There can be seemingly insurmountable challenges in our pursuit of sexual purity. We may hit a wall of frustration, boredom, temptation, even relapse. Continue reading
‘Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying’
(Andy, The Shawshank Redemption)
Spiritually, we are busy dying when we continue to feed our sexual addiction. You know that. You can easily testify up close and personal, that the nature of the flesh is to war against the things of the Spirit. Continue reading
Sorry for going dark for a little while there! Back at it!
Let’s deal with lustful looking. To leave it behind has a finality to it that I don’t want to misrepresent. It is an ongoing work, NOT a one-and-done change that happens. And the reason I think is because it is so much more than a temporal, physical issue. It is a heart, mind, body and soul issue. So dealing in pragmatics, I want to offer some tips I hope will be helpful.
First, you need a mantra. Sounds corny, huh? But seriously, perhaps you’ve heard this quote –
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
― Henry Ford
We’ll end up believing what we tell ourselves. This isn’t about pop-psychology positive self talk. It’s about the core beliefs we have about ourselves. And when it comes to lustful looking, some of us have these core beliefs:
- If I don’t look I’ll miss out on something.
- They might look back and that will feel electric/powerful/significant/etc.
- I am entitled to look.
- I’m not hurting anyone by looking.
- I have to look in order to meet someone. [for singles]
Unfortunately, much like processes running in the background on our computers, these core beliefs are operating in the background of our hearts and minds. Without even realizing it, we’re already at a disadvantage in the war for sexual integrity.
Think about this for a moment from the perspective of a professional athlete. What would happen if everyday, multiple times a day, the team’s star receiver repeated to himself, “when the ball comes to me, I drop it every time. When the ball comes to me, I drop it every time”. Sounds asinine doesn’t it? Yet that’s how many of us operate. “When an attractive woman/man crosses my path, I look her up and down.” When an attractive woman/man crosses my path, I look her up and down.” Side note: isn’t it crazy how we’ll celebrate and sensationalize the disciplines of an elite athlete, but we’ll call the disciplines of a spiritual athlete hokey or ridiculous?
So how do we change this? One way is by having a mantra. We reprogram the processes running in the background. My mantra is, “there’s nothing I need, guaranteed”. What that means to me is, I haven’t a single need that God hasn’t already appropriated meeting through Shelley, other men, or Himself, albeit maybe not immediately.
Practically speaking, I walk into Starbucks and an attractive woman is in line, “nothing I need, guaranteed.” Urge to double-take, “nothing I need, guaranteed.” Seriously. And guess what; over time, I’ve come to believe it. My core belief today is not that I’m missing out if I don’t. Instead that core belief is that no one on the planet can satisfy the longings of my heart more than Shelley, men and God. So why would I even have to look at another woman? It’s a foregone conclusion.
I am a fan of you having a mantra. One that you repeat every day, multiple times a day, so that you start to believe it.
I’d love to hear what your mantra is if you have one, or when you come up with one.
More tips to come!