When I was in my deepest pit, I never thought I could see victory like I experience today. I’m thankful for the strength my Lord has given, me because He’s renewed my heart. I don’t exactly remember or know what it’s like to hook up. At one point, I didn’t know what it would be like to be sober from it.
But as I remember that I am saved by grace and not by works, the lie is whispered to me: What if you just hook up one more time?
As I lead men in the area of sexual addiction, I ask them to consider not so much their recent relapse, but instead ask, “What is the normal now?” It’s natural at the beginning to relapse, but as men continue to grow, the time between relapses widens, and widens, until it becomes non-existent. During this growing time, it’s very easy to get down on yourself because of a relapse and just completely give up on the fight. But I remind these men, “This isn’t who you are. We look at your history, but God sees destiny. I see change, you see change, and we’ll get there eventually.”
So when temptation comes around, I hear, So if you hook up today, it’s literally the first time you’ve hooked up in four years. That’s not too bad. Overall, you’re healthy. This is the voice of the enemy … and it’s a lie. This is the moment he is prowling around and waiting to devour me. The lie of “one more time” will most likely lead to another “one more time.” But even if it doesn’t, why am I entertaining something that I know is clearly not in God’s best interest for me?
This is Nothing New
The reason I’m entertaining it is because I’m grieving, and I’m looking for a way to escape. Anything to remove me from my present pain and put me in a place where I’m swept away to a fantasy life, even for a moment.
Insert “hooking up” with anything else like food, alcohol, drugs, materialism, etc. It’s not about hooking up, but about medicating.
You know, the more I think about it, the more I realize that although this situation is unique, the temptation is the same. The enemy tries to package this as a special situation that warrants another medication. But in reality it’s just another moment of temptation. The enemy’s tactics are not new. And I’ve come out victorious many times.
Since the beginning of time, he has aimed to deceive you and question your identity, but in each situation God continues to call you chosen, holy and blameless. So that’s who you are each time … and that is more than enough reason to keep walking on the path that leads to Christ.
Pain is Temporary
You have to remember that eternally speaking, your pain is very temporary. You cannot allow yourself to go down that path anymore. Hebrews 12:11 tells us that no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but it will produce a harvest of righteousness. Our souls are at stake. It’s about time that we say “enough is enough!”
“Listen to me. Pain is temporary! It may last for minute, or an hour, or a day, or even a year. But eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit however, it will last forever.” — Eric Thomas
During these times, I choose joy. The Bible says in Psalm 30:5 that “… weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” In those times I will take my moment of pain, and I will endure it. I will cry myself to sleep, but know that my Lord will give me joy. David knew pain, but in every instance he chose joy. Throughout the Psalms, David wrestles with God, but he always comes back to trusting him.
Ask God for the joy you need to overcome temptation too.
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” — Psalm 51:12 NIV