Search For What Your Mind Does Not Understand
Search for What Your Mind Does Not Understand
(A Response to an Email From a Member of a Christian Online Group)
Stop searching for what you cannot or do not understand, but search instead for what God is trying to show you, that He loves you with a heart that is greater than we can conceive. Start searching for what your mind does not understand, and search instead for God by way of reading the Bible. In it is contained the truths that you are denying by seeking for something that your mind can see and make reasonable sense of.
I am reminded of a child who says I do not like broccoli. How do you know you do not like broccoli, you have not tried it. Likewise how do you know that God does not exist. Have you searched for Him by way of His greatest gift to us, other than Jesus Himself, and that is the Bible. Many smarter minds have tried to disprove the existence of God including the likes of Josh McDowell, whom was a lawyer using the techniques of a lawyer to search for the truth. He in the end became a believer because he did a serious search for the truth.
We are told by God Himself that
Jeremiah 29:13 (KJV)
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
That is what you need to be doing before you will ever get over your very special sin or any other sin and or addiction. Healing does not and cannot be overcome on our own. Until you are willing to admit you have a problem, which you have done, and until you stop trying to analyze and reason out, and until you stop discounting and making excuses why you can`t do this and you can`t do that, you will continue to be stuck, angry, confused and going nowhere.
I would strongly encourage you to first of all block out any possibility of viewing any porn. No more excuses. If you need to throw out your computer so that you will not be tempted to view porn then that is what you need to do. When Jesus said to pluck out your eyes, He meant
it in that way, to get rid of anything that you can be used to tempt and fall into sin.
And secondly you need to start reading the scripture with an opened mind. Do not try to reason out what you read, but let God fill in the blanks for you. The best place to begin is to read the book of John and read it and read it and read it and allow God to show you the truths. Pray that God would help you to see and believe.
My prayers are that you will do as we all have been advising you to do, no more excuses, no more trying to reason what your mind does not understand. The mind itself is a deceiver and is ruled by the god of this world (Satan) if you are not a follower and believer of God. Go forth and seek for God, then the truth will set you free.
I am currently doing "The Game Plan" with one of your brothers and he allowed me to publish his list with the 35 reasons why you should leave a homosexual life (or not go into it). As you know, that list serves as a motivation - reading it aloud every morning after Scripture reading and prayer.
So here we go:
1 One it hurts my wife
2 Hurt my kids
3 Have a criminal record - served one year probation
4 God does not approve of such behavior
5 Separates me from the love of God
6 Could get a serious diease
7 Lost my job teaching at the college
8 Could lose my current job if I go porn site
9 Live in denial and a scret life which is not healthy
10 It is not real, but a fantasy that ends in diaster.
11 no love for anyone - it is all about me.
12 lust is out to destory me
13 I cannot make a man love me.
14 True union is btwn a man and a woman
15 my life was out of control
16 hate one night stands
17 does not give me what I am looking for in a relationship
18 never satisfy looking for next big fix
19 in bondage to my false high
20 causes depression
21 causes isolation
22 want to live for Christ
23 lived in fear
24 not socially accepted
25 want to relate to men in a healthy way
26 destroys friendships
27 the chemical release is like a drug and i can't say no
28 cannot distinquist people motives if they real or not
29 not able to be honest
30 not able to trust
31 cripple my ability to be light and salt that the world needs
32 i am deliberatily putting my pleasure before God, wife and kids
33 i am polutting my mind and body
34 i am participating in the sort of evil i said i am against
35 i am not being the man i can be
Ein Tip aus der Praxis: Telefonketten. Besonders wirkungsvoll bei Selbsthilfegruppen, durchaus aber auch privat machbar. Sobald jemand in Gefahr ist, seinen Versuchungen nachzugehen, ruft er einen anderen Bruder (bzw. bei Frauen eine Schwester) an oder schickt eine SMS und setzt so die Kette in Gang. Die anderen versuchen schnellstmöglichst zu reagieren und ihn/sie davon abzuhalten (anrufen, bei ihm/ihr vorbeischauen usw.). Außerdem beginnen die Brüder/Schwestern, für ihn/sie zu beten.
Sehr wirkungsvoll und hilfreich! Bestimmt kennst auch du Menschen, die das für dich tun würden - und für die du dasselbe tun könntest!
Hier zwei Tips von Teilnehmern unserer Selbsthilfegruppen:
1) Schreibe alles auf, wofür du dankbar sein solltest! Lies diese Liste regelmäßig durch!
2) Lege ein Tagebuch (oder einen Block im Internet) an. So kannst du nachverfolgen, was dazu geführt hat, dass du gefallen bist (sollte es denn soweit kommen) und außerdem kannst du so deinen Therapieerfolg kontrollieren. Außerdem ist es einfach interessant, zu lesen, was man früher gedacht und gefühlt hat!
Hier noch einige nützliche Tips:
- Erwarte nicht, dass es leicht sein wird oder schnell geht, dich von der Homosexualität zu befreien. Du wirst zusehen müssen, wie andere Homosexuelle ihre Neigungen voll ausleben, "glücklich" zusammen leben (frage mal nach, wie lange schon und ob beide sich treu sind/waren!), Spaß haben, Sex haben, feiern, kurz: all das machen, was du gerne (wieder) tun würdest. ABER: sie sündigen. Und Sünde führt immer zum persönlichen Tod - in jeder Hinsicht. Jesus hat uns gesagt, wer Ihn liebt, solle sich verleugnen, sein Kreuz auf sich nehmen und Ihm nachfolgen. Täglich. Er hat nicht gesagt, du sollst tun, was dir Spaß macht. Werde nicht zum Sklaven deiner Begierden! "Ich vergesse, was hinter mir liegt und strecke mich nach dem aus, was vor mir ist. Das Ziel vor Augen, jage ich nach dem Siegespreis: der himmlischen Berufung, die Gott uns in Christus Jesus schenkt." (Philipper 3:13-14). "Darum sage ich: Lasst euch vom Geist leiten, dann werdet ihr das Begehren des Fleisches nicht erfüllen." (Galater 5:16) und weiter: "Die Werke des Fleisches sind deutlich erkennbar: Unzucht, Unsittlichkeit, ausschweifendes Leben, Götzendienst, Zauberei, Feindschaften, Streit, Eifersucht, Jähzorn, Eigennutz, Spaltungen, Parteiungen, Neid und Missgunst, Trink- und Essgelage und Ähnliches mehr. Ich wiederhole, was ich euch schon früher gesagt habe: Wer so etwas tut, wird das Reich Gottes nicht erben. Die Frucht des Geistes aber ist Liebe, Freude, Friede, Langmut, Freundlichkeit, Güte, Treue, Sanftmut und Selbstbeherrschung; dem allen widerspricht das Gesetz nicht. Alle, die zu Christus Jesus gehören, haben das Fleisch und damit ihre Leidenschaften und Begierden gekreuzigt." (Galater 5:19-24).
- Es gibt Versuche, konfessionslose Gruppierungen zu bilden, um Menschen zu helfen, von ihrer Homosexualität loszukommen. Auch hier wird mit Bedürfnissen argumentiert, die wir fälschlicherweise mit homosexuellem Verhalten befriedigen wollen. ABER: Das überzeugt keinen praktizierenden Homosexuellen. Niemals. Warum in aller Welt sollte jemand sein homosexuelles Leben aufgeben wenn nicht aus dem einzig sinnvollen Grund: um so wie Jesus sein zu wollen, um aus Liebe zum Herrn gehorsam zu sein! Nie im Leben hätte ich diesen Weg eingeschlagen, wenn ich nicht als Christ wiedergeboren worden wäre. Psychologische Argumente mögen zwar einleuchtend klingen, aber als alleinige Motivationsbasis werden sie wohl kaum ausreichen.
- Du wirst im Laufe deiner Therapie drei Phasen durchmachen: (1) Am Anfang wirst du voller Idealismus sein ("Ich bin frei! Es liegt hinter mir! War das schon alles?") (2) Eine Reihe von Gefühlen bleibt aber immer noch da ("Na ja, warten wir halt noch ein bißchen") (3) Eine Periode der Enttäuschung, Depression und Selbstzweifel ("Was ist nun mit dieser Befreiung? Werde ich mich jemals ändern?"). VORSICHT! In jeder dieser Phasen werden folgenschwere Entscheidungen getroffen! Erst wenn du tatsächlich durchhältst, kommst du in Phase (4) - der Heilung!
- Vermeide Versuchungen! Auch wenn es in unserer sexbesessenen Zeit fast unmöglich ist, solltest du Versuchungen jeder Art meiden. Wirf all das pornographische Material weg, das du noch hast, gehe nicht mehr in Lokale, in denen Homosexuelle verkehren, triff dich nicht mehr mit homosexuellen Freunden von früher (zumindest nicht ohne Begleitung eines christlichen Freundes/Freundin, den/der du trauen kannst), vermeide homosexuelle Homepages im Internet, schaue keine Pornos im Fernsehen usw. ABER: Vrsuchungen wird es immer geben! Sie werden aber erst zur Sünde, wenn wir sie bewusst suchen oder ihnen nachgeben.
- Du bist ein Mann (eine Frau) - also benimm dich auch so! "Eine Frau soll nicht die Ausrüstung eines Mannes tragen und ein Mann soll kein Frauenkleid anziehen; denn jeder, der das tut, ist dem Herrn ein Gräuel." (Deuteronomium 22:5). (Dies ist zwar aus dem Alten Testament und damit eigentlich nicht mehr relevant, als Orientierungshilfe in Verbindung mit dem im Schöpfungsbericht in Genesis definierten Bild und Plan Gottes vom Menschen als Mann und Frau, die als zwei Gegensätze eine Einheit bilden, durchaus geeignet. Zumal sich derartige Hinweise auch im Neuen Testament finden, etwa in 1 Korinther 6:9-11). "Auch sollen Frauen sich anständig, bescheiden und zurückhaltend kleiden; nicht Haartracht, Gold, Perlen oder kostbare Kleider seien ihr Schmuck, sondern gute Werke." (1 Timotheus 2:8-10). "Ihr Männer, liebt eure Frauen, wie Christus die Kirche geliebt und sich für sie hingegeben hat, um sie im Wasser und durch das Wort rein und heilig zu machen." (Epheser 5:25-26.
- Kleide dich also deinem Geschlecht entsprechend!
- Lerne, dich wie ein Mann (bzw. wie eine Frau) zu benehmen! Lerne, wie du mit deinem eigenen Geschlecht und wie mit dem anderen umzugehen hast!
- Suche dir gleichgeschlechtliche Vorbilder ("Christian role models").
- Überlege dir jede Woche, ob du deine Freizeit in einer "gesunden Umgebung" verbrcht hast (einer Umgebung, die deiner Therapie förderlich ist).
- Suche dir Freizeitaktivitäten, die "typisch männlich (weiblich)" sind.
- Suche dir gleichgeschlechtliche Christen, denen du wöchentlich Rechenschaft ablegst (am besten Selbsthilfegruppen, falls vorhanden). Wichtige Punkte hierbei: Hast du das Gefühl, diese Woche Kontakt zu Gott gehabt zu haben? Denkst du, du hast diese Woche Fortschritte gemacht? An wievielen Tagen hast du in der Bibel gelesen und gebetet (SEHR wichtig! Wenn wir aufhören, Sein Wort zu lesen, werden wir verletzlich und erliegen leichter Versuchungen!)? Hast du deine Freizeit in einer deiner Therapie dienlichen Umgebung verbracht? Warst du in einem Gottesdienst (wenn nicht, warum nicht?)?Hast du gesunde gleichgeschlechtliche Beziehungen gesucht? Wie oft hast du dich in dieser Woche homosexuell betätigt (SEHR wichtig! Gefragt wird hier nach Pornos, Masturbation, Fantasien, unangemessenen "zweiten" Blicken, Sex usw.)
- Jede sexuelle Fantasie, jeder gleichgeschlechtliche Flirt birgt in sich die Saat für weitere Fehltritte! Gott sieht in unser Herz - HIER beginnt die Sünde!
- Bereite dich vor! Wenn du weißt, dass morgen ein schwerer Sturm kommt, wirst du dein Haus schützen. Wenn du also weißt, was dich in Gefahr bringt, wieder in homosexuelle Aktivitäten oder Fantasien zu geraten, warum solltest du nicht auch hier Vorbereitungen treffen?
- Schließe dich einer Selbsthilfegruppe an!
- Unterstütze Menschen, denen es genauso geht wie dir!
- Nütze deine Energien und Talente! Warum solltest du all deine Kraft an dein (im übrigen selbstsüchtiges!) Selbstmitleid verschwenden? Persönliches Glück ist ein "Nebenprodukt" von etwas viel wichtigerem: Jesus nachzufolgen! Engagiere dich in deiner Kirche! Hilf Menschen in Not! Betätige dich ehrenamtlich! Schon bald wirst du merken, dass du deine eigenen Probleme schon halb vergessen hast, da sie dir nun nicht mehr so groß vorkommen.
- Trete auch öffentlich für deine neue Überzeugung als Christ(in) ein! Biete der Schwulen- und Lesbenbewegung die Stirn! Zeige anderen, dass es möglich und wichtig ist, umzukehren! Benütze dafür deine Fantasie und Kreativität!
- Nütze die Kraft des Gebetes und suche Gemeinschaft mit anderen Christen! Gehe wöchentlich in den Gottesdienst, besuche Bibelstunden!
- Erwarte nicht, dass du nie wieder gleichgeschlechtliche Gedanken/Versuchungen haben wirst. Du wirst aber lernen, damit umzugehen.
- Das Ziel ist nicht unbedingt, zu heiraten und eine Familie zu gründen. Das Ziel ist erst einmal: Sei gehorsam! Höre auf zu sündigen!
- Gehe in kleinen Schritten vor! Niemand wird in zwei Wochen heterosexuell. Der Prozess ist lange und schmerzvoll - aber du gehst ihn nicht alleine! Außerdem: wer Jesus liebt, der nehme sein Kreuz und folge ihm nach!
- Treibe Sport! Gehe ins Fitnesscenter. Ernähre dich gesund. Denke daran: der Körper ist der Tempel des Herrn. So lernst du auch die nötige Disziplin für deine Therapie!
- Wenn du in tiefe Krisen gerätst, zögere nicht, dir professionelle medizinische Hilfe (etwa einen Facharzt für Psychiatrie) zu suchen! Auch wenn es alles noch so dunkel und aussichtslos erscheint: du wirst irgendwann wieder lachen!
- Let love rule! Suche dir Liebe: Freunde, Familie, Glaubensbrüder und -schwestern, Gatte/Gattin usw.
- Du wirst vielleicht auf dem langen Weg zur Heilung einmal stolpern - aber du wirst auch lernen, wieder aufzustehen oder Freunde haben, die dir wieder aufhelfen!
- Überdenke dein Leben neu! Führst du ein christliches Leben? Was kannst du in deinem Leben verbessern?
- Bleibe sexuell rein - auch wenn es noch so schwer fällt! Die Bibel untersagt uns außerehelichen Sex!
- Bereue deine Sünden, aber versinke nicht in Scham und Selbstmitleid! Bete und bitte Gott, dir zu zeigen, wie du deine schlimmsten Fehler in deine größten Erfolge verwandeln kannst! "Where a man's wound is, there he finds his genius!" (Robert Bly).
- "Ich habe Angst, ich komme in die Hölle!" - ein Satz, den man immer noch hört. Homosexualität ist nicht eine Frage von Himmel oder Hölle. Du solltest dich aber schon fragen, warum du weiter sündigen willst, wenn du Jesus wirklich liebst! Die Frage ist also nicht nur, ob du zur Hölle fahren wirst, sondern wie du am besten mit deinen versuchungen und deinem inneren Kampf fertig wirst, denn als Kind Gottes bist du zu Höherem geboren! Schließlich werden wir nicht durch unsere guten Werke geretet (wohl aber danach beurteilt), sondern durch unseren Glauben an Jesus Christus. "Denn wenn du mit deinem Mund bekennst: "Jesus ist der Herr" und in deinem Herzen glaubst: "Gott hat ihn von den Toten auferweckt", so wirst du gerettet werden" Römer 10:9. Das heioßt aber nicht, dass du weiterhin gleichgeschlechtlichen Sex haben kannst, weil du ja Kind Gottes bist. Im Gegenteil: wer wirklich glaubt, kann nicht mit vollem Bewusstsein weiterhin sündigen, ohne mit Konsequenzen rechnen zu müssen. Dies geht gegen die wahre Natru eines jeden, der Christus nachfolgen will und kann auf lange Sicht nur zu Elend führen. Wenn man versucht, jegliche Sünde aufzugeben, um die Hölle zu vermeiden, geht man aber am Thema vorbei: Wir bemühen uns aus Dankbarkeit und Liebe zu Gott, unsere Sünden zu überwinden - nicht um das Ticket in den Himmel zu bekommen.
- "Ich probiere das Heteroleben mal aus und schaue, ob es funktioniert." Was, wenn nicht? Heißt das, dass beide Optionen für dich in Ordnung sind? Du "bevorzugst" vielleicht Heterosexualität, aber wenn es nicht "funktioniert", ist Homosexualität auch ok? Wenn du so denkst, ist dein Interesse an einer Veränderung eher ein Experiment als ein Akt der Liebe zu Jesus.
(Quelle: u.a. die sehr zu empfehlenden Bücher von Joe Dallas!)
I have some questions that would help me, too, in my recovery:
1) You don't act out. Great - nor do I. But how about same-sex attractions? Are they still there? How do you handle them?
2) Do you have somebody else than your pastor buddy to talk to? How about those activities that teach you appropriate behavior towards men and women (like spending time with sort of hetero role models, going for a dance with girls, fishing or other "typical male activities" that teach you how to behave like a man, dating like a man, dating girls, doing "men things" and so on)? Do you do that?
3) What exactly is your job like at that church you're in?
No I don't share wiith others about my sexuality, the reason being, I believe that the Lord Jesus is using my ministry at this time and such a revelation might well turn some away from the Truth. I do have a lady friend (nothing sexual mind you), and we make a point of going out for meals, picnics, drives into the country and so on. Personally, I do enjoy a good game of squash, watching rugby (football) and when time permits a tramp into the back country of New Zealand. I am a senior pastor of the church I minister at. I have 2 associate pasors alongside me. Likewise, I minister in various countries overseas. I have given up travelling throughout New Zealand as time wise I just cannot fit in these days. To answer your question more directly, "what exactly is my job like at the church I'm in", well hectic, no time to myself and a diary that never manages to find me a day to myself. Attached to my church are 2 rehabilitation houses for dysfunctional young people whom the state cannot find a placement for. These kids are according to the state beyond help. I disagree, in that I have seen many come to the Lord and change their lives completely. Which has in turn led me to accept an online pastorate, which include two groups of dysfunctional young people. Their problems include such cooncerns as gender identity, prostitution, various types of abuse against them, suicidal, chemical dependancy and so on and so on.
Well Robert, I hope that answers your questions.
Together we walk with the Father.
Tatsächlich aber scheitern die meisten Menschen, weil sie nicht wirklich GLAUBEN, dass sie durch Jesu' Tod am Kreuz frei sind!
Hier nun einige Beiträge zu dem, wozu uns Jesus aufruft: uns um Bedürftige zu kümmern. Um all die Armen, Traurigen, Gefangenen, Fremden, Einsamen...
31When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
why are we asking for social engagement in our accountability check ups?
Well, of course you should learn to fill your leisure time with meaningful activities and also realize that other people suffer also.
But there is something else to it.
Two incidents that occurred to me these days:
1) I was pretty down all week long and also put myself down a lot. There I am - the big Christian, but when I look at myself, I don't see myself acting like one. I felt I treated someone that needed help bad and I prayed the Lord would give me a second chance. How can I even call myself a Christian like that.
One night I got home on the local subway and walked up the stairs to the exit. There a drunken beggar was standing. I grinned on the inside and thought, "Well, that is a little too easy - but anyway, thanks, Lord, for this chance".
I gave him a coin and talked a little with him. His face was hurt and messed up and as I asked he told me he was beaten up. But what was really astonishing was the joy that this man seemed to have. It kind of puzzled me. At some point, I wanted to leave and gave him a last smile, turned around - and then he said something that really shocked me. He started like this, "Hey, you know what - I didn't want your money." I said, "No? So what is it you want from me?" (and again he had that incredible joy in him). He looked me straight in the eyes - and seemed to be totally sober at that moment, saying, "By - and hey, God loves you." I was petrified. What? I was the one who should say that. But then I got it: that was Jesus talking to me through this man letting me know that He still loves me and I should not put myself down like this.
It is through the least of our brothers that the Lord talks with us.
2) Today I went to my job in the morning and as usual, I crossed the subway station of the central station of Munich. Down there, I saw a beggar. He smelled really bad and looked that way. I knew I should go to him but I did not. I passed and went to my job. All day long I felt bad about it. At lunchtime, I went down there again. That beggar was gone, but there was another one sitting there. I went closer. He seemed to sleep. What the heck - I took all of the courage I still had, swallowed my pride and asked if I could get him something to eat. He woke up, looked and me and grumbled something. Or to drink, I went on. Maybe some juice. "What am I gonna do with juice", he said. Well, that didn't go so well. But whatever - I continued and suggested some sandwiches. He said alright, go and get 'em. So I did. I guess he didn't expect me to come back and gave me a very warmhearted laugh when I gave him the food. He told me they chased them out of the station. Obviously, they didn't want beggars there. Probably doesn't match the tourist image. I realized how much it hurt them to be treated like junk, like rubbish and not like human beings. Something that people look down upon with disgust.
When it was time to say goodbye, I was pretty embarrassed. He was so happy that I was there and obviously made a little attempt to get closer. I withdrew as he really looked bad. I smiled at him and said goodbye.
Now you might think I felt good because I gave him something. Not so. I felt really bad and was very much ashamed. I recently read about Francis of Assisi and how he left his comfort zone for the first time, hugged a sick beggar and kissed his hands and how much inner satisfaction that gave him. And I did not. That probably gave this beggar the feeling that he is something disgusting. I should have shaken his hand, given him a hug and maybe even caressed him. THAT'S how you act as a Christian. I did not and I am deeply ashamed of that.
Well, tomorrow is another day.
But one thing I realized in all of that: those are the places, those are the people where you find Jesus at. The lessons they taught me are way more than every Christian book I have ever read. I have to be thankful to THEM - and not vice versa. I have nothing to brag about.
If you look into their eyes, it's like you look into Jesus' eyes...
Was hat gesundes Leben mit Homosexualität und sexuellen Problemen zu tun?
Nun, eines der Charakteristika von "Homosexualität" ist ein gestörtes Verhältnis zum eigenen Körper - bei Männern auch das Verhältnis zum männlichen Körper allgemein. Viele haben versucht, das wettzumachen, indem sie wie wahnsinnig Body-Building betrieben, um so den "perfekten" männlichen Körper zu bekommen. Aber auch Frauen haben ein gestörtes Verhältnis zum eigenen Körper entwickelt.
Ein Mittel, dem zu begegnen, sind sportliche Aktivitäten in Gemeinschaft mit anderen Männern. Ob das nun Angeln, Reiten, Fischen, Bergsteigen, Boot fahren oder das Fitnesscenter ist - wichtig ist es, ein gesundes Gefühl für den männlichen (bzw. weiblichen) Körper zu bekommen, sowie die Gemeinschaft und den körperlichen Kontakt mit anderen Männern als natürlich und normal zu empfinden. Ebenso der Anblick eines nackten männlichen Körpers etwa beim Duschen oder beim Umziehen im Fitnesscenter. Der männliche Körper darf nicht mehr als etwas Fremdes und als Mysterium begriffen werden, sondern man sollte sich selbst als ein Mann unter anderen Männern sehen (ähnliches gilt natürlich für Frauen).
Eine gesunde Ernährung, Sport, regelmäßige Erholung, körperliche Freizeitaktivitäten mit anderen Männern sind daher unerlässlich im Rahmen einer Therapie. Selbstverständlich sollte auch das Rauchen, der Missbrauch von Tabletten, zu viel Alkohol usw. aufgegeben werden.
"Mens sanum in corpore sano" wie die Lateiner sagen - ein gesunder Geist in einem gesunden Körper!
Probiere es aus - du wirst dich um Welten besser fühlen!
(Quelle: u.a. Joe Dallas, Joseph Nicolosi)
Ich habe gerade erst mit der Therapie begonnen. Welches Programm ist am erfolgreichsten?
Die angebotenen Programme sind so unterschiedlich wie die Menschen, die Hilfe suchen.
Grundsätzlich ist zu einem Bündel von Maßnahmen und Programmen zu raten.
Es ist auf jeden Fall wichtig, Seminare zu besuchen, mehrwöchige Kurse, Einzelberatungen in Anspruch zu nehmen, Literatur zu lesen usw. All das ist wichtig, um zu verstehen, warum man dieses Problem hat und welche Möglichkeiten es gibt, es zu überwinden. Ebenso um den theologischen Hintergrund zu erfassen.
All dies erreicht aber nur den Kopf - den Verstand. Theoretisch weiß man dann zwar alles, das allein wird aber wohl kaum jemanden zur Heilung verhelfen. Nicht selten kommen die Menschen aus o.g. Programmen und haben das Gefühl, sie wissen zwar nun eine Menge, aber geholfen hat es ihnen gar nichts.
Betrachtet man die Wurzeln von Homosexualität, wird sehr schnell klar, dass es vor allem emotionale Bedürfnisse sind, die befriedigt werden müssen, sowie alte Wunden, die noch immer nicht geheilt sind oder von neuem aufbrechen. Dafür bedarf es Selbsthifegruppen sowie gesunder Beziehungen, die helfen, die legitmen Bedürfnisse nach gleichgeschlechtlicher Wärme und Nähe, die man meist in der Kindheit nicht erfahren hat, auf die richtige Weise zu befriedigen. Ebenso braucht man "Vorbilder", die einem dabei helfen, ein richtiger Mann (eine richtige Frau) zu werden. All dies läuft vorwiegend auf emotionaler Ebene.
Überaus wichtig aber auch: ein strukturiertes, diszipliniere Leben (siehe "The Game Plan" von Joe Dallas).
Nochmals: du musst die Heilung wollen - koste es, was es wolle. Egal, wie lange es dauern und wie schmerzhaft es sein wird. Und: Kein Prozess und keine Technik ist wichtiger als ein Herz, das gehorsam und ergeben gegenüber Gott ist.
Wichtige Punkte deiner Therapie sind also:
1) Ein strukturiertes, disziplinertes Leben.
2) Tägliches Bibellesen und Gebet frühmorgens, gefolgt von Motivationstraining (siehe: "The Game Plan").
5) Regelmäßge Gespräche mit deinem Pastor.
6) Starke Familienbande.
7) Gesunde gleichgeschlechtliche Beziehungen.
8) Christliche Seelsorger oder Therapeuten (Einzelberatung).
9) Hilfreiche Literatur.
10) Reduzierung von Reizen, die einen sexuell stimulieren (wichtig: Vorsorgemaßnahmen treffen, damit man gar nicht in Versuchung kommt!).
11) Konsequente Überprüfung des eigenen Lebensstils, der Beziehungen und Gewohnheiten, ob diese hilfreich für das Therapieziel sind.
12) Bei ernsthaften emotionalen Problemen der Gang zum Facharzt.
13) Aktive Teilnahme am Gemeindeleben.
14) Ein Plan für den Fall, dass man fällt (sexuell in unangemessener Weise aktiv wird).
15) Für die emotionale Stabilität sind letztlich auch Ruhe- und Erholungsphasen wichtig.
16) Last but not least: Beten!
Grundsätzlich wird sehr empfohlen, das meiste o.g. Punkte im Rahmen von Ex-Gay Ministries zu machen (Adressen gibt es genügend auf dieser Homepage)!
Wenn du zu einem Seelsorger, Psychotherapeuten oder Psychiater gehst, kläre vorher folgende Punkte:
- Wie vielen Menschen mit gleichgeschlechtlichen Neigungen hat er/sie bereits geholfen?
- Ist er/sie Christ?
- Wie denkt er/sie über Homosexualität, ihre Ursachen, den Heilungsprozess?
- Entspricht seine/ihre Einstellung nicht der Meinung der Bibel: suche dir jemand anderes!
Manche Gruppen oder Therapeuten haben eine eher klinische Herangehensweise, andere eine eher biblische, Keine Methode ist "besser" als die andere.
Nochmals: Keinesfalls aber darf die Gruppe oder der Therapeut im Konflikt mit der Bibel sein!!
Was tun wir denn nun, um uns zu verändern?
- Wir werden uns der wahren Bedürfnisse bewusst, die hinter unseren homosexuellen Sehnsüchten und Fantasien stehen. Wenn diese Gefühle aufkommen, verfolgen wir sie zurück. Oft steht dahinter ein Minderwertigkeitskomplex anderen Männern gegenüber (Bedürfnis: sich anderen Männern ebenbürtig zu fühlen), oder wir fühlen uns verlassen oder bedroht (Bedürfnis: von anderen Männern geliebt und akzeptiert zu werden). Die Wurzeln dieser Bedürfnisse gehen oft bis in unsere Kindheit zurück.
- Wir machen eine Bestandsaufnahme unserer Bedürfnisse und suchen nach konstruktiven und gesunden Alternativen, diese zu befriedigen. Mittel hierzu: Männerfreundschaften, Mentoren, emotionale Verbindungen zu Männern, Gemeinschaft mit anderen Männern suchen (im Rahmen einer Organisation, Selbsthilfegruppe oder einfach nur gemeinsam etwas unternehmen), sich sportlich und körperlich betätigen (besonders zusammen mit anderen Männern).
- Anstatt nur um Stärke zu beten, den Versuchungen zu widerstehen oder Gott ständig zu bitten, diese zu entfernen, beten wir um Erleuchtung, damit wir unseren wahren Bedürfnisse verstehen und um den Mut und die Fähigkeit, alte Hindernisse niederzureißen, die diesen Bedürfnissen im Weg stehen.
Strukturplan für die Therapie
Beantworte schriftlich folgende Fragen:
Welches Ereignis oder welche Umstände haben mich dazu motiviert, meine homosexuellen Aktivitäten zu bereuen?
Was genau habe ich zu bereuen (Pornos, Beziehungen, anonyme Sexkontakte, Internetpornos, Telefonsex...Sei genau und ehrlich)?
Schreibe auf, welche körperlichen, seelischen, beruflichen, spirituellen und psychischen Auswirkungen dein Sexualverhalten bisher hatte!
Schreibe auf, wie dein Leben in fünf Jahren aussehen wird, wenn du nicht damit aufhörst (Auswirkungen auf die Ehe, das Berufsleben, deine Spiritualität, deine emotionale, körperliche und psychische Vrfassung usw.)!
Ist das Bild, das du nun hast, für dich akzeptabel? Warum oder warum nicht?
Stelle einen Bibelleseplan für die nächsten Wochen zusammen. Jeden Tag ein wenig. Wenn du noch nie die Bibel gelesen hst, hier ein Vorschlag: Zunächst das Johannes- Evangelium, dann den Römerbrief, den Epheserbrief, den Jakobusbrief, die Sprichwörter und schließlich die Psalmen. Lies täglich ca. fünf Minuten, gefolgt von ca. fünf Minuten Gebets. Verpflichte dich dabei zur sexuellen Reinheit für die nächsten 24 Stunden.
Schreibe nun zehn Gründe auf, warum du sexuell rein bleiben solltest.
Schreibe in den nächsten Wochen täglich mehrere Punkte dazu und lies die Liste täglich zur Motivation durch.
Gehe wöchentlich zu einer Selbsthilfegruppe.
Einmal monatlich solltest du einen Gesprächstermin bei deinem Pastor oder Seelsorger vereinbaren.
Besuche lokal angebotene Seminare zu diesem Thema.
Gehe bei Bedarf (andauernden Depressionen, Angstattacken usw.) zum Facharzt!
Wenn möglich, vereinbare zusätzlich individuelle Gesprächstermine bei einem christlichen Therapeuten!
Baue gesunde Beziehungen zum eigenen Geschlecht auf! Du musst das emotionale Loch, dass sich nun gebildet hat, auf die richtige, biblische Weise füllen und das legitime Bedürfnis nach gleichgeschlechtlicher Wärme und Geborgenheit auf angemessene Weise befriedigen lernen! Suche dir einen "bonding partner", dem du dich völlig öffnen kannst und dem du - zusätzlich zur Selbsthilfegruppe - wöchentlich Rechenschaft ablegst (und umgekehrt)!
Vergiss auch nicht, dir wöchentlich Phasen der Erholung einzuplanen. Suche dir außerdem sinnvolle Freizeitaktivitäten (Fitnesscenter, soziales Engagement, Engagement in deiner Gemeinde, Lesen, Kino mit Freunden usw.)!
Proverbs 1:1-3 (in Context) Proverbs 1 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 1:2-4 (in Context) Proverbs 1 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 1:6-8 (in Context) Proverbs 1 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 3:10-12 (in Context) Proverbs 3 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 3:11-13 (in Context) Proverbs 3 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 5:11-13 (in Context) Proverbs 5 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 5:22-24 (in Context) Proverbs 5 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 6:22-24 (in Context) Proverbs 6 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 10:16-18 (in Context) Proverbs 10 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 12:1-3 (in Context) Proverbs 12 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 13:17-19 (in Context) Proverbs 13 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 13:23-25 (in Context) Proverbs 13 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 15:4-6 (in Context) Proverbs 15 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 15:9-11 (in Context) Proverbs 15 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 15:31-33 (in Context) Proverbs 15 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 19:17-19 (in Context) Proverbs 19 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 22:14-16 (in Context) Proverbs 22 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 23:12-14 (in Context) Proverbs 23 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 23:22-24 (in Context) Proverbs 23 (Whole Chapter)
Proverbs 29:16-18 (in Context) Proverbs 29 (Whole Chapter)
(Quelle: u.a. Joe Dallas. Go and get his books!!!)
Is there any one here who has never been tempted?
We are all tempted throughout our lives in one way or another.
Temptation comes in many forms.
Temptation is the worlds oldest problem.
Its been around since the time of Adam & Eve in the garden.
We all have our weaknesses, in which we are often tempted to step over the boundary.
For some of you temptation may be in overeating, lust or a myriad of many other things.
We all have certain areas in our lives in which we need help to control.
The good news is that God wants to help you gain control of those areas of your life that you struggle with.
Temptation unfortunately, hinders & stops spiritual growth.
Example of Temptation
Here is an example of temptation and the result of what happens when we succumb to it.
Most of us have maybe done it ourselves as children, or know of someone who has.
You know the story.
Mom has just finished baking a fresh batch of your favorite cookies.
You walk into the kitchen drawn in by the luscious aroma of freshly baked cookies.
You mention to mom how wonderful it smells, hoping that she will offer you one to eat immediately.
But to your dismay, she tells you not to eat any. They are for lunch.
Mom steps out the door to check on the laundry.
Meanwhile you hang around the kitchen soaking in the aroma of your favorite cookie, still warm.
You pace around the kitchen constantly keeping the tray of cookies in your sight.
Mmmmmm if I could only have just one, you say to yourself.
If I have only one, mom wont notice. You say to your self.
Gradually your feet begin to shuffle towards the cookies.
And before you know it, you have one in your mouth.
And as luck would have, who should walk into the kitchen just as you about to swallow.
Mom, being as moms usually are, asks the silly question, Whats that cookie doing in your mouth?
You look up at her and immediately try to find a quick logical answer that will get you off the hook.
And you reply; Mom, I climbed up to the counter, and wouldnt you know it. A cookie got stuck in my mouth.
Whats the Good News?
The good news about temptation is that God had offered a way to overcome temptation.
1 Cor. 10:13 tells us No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (NKJV)
What this verse is saying is, that no matter what the temptation that you are faced with, you are not alone.
All of mankind faces the same problems.
All are tempted. Temptation is normal.
We are all tempted in the same ways.
But! That is not all.
There is still a comforting message in this verse. God promises us that He will help us out. He will not allow us to struggle with the temptation on our own. Nor will He allow us to be tempted with more than we can handle.
People will often say that they just couldnt help it when they fell into temptation.
Not so. God says you can overcome any situation, regardless of the temptation.
God has given us everything we need to overcome temptation. If you yield to temptation, it is because you chose to do so.
We will look at how God helps us to overcome temptation a little later.
But first, let us look at some important facts about temptation.
Facts About Temptation
1. God tests us to develop our faith, our endurance and our character.
2. Satan tempts us to sin in order to destroy our lives & our relationship with God.
3. Temptation occurs when we feel compelled to satisfy or fulfill our God given desires in an ungodly & unlawful way.
Verse 12 of James chapter 1 says;Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (NKJV)
Blessed in this verse is translated from the Greek word mak-ar-ee-os, which literally means Happy.
We therefore could translate this to say; Happy is the man who endures temptation,
Because there is a reward for enduring temptation.
Happiness comes when you have your life under control.
Your life is under control when you no longer have sinful bad habits, which control your life.
When you are able to say no to temptation, you are a much happier person.
Our verse continues to say that there is A Crown of Life for those who endure, overcome temptation.
The reward for enduring and overcoming temptations is Life.
Life eternally and life now, a happy abundant life.
When you learn to say NO to temptation you begin to live life, as God wants us to.
The Question Now is; How do I handle temptation?
How do I say no when I want to say yes?
James tells us how to conquer and overcome temptation.
The process begins, by first having an understanding of the problem of Temptation.
1. We need to understand the problem of temptation
The best way to defeat an enemy is to know them well & to know their strategies.
So in order to learn how to overcome temptation, we need to know all we can about it.
What is Temptation?
My Ungers Bible Dictionary describes temptation as: the enticement of a person to commit a sin by offering some seeming advantage.
Another definition given is; The solicitation or an invitation to do evil. It is an opportunity presented to you to do something wrong.
For example it is good for you to pass a test in school. But, it is wrong if you cheated in order to pass the test.
The test may be the trial, but the decision to cheat is a SIN.
James himself in scripture gives the best definition we have about temptation.
He writes; But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. (James 1:14. NKJV)
And continuing, verse 15; Then when the desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (James 1:15. NKJV)
There are three sources of temptation.
They are Satan, the world, and the flesh.
We are exposed to them in every state, in every place, and in every time.
Temptation in actual fact comes from within.
It craves the gratification that is offered from without; then when it has conceived, it brings forth sin.
The contest of the regenerate man
There is a continual battle going on within every born again Christian.
The flesh is in constant opposition to the spirit of a regenerated man.
And at the same time the Holy Spirit is continually moving, enticing the new man to oppose the desires of the flesh.
The trials of the flesh however, come from without.
They are in the things the flesh sees and desires.
2. Lets be realistic about our temptations!
The fact of the matter is as a Christian you will be tempted to sin.
We are all tempted to sin.
It is not a matter of if, is a matter of when.
Temptations are inevitable.
Every day, one way or the other, we are all tempted to sin.
You are never too old.
You do not over come it by becoming more spiritual.
The fact of the matter is, no matter who you are, no matter how old you are, or how close to God you are, we all are tempted to sin.
In fact, the closer you get to God, the more you will be tempted.
There is a common misconception among Christian that says, that once you are born again, you have got it all together.
Welcome to reality folks.
Can any of you say that you have got it all together?
I doubt it.
Do you remember what 1 Cor. 10:13 says; No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; (NKJV)
You see, there it is, were all in the same boat.
We all have the same temptations, the same problems.
It is not a sin to be tempted. Temptation in itself is not a sin.
Heb. 4:15 tells us; For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (NKJV)
Jesus was perfect. He too was tempted. But he never gave in to temptation.
It is not a sin to be tempted, but it is a sin to give in to it.
Often times, many of us think things that pop into our minds without meaning to.
Where do these thoughts come from?
They come from the Devil himself.
It is not your fault.
But if you continue to dwell on these thoughts and act on them, then you have sinned.
3. How Does God Deliver Us from Temptation?
So how does God help us to be delivered from temptation?
Let me give you five ways in which God helps to deliver us from temptation.
1. Dont let the devil bully you around
Eph. 6:10-11 says ...be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (NKJV)
Satans # 1 strategy is to intimidate you.
He does this first of all putting nasty thoughts into your mind and then tries to make you feel guilty about them
You know how it is.
You could be sitting in the church, just as you are now, and bang, just like that, suddenly some awful blasphemous thought pops into your head.
You dont know where it came from. You didnt spend time trying to draw up some nasty things to think of.
But the devil, ooooooh, he is a nasty little fellow.
He steps up on your shoulder and starts making you feel guilty about the very thoughts that he has put into your head.
You cannot keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair.
Likewise, you cannot stop the devil from putting bad thoughts into your head, but you can reject them.
Guess what friends; you do not need to be feeling guilty about bad thoughts that pop into your mind.
Its not your fault.
The only thing you can do about these bad thoughts is to reject them.
Dont allow the devil to intimidate you; dont let him bully you around.
Scripture tells us: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Gal 5:16. NKJV)
Temptation unfortunately is normal, so dont be intimidated by them, simply reject it, and remember where the source of it is from.
Put on the full armor of God and stand up to him.
2. Pray for Help
Ps. 50:15 tells us,Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me. (NKJV)
Prayer is only a breath away. And help from the Lord is just that close.
He promised to help us if we will be pray, call upon Him
Is not temptation as good a time as ever to call upon Him for help?
Lets face it folks there are very many situations when we are tempted to do something wrong.
For example, how about that time you were tempted to lie on your income tax, or perhaps to retort sarcastically to your boss.
Or how about you parents?
Have you never been tempted to sin against your children when you had it up to here with them for one day?
Sure, there are many situations when we have been tempted to sin in one ay or another.
God asks us to call for help in times like these.
And why not?
Since as Heb. 4:15-16 says, For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (NKJV)
Because He Himself was tempted, yet did not sin, Jesus is able to help us when we to are tempted.
Therefore let us go boldly to the throne of grace and ask help in prayer from the one who has Himself, been tempted and yet overcame.
3. Refocus Your Thoughts!
If temptation begins with our inner thoughts, then changing what you are thinking is the key to overcoming temptation.
We have a great verse taken from Phil. 4:8 which helps us with our thinking.
Paul writes, Finally, .brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things. (NKJV)
Look also at Prov. 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. (NKJV)
In other words folks when in times of temptation, turns your thoughts away from the bad and onto the good things which are holy, pure & good.
Focus on Gods goodness.
If you are on a diet and you start telling yourself, I am hungry, I am hungry.
What is it you are focusing on?
You are focusing on what you want, not what you dont want.
It has your attention, so obviously you are not going to be able to stop the craving for food because you have your full attention wholly on food.
The more you think about something, the more it has a stronger hold on you.
Therefore the key here is to refocus your thoughts on something entirely different.
You have to shift gears, change the channel.
Likewise sometimes when you are tempted it may be necessary to literally turn and run, just like Joseph had to do when Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him.
You may also have to change the channel on the T.V. or shut it off if the programming is filthy.
I have walked out a movie house at the beginning of a movie because the first few lines were extremely vulgar.
Walk away from people who are telling crude and filthy jokes.
If you dont want to get stung by bees, sometimes you have to get up and run.
If you are tempted to blow up in anger, you may need to walk away from the situation until you cool off.
No matter what it is that has got a hold your attention, if it si wrong refocus your attention or flee from it if you have to.
4. Share Your Struggles With A Close Trusted Friend
Many of us struggle with the same sin day in & day out.
Sometimes a Christian will carry the same struggle for many years.
You know what, IT HURTS!
I KNOW ! IVE BEEN THERE, DONE THAT & EVEN BOUGHT THE T-SHIRT!
Friends, you dont have to carry that heavy load by yourself.
James tells us in Chpt 5:16,Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (NKJV)
If I were a betting man, I would wager that even right now, in this room, some of you are even now carrying a load that you have been struggling with for a very long time.
Weve all at times carried emotional, mental & spiritual hurts, sometimes for too long.
God, through His servant James tells us to confess these things one with another.
Why, so that we may be healed.
Be open, honest and transparent with someone you can trust.
We are all in the same boat. We all have personal struggles.
The problem here is that Satan would have you to think that your problem is unique only to yourself.
He wants you to think that you are all alone by yourself in this struggle.
The chances are real good that someone else in this very room may be struggling with the same problems as you are.
Admit your sins to one another and pray for each other that you may be healed.
The question now is, Do you want to be healed or not?
Do you want to get over the pain?
Whats the key? Dont repress it, confess it.
Dont conceal it, reveal it.
By revealing your struggles with a close friend, you begin the process of healing.
Why should you confess your sins one to another?
Because once you do, the power that it once had over you begins to fade away.
When you begin to talk about a problem it no longer has control over you.
If there is a situation, a problem, a struggle in your life that you cant talk about, it has control over you.
It is out of control.
If you cant even talk about it, it is out of control.
It has power over you.
If you are having problem with your marriage & you cannot talk about it, it is out of control.
If you are having problems in school & you cant talk about it, it is out of control.
If you have problems with your kids or a gutter mouth and you dont want to talk about,
Thats right. It is out of control.
The very moment that you begin to talk about your problems, you begin to take back ground.
You begin to gain control over that situation.
When you do so you will have a feeling of liberation, of freedom.
You wanna know why?
Because when you do, you will find others saying that they to have been struggling with the same feelings.
Contrary to what the devil would have you believe, you are not alone.
Not only do you have friends here on earth to share your struggles with, but you also have an advocate in heaven.
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin.
And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (1 John 2. NKJV)
& Remember this also;
1 John 1: 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NKJV)
Finally My friends,
5. Resist the Devil, the Tempter
James 4:7 says,Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (NKJV)
Did you notice that there are two parts to this verse that we must do?
Submit to God.
This means that we must be subject to Him.
We must be ready to listen to Him.
We must be ready to obey Him.
We must repent.
We must not be proud & stiff-necked.
Then we must resist the devil.
We do this by closing our ears & hearts to his suggestions & temptations.
We do it also by using the Scriptures as the Sword of the Spirit to repel him.
If we resist him he will flee from us.
Eph. 6: 17 tells us to, Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. (NKJV)
In this whole analogy which actually begins in verse 11 we are commanded to put on the whole armor of God. (NKJV)
Remember friends we are fighting a battle in our minds that is not between flesh & blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Eph. 6:12 (NKJV)
We must be ready at all times to do battle. This whole analogy is a reminder to be spiritually dressed, to be spiritually prepared to do battle every moment of your life.
The problem is that too many of us are like spiritual streakers.
We get up in the morning and head off to work or to wherever, and we do not put on the armor of God to protect and prepare ourselves for the battle that lies ahead for us each & every day.
We have a tendency to start our day and often go the whole day without the Word of God.
We neglect the spiritual armor found in the Bible & in prayer.
When we do, the devil laughs at us because we are no threat to him. And we leave ourselves wide open to his fiery darts v:16
Getting back to Eph. 6:17, why are told to take the helmet of Salvation (NKJV)
What does a helmet do for you?
It protects your head.
The battle for temptation is fought where?
In the mind.
Therefore the helmet of salvation protects the mind against the fiery darts of the devil.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have left your mind wide open to all the temptations and fiery darts of Satan.
You have absolutely no resistance whatsoever.
Its like an open freeway to your mind.
You have no protection at all.
However when you are saved & become a believer, God gives your head protection, the helmet of salvation to protect your mind.
But you have to wear it.
I can go out and jump on a snowmobile or a motorbike.
But if I do no put on a helmet, I have got nothing to protect my pumpkin from a crash.
Likewise if I begin my day without some scripture reading and prayer, I have left my mind unprotected.
Next James tells us to also take our sword of the Spirit with us.
Which is what? The Word of God.
In other words fill your mind with the Word of God.
Another weapon, or antidote against temptation is Gods Word.
John 8:31 & 32 reminds us, If you abide in my word you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (NKJV)
Do you remember what Jesus did in the desert when he fasted for 40 days and was tempted by the devil?
In all three cases Jesus said,it is written & He quoted scripture to fend of Satan.
The Word of God likewise is also ours to use as a sword against the devil.
The best thing you can do for yourself if you are serious about growing and becoming all that God would have you to be is to memorize scripture.
The Bible is worthless to you if all it does is to sit on the shelf & collect dust.
You need to read it, to use it, to study it, to memorize it.
But if you have scripture hidden deep in your heart, you can use it in times of temptation.
Ps. 119:11 reads, Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. (NKJV)
Scripture memorization is not just for pastors, teachers, Awana club kids, but for everyone.
If you are serious about doing something about temptation, I challenge you to begin today to memorize scripture.
It was Martin Luther who said that you cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair.
You cannot live without temptation, but you can choose to do something about it.
Remember, it is not a sin to be tempted, but it is a sin when you dwell on it long enough that it eventually begins to take root into your heart and mind.
You have the choice to resist it and put on the helmet of salvation, think upon things of God.
You can only think upon the things of God if you immerse yourself daily in scripture and in prayer.
You can only resist the devil if you know the truth and the truth resides deep in your heart soul & mind.
And the truth shall set you free.
Remember that you also need the fellowship of other believers to help you fight he battle.
Share your struggles with others that they may help in the healing process.
What is the reward, the payoff?
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (NKJV)
"Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson,
Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."
Governing (Bridling) the Tongue James 3:1-12
(Watch Your Words)
There is a story about a woman in an Indian village that maliciously gossiped about another lady and her family in the village.
A day came along when she realized that she was totally wrong about this lady & her family & had a change of heart.
She went to the wise man of the village and asked what she could do to undo the damage that she had done.
The wise man told her to go home & kill all her chickens & then pluck all the feathers from the chickens and put them in a bag.
After doing that, she was to go back & see the wise man, but on her way back to see him, she was to scatter all the feathers that she had plucked.
The lady left & did all she was told to do.
When she got back to the wise man he told her to now go back & pick up all the feathers that had been scattered.
Needless to say, the woman was rather confused by this strange command.
Because by now the wind would have scattered all the feathers throughout the village & beyond.
The wise man then told her, And so it is with your careless words. They are like the feathers scattered by the wind. You cannot retrieve them.
With that the woman walked away feeling broken hearted because of her careless words.
But from that day forward, she was determined to Watch Her Words
The words, which we speak to one another, are powerful.
They have lasting effects.
The words we speak can give life, hope & love.
But they can also bring death, division, & destruction.
Prov. 18:21 tells us Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (King James Version)
Once a word has gone forth out of the mouth, it is too late.
The damage is done.
That is why James tells us to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. 1:9
Another way to put it is, we should engage the mind before we engage the mouth.
It important, you will see to not let what you say be the result of anger.
When we are angry we say things that we should not have said, & often regret having said after the fact.
The tongue you see is a wet place & it can easily slip.
We have a stern warning given us by Jesus in Matthew 12:36 & 37 which says;
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (King James Version)
Take note of this.
Every word that you speak is an accurate gauge of your life.
Every word spoken will form the basis for condemnation or acquittal.
How great for example will be the condemnation of the Pharisees for their vile & contemptuous words they spoke against Jesus.
And think on this as well.
In the case of believers, the penalty for careless speech has been paid for by the blood of Jesus.
However, our careless words if unconfessed, and un-forgiven, will result in the loss of rewards at Christs Judgment Seat.
James also tells us that the bridling of the tongue verse 1:26, is the main ingredient to pure religion.
An unbridled tongue he says makes ones religion useless.
In other words, the uncontrolled tongue is inconsistent with the Christian faith.
You can measure the maturity of a Christian by the content of his speech.
Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 13:11: When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. (King James Version)
You might ask, why must I watch what I say?
After all they are merely words, and besides, I am just kidding.
Words, James says are significant.
In Chapter 3, James tackles the problem of the unbridled tongue head on.
The problem of the tongue is a common theme throughout scripture.
This is seen particularly in Proverbs.
James illuminates the problem of the tongue with a series of illustrations, which would have been common in his day and in which we can easily identify with today.
First of all James approaches the problem of the tongue with a warning about the teaching office.
In the early church, teachers played a prominent role within the body of the church.
In Pauls writings we find that he lists teachers as one of the top three gifts of the church.
(1 Cor. 12:28 & Eph. 4:11)
The teaching office was a popular office for those seeking prestige in those days.
After all, this was a society where very few people could read, & there was very little room for advancement.
The concern of James here, I believe was that because of the prestige attached to this office, many people were flocking to this ministry for all the wrong reasons.
Thus the warning by James,My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. James 3:1 (King James Version)
This meant not that teachers would be judged more strictly than other Christians, but rather that the teacher took on an added responsibility.
It meant that because of this prestigious office, they would be under the constant scrutiny, not only from God, but from man as well.
Therefore he had to be careful to live and to practice what he taught.
His greater knowledge brought with it the responsibility to live according to that knowledge.
A teacher who does otherwise is prone to leading others astray.
Being a teacher carries with it great responsibility.
In a similar manner today, especially with the electronic media, the government and other high profile people carry a responsibility to lead a clean and moral life.
Because whatever they say & do will be heard on the six-o-clock news.
And of course we can see that whatever they do is often copied by others who think that whatever they see these people doing must be right.
The warning of the uncontrolled tongue is not only directed at teachers in this chapter.
In fact from here on, James seems to move away from teachers to WE in verse 2, where he says, For in many things we offend all (King James Version)
To paraphrase, We all make mistakes, we are all prone to stumble.
The emphasis here is not on the # of sins, but rather on the variety of sins.
In contrast though, James says we offend all. (James 3:2 KJV)
Name one person if you can who has never spoken on ill word of another, nor ever sworn, nor ever said one impure word.
Even with the best intentions we often slip with the tongue saying things we had no intention of saying.
However in contrast to all of us James tells that the one who can control his tongue is perfect and is able to bridle the entire body.
In other words, if you can control the use of your tongue, he says that you are a well-disciplined person having control over all areas of your life as well.
Do you know any such persons?
I know one, me.
No, I mean Jesus Christ.
He is the only one ever born who had perfect control over all He said & did.
Now James goes on to paint for us 5 pictures, which portray the power & danger of the tongue.
In the 1rst two pictures we see that though the tongue is but a small thing, it is very powerful & able to control the whole body. V:3
Because the tongue is but a small instrument, we think it rather insignificant.
The use of a horse is used here to illustrate something small controlling something large, which would have not been something new to the people of the day.
In the 5th century B.C. the playwright Sopholces had one of his actors say,
I know that spirited horses are broken by the use of a small bit.
Picture if you will the size and power of a 2 to 3,000 pound stallion horse.
A 95 pound jockey rides on its back and controls the entire movement of this immense powerful beast with nothing more than a small piece of steel in the horses mouth & a few skinny straps of leather.
Likewise your tongue controls the direction of your life wherever you want to go, and a few sounds forming words can change your life and or that of another.
Like the tongue, the bit is but a small instrument, & depending in which manner you use it, it to can control the entire body.
David in Ps. 39:1 also used the illustration of the bridle in relation to the use of the tongue.
He said: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. (King James Version)
It is only too easy to go flying off at the mouth when others treat us unjustly.
Jesus gave us an example as to how to conduct ourselves when others are slandering & abusing us with the tongue.
When He was before the throne of the governors, He kept silent as others were slandering & cursing Him & giving false witness against Him, even while they spit upon Him.
As difficult as that is, we to should keep silent before those who would also abuse us with the tongue.
A second picture of the power of the tongue is given us in the illustration of the rudder of a ship.
Even though it weighs only a minute fraction of the weight of a ship, it has the power to make the ship turn this way and that.
For example the Queen Elizabeth weighed 83,673 gross tons.
The rudder only weighed 140 tons.
That is less than 2/10s of one percent of the total weight of the ship.
Yet when it is turned, it is able to turn the boat in any direction
It seems so incredible that such a small instrument is able to control something so huge, even against the wind.
In application to the believer, the tongue is but a small hidden instrument in comparison to the whole body.
Yet it can boast great accomplishments, both good & evil.
Look at the accomplishments of man through the ages.
Napoleon nearly conquered an entire continent, as did Hitler.
Man can boast of having stepped off his home planet and walking on the moon.
Look at what the astronauts have accomplished over the years.
Several years ago some astronauts chased the Hubble space telescope for 8,370 kilometers and did some repairs to it.
And since then they have done much more.
Twenty or more years ago such ideas would have nothing but dreams or the makings of a good comic book strip.
As the bit in a horses mouth and the rudder of a ship can determine the direction of each,
Likewise if a believer controls his tongue, he to can control his whole life in its proper chartered course and be looked upon by God as being a perfect man.
But when the tongue is not restrained, as small as it is, the rest of the body also becomes uncontrollable & the whole body becomes defiled & undisciplined.
In the second half of verse 5, James produces a transition from the disproportionate power of the tongue to the destructive potential of fire.
In this next simile the tongue is compared to a small fire, which causes great destruction.
Prov. 16:27 compares the speech of an evil or foolish man to a burning fire.
Similarly a small match when thrown carelessly can begin a small brush fire, which in turn can destroy an entire forest & leave a charred mass of ruin & devastation.
All it takes to destroy an entire forest is a small spark.
James says that the tongue can equally destroy lives.
Gossip is one of the worst things that another can be guilty of participating in.
One idle word can destroy a marriage, ones career, ones reputation, the church, a friendship.
One of the greatest catastrophes of history was the Chicago fire of 1871.
Reportedly, the fire was started when Mrs. OLearys cow kicked over her lantern.
Whether this was true or not, the fire burned for days & over 3 ½ square miles of the city was burned.
It killed 250 people, left 100,00 people homeless, & destroyed property valued at the time about $175 million.
The tongue is like a small match.
The potential for wickedness & destruction is infinite.
James refers to the tongue as a world of iniquity in vastness of potential destruction.
Jesus states that, that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. (King James Version) & continues to explain that the mouth expresses the heart in which are found evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness & blasphemies. Matt. 15:11,18,19
The tongue can defile the whole body
It is easy to see how a persons entire personality can be corrupted when one resorts to slander, abuse, lies & cursing others.
Somebody by the name of Clovis G. Chappell once wrote this about such people.
The faultfinder injures himself.
The mudslinger cannot engage in his favorite pastime without getting some of the mud he slings upon his hands and upon his heart.
How often we have come away from such an experience with a sense of defilement!
Yet that was not our intention at all.
We were vainly hoping that by slinging mud upon others, we might enhance someone elses estimate of our own cleanliness.
We were foolishness enough to believe that we could build ourselves up by tearing another down.
We were blind enough to imagine that by putting a stick of dynamite under the house of a neighbor we could strengthen the foundation of our own.
But this is never the case.
In our efforts to injure others we may succeed, but we always inflict the deeper injuries upon ourselves.
(from "Sermons from the Psalms" by Clovis G. Chappell, 1931)
Oh how very true.
James goes on to say at the end of verse 6 that all this destructive power comes from hell of which the main man there is Satan himself.
Is it no wonder then that the power & destruction caused by the tongue is so deadly?
Just think of the damage that can occur if someone falsely accuses you of molesting a child.
The damage caused could last a lifetime.
It could be the cause of one losing everything, car house and all.
It could be the cause of some innocent person to lose everything that they have worked so hard to achieve for so many years.
It could cause an innocent person to lose a business.
It could all disappear by the stroke of a pen in the court of law.
All because of a false accusation or gossip.
Remember what proverbs 18:21 said?
It said: Death and life are in the power of the tongue (King James Version)
The tongue can entirely ruin the life of an innocent man & his family forever.
Would you want that hanging over your head?
Again James 3:6 says of the tongue it sets the whole course of ones life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. (New International Version, ©2011)
Ones idle word can create a chain reaction of destruction that cannot be stopped once started.
You can idly say something without intentionally meaning any harm, which could be the cause of great damage, which could spread like wildfire taking down the equivalent of an entire town nor worse.
Here is an example of a chain reaction.
Perhaps not likely, but possible.
You come home from work & you are tired & grumpy & cranky.
The husband walks in and yells at the wife.
The wife yells at the oldest kid.
The oldest kid yells at his baby sister.
The baby sister goes out and kicks the dog.
The dog goes and bites the cat.
The cat comes in and scratches the baby.
The baby bites the head off her Barbie doll.
Would it not have been much simpler if the husband just waked in and bit off the head of the Barbie doll?
The baby would have scratched the catch.
And the cat would have bit the dog.
And the dog would have kicked the baby sister.
And the baby sister would have yelled at her oldest brother.
And the oldest brother would have yelled at his mom.
And his mom would have yelled at the husband.
And the husband would have bit the head off his wife named Barbie.
And the wife
Okay, that is not likely to happen, but you get the picture.
One idle word can start an avalanche of destruction, which cannot be stopped.
Proverbs 21:23 tells us: Those who guard their mouths and their tongues
keep themselves from calamity. (New International Version, ©2011)
In other words, if you want to stay out of trouble be careful what you say.
The old childhood saying comes to mind when talking about how we use our tongue to hurt others.
I am sure you are all familiar with it unless you were born just yesterday.
Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.
In reality the opposite is true.
The wounds from sticks and stones can heal.
But the wounds caused by the tongue can last a lifetime.
Paul gives us some practical advice in Eph. 4:29-30
This taken out of the old King James Bible 1611
Let no communication proceed out your mouth but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
verse 30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Paul is saying that when we use words that tears people down rather than building them up we are grieving the Holy Spirit of God.
God is not pleased with our words because they are not building up the body of Christ.
Hear the words of he Psalmist in Ps. 19:14
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (King James Version)
When was the last time you said something to uplift and encourage a brother or a sister, a husband or a wife?
Dont you think it is time to start again?
The fourth picture which James likens the tongue to wild animals.
All kinds of wild beasts from birds to reptiles and animals of the jungle have actually been tamed.
But the tongue of a man, no one has ever tamed.
Most of us have been to the circus at one time or another or watched it on TV.
We have witnessed how the largest land animal the elephant can be trained to perform various circus acts or carry lumber or other kinds of labor in movies.
Man has tamed the wild Bengal tigers to be playmates just like a dog.
What about the African lion?
Man has trained it to perform all kinds of circus tricks from jumping through circus hops to riding it horseback style.
And most amazing of all is that man has trained them to open up their mouths wide while the trainer sticks his head inside the cavernous mouth of the lion.
Man has even trained the giant Boa Constrictor to wrap its body around the slender body of a woman without any fear of being crushed, which it easily could.
But James says that this same success which man has had with animals he cannot do to his own tongue without the grace and strength of Gods help.
Since the fall of man way back in the Garden of Eden, man has lost dominion over that one small piece of flesh.
Yet he has no problem to tame wild animals.
The tongue James says is a restless evil full of deadly poison. Verse 8.
It is humanly impossible for man to train the tongue.
Only God can do it.
The tongue is like poison.
The Greek used here is literally snake venom
Just a few drops can kill you.
You can assassinate some one with your words assassinate their character.
The tongue is a deadly weapon.
The description of he tongue as being like a deadly poison is also used in the O.T. teachings of the evil man which says
They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Psalm 140:3 (King James Version)
The tongue used for evil purposes can easily destroy the character of a man.
How often have you heard gossip & maybe have passed it on knowing full well that it is wrong to do so?
I think that if I were to ask for a show of hands, you would likely all raise your hands to admit that you have gossiped or passed it all if you were being honest.
I know that I have been guilty of it.
Sadly it happens all the time in churches including here at Northland.
I know because I have heard several times.
Lev. 19:16 clearly condemns any form of gossip.
It says: Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour; I am the LORD. (King James Version)
How often have we engaged in mudslinging to get even with another?
How often do we belittle others, criticize & downgrade behind closed doors?
How many have had to leave the fellowship of a church because of slanderous rumors.
I say: SHAME ON US FOR SUCH BEHAVIOR!
When we belittle others, we belittle ourselves when we stoop to such behavior.
Is it no wonder that the church of today is so empty as compared to ten and maybe twenty years ago?
People looking in from the outside look at us and they see people who are just the same as they are.
HYPOCRITES THEY SAY OF US.
And rightly so.
I am greatly ashamed of what we are as a body of Christ when we use our tongues to hurt and cause trouble.
WE ARE NOT WORTHY TO BE CARRYING ABOUT THE LABEL OF CHRISTIANS.
WE PUT TO SHAME THE NAME OF CHRIST.
In the last few verses James paints one final indictment of the tongue.
That of double mindedness.
In James 1:8 we read: A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (King James Version)
This theme is carried on again & manifested in partiality in James 2:4 and again in the failure to produce justifying works. James 2:14-26
And of course, double mindedness is magnified in the use of the tongue by some.
You may have heard of the fellow of whom it was said that he was a saint abroad & a devil at home.
James tells us it is inconsistent for the Christian to use the tongue for both good and for evil purposes.
In one breath a man blesses and praises the Lord and then in almost the same breath he is cursing others who are in the image of God. Verse 9
These things aught not to be done James tells us. Verse 10
It is only in the tongue that we see these inconsistencies.
The tongue that blesses and praises God should rather than cursing others be used to help others, to uplift them.
Did you know that to curse someone in the O.T. was to desire that they be cut off from God and experience eternal punishment?
Is that what we really wish for one another, especially among fellow brothers & sisters in the body of Christ?
Jesus gave us an example to follow when others use their tongues for evil purposes against us.
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. Luke 6:28 (King James Version)
In Rom. 12:14 Paul wrote something similar when he said;
Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. (King James Version)
ARE THESE TWO VERSES TELLING US IT IS OKAY TO CURSE AND HURT ONE ANOTHER WITH OUR TONGUES?
HEAVEN FORBID, QUITE THE OPPOSITE!
SO WHAT IN THE WORLD OF GODS WONDERFUL CREATION ARE WE DOING USING OUR TONGUES TO LASH OUT AND HURT ONE ANOTHER?
A persons speech is a barometer of his spirituality.
It reveals what is in his heart.
Concerning the use of the tongue Jesus gave us this stern warning: Matt. 12:36-37
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (King James Version)
A person therefore who is inconsistent with regard to the things of God in his speech will be double minded and be inconsistent in his speech.
James illustrates the incompatibility of a pure heart and impure speech in 3 final pictures.
Each is painted in a rhetorical question, expecting the answer to be no.
1) Does a spring bring forth both sweet and bitter water?
Of course not. A spring is consistent.
It is either good or bad or indifferent, but always consistent in producing the same kind of water.
It is likened to Ps. 64:3 & Pr. 5:4 where speech is often said to be bitter.
2) The 2nd image is that of a fig tree.
Can it bear olives? Of course not.
Likewise a pure heart is unable to produce false, bitter, harmful speech.
3) And lastly, James once again returns to the analogy of water.
This time though the comparison is between salt and fresh water.
Again the fountain cannot produce both salt and fresh water.
I was on the east coast a couple of years ago and had he unpleasant experience of tasting salty water in the ocean while swimming.
But while in the water I neither tasted fresh water.
No it was always salty.
Likewise I have been all across Canada and through many parts of the States and swam in many inland waterways.
In none of these spots did I ever taste salty water.
No the water always tasted fresh unless otherwise polluted.
The obvious conclusion to these three analogies that a good heart always produces good speech, and the evil heart, evil speech.
Only therefore a renewed, born again heart will produce pure speech.
Many will come up excuses when they say something mean or hurtful.
Theyll say that they didnt mean it, or that is totally out of character for them to have said such a thing.
James would say, yes, it is. It is just like you. You meant it. Quit kidding yourself.
What is inside is going to come out.
You do not have a spring that one minute gives spring water and the next salty.
Its a natural law.
What comes out of a well is what is inside.
Jesus said in Matthew 12:34: for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (King James Version)
Jesus explained many years in advance what is known as the Freudian slip.
He said whatever is inside a man is going to come out.
Ones tongue displays what one is really like on the inside.
It displays who you are and what is in your heart.
It reveals your true character.
for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. (King James Version)
All that comes from the mouth should perhaps be put to three-fold test with the answering these three questions.
1) Is it true? If something you say is not true, then it should not be said.
2) Is it kind? If something you wish to say is not kind and uplifting, then it to should not be said.
What my mother used to say to us as children still rings in my ear today.
She would say: If you have got nothing nice to say, dont say anything at all.
3) Is it necessary? If you wish to say something, and it is not necessary, or maybe not the best time to say it, then say nothing.
We should be constantly on our guard & pray to God to set and watch before our lips.
And we should pray to that the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Ps. 19:14 (King James Version)
And remember one last thing.
We should present our tongue as well as the other members of our body as a living sacrifice, holy & acceptable unto God.
Here are just a few more verses to meditate upon regarding the use tongue.
Prov. 13:3 He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.
Prov. 21:23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
1 Pet. 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile. (all King James Version)
The solution to a hurtful tongue can be found in Ezekiel 18:31
Which says: Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit . (King James Version)
Let us pray
We must not let our guard down. To do so is like a soldier to go out into battle with his weapon. He would be totally unable to defend himself. Likewise, we need to be on our guard at all times, just as you are when driving, keeping your eyes fixed on the road ahead and around you constantly looking for danger. The devil and his minions are forever seeking ways to get past our guards and to encourage us to sin against God. Keep up your guard, put up whatever blocks and brick walls you need to keep the devil and his followers out.
The Root and the Vine
I love the analogy of the root and the vine used by Jesus in His describing what the kingdom of God is like. I have in the past work in orchards and vineyards and on occasion still do some work on apple trees and vineyards. It is so important that the trees and vines be pruned, thinned, fertilized etc. For when these things are done, there is a wonderful, plentiful crop produced. But if we do not, the crop eventually withers and the produce grows small and eventually the tree and the vine dies.
Likewise, we to need a spiritual pruning etc to grow stronger and closer to Him. For if we do not, we to fall, and eventually will grow away from Him.
Thanks for hanging in there and allowing us along with Him, in His leading, strength and direction to be vessels to help you to grow.
Get Connected with God!
What could you do to get connected with God? Is your Bible sitting on the shelf collecting dust? Is you prayer life next to zilch? Is your time in meditating on His word about as absent as The Toronto Maple Leafs Chance of winning the Stanly Cup? Is your time with fellow believers next to nill?
Like an alcoholic, you really need to want to quit drinking if you are going to quit. You'll never quit drinking if you keep a bottle in the house, or keep going back to the bar. Likewise you need to take drastic measures to quit looking at Porn etc. If you keep it on your computer, or go looking where you know for sure you may be tempted, then you'll have a hard time to be healed from SSA. If porn is your major tempter, get it off your computer, get a porn blocker on your computer and every time when tempted to look at a guy with lust in your eyes, remember, this guy is a child of God and is loved by Him just as you are. And at the same time think of Him, quote or read scripture. It will help you to take your mind of of unrighteous things and unto righteous things.
Don't fret, you will win in the end if you work at it and allow Him to take you by the hand and lead you.
Go forth this week and have a good and Godly week.
100 ways to stay sober
1 ) Don’t forget the past.
2 ) Don’t overdo any "medication"
3 ) Stay away from acting out places, people, websites
4 ) Acknowledge a total slip will follow the first look, phone call, or turn you shouldn't make.
5 ) Listen and try to help another sex addict today.
6 ) Attend S-Group, AA, or other 12 Step regularly and get involved.
7 ) Help someone today even in the smallest way, not expecting something in return.
8 ) Think about the word "insanity" and "restore" in step 2.
9 ) Maintain a conscious contact with God
10) Ask what you can do for your group.
11) Pause!!! when insanity comes.
12) Ask God to come into your heart and mind in that pause.
13) Get a sponsor immediately!
14) Call your sponsor daily
15) Offer to help your sponsor with some thing
16) Visit a recovery house, or do some volunteer work.
17) Visit a depressed friend
18) Listen to learn
19) In problems, examine your part, first
20) Remember, your disease is incurable, progressive and fatal.
21) Do first things first.
22) Don't become too tired.
23) Eat at regular hours.
24) Use the telephone to call someone in recovery, when upset.
25) Be active - don't just sit around. Idle time will kill you.
26) Say the Serenity Prayer daily.
27) Change old routines and patterns that are not positive.
28) Don't become too hungry.
29) Avoid loneliness.
30) Practice control of your anger.
31) Air your resentments.
32) Be willing to help whenever needed.
33) Be good to yourself, you deserve it.
34) Slow down. Easy does it.
35) Get out of the "IF ONLY" trap.
36) Remember HOW IT WAS. Your last slip, the feelings etc.
37) Beware of how you will react beforehand. Expect your emotions.
38) Help another in his/her recovery, extend your hand, listen.
39) Try to turn your life and your will over to your Higher Power.
40) Avoid all mood-altering drugs, read labels on all medicines.
41) Turn loose of old negative ideas.
42) If you must go to a situation where there will be temptation, take a sober 12 step buddy with you.
43) Replace old acting out buddies with new SA/SAA buddies.
44) Read the AA Big Book slowly.
45) Try not to be dependent on another.
46) Be grateful and when not make a GRATITUDE list.
47) Don't feel sorry for yourself.
48) Seek knowledgeable help when you are troubled.
49) Review step ONE. "We were" is past tense, if we use our new tools.
50) Discuss a paragraph out of the Big Book with someone.
51) Turn your will over to God, knowing some action is needed by you.
52) Say Thank you at the end of each day.
53) Plant the "recovery" seed and accept the rest.
54) Don't try to test your will power Once a pickle always a pickle.
55) Live TODAY, not YESTERDAY, not TOMORROW.
56) Remember that God alone sets the element of QUALTIY and Quantity of time.
57) Remember your addiction is - cunning, baffling and powerful.
58) Give yourself credit for something good you accomplished today.
59) Love someone else first, then love yourself.
60) Share your experience, strength and hope.
61) Cherish your recovery.
62) Dump negative thinking.
63) Get plenty of "restful" sleep.
64) Stay sober for you - not someone else
65) Practice rigorous honesty with yourself and others.
66) Remember HALT, Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.
67) Forget the old saying "don't do this for one year"
Only God can measure your quality and quantity of time and sobriety.
68) Get a sponsor and use him/her to learn how to LIVE the 12 steps
69) Know that no matter what your problems, someone's had them before.
Don't be afraid to share, as a problem shared is one 1/2 solved.
70) Strive for progress not perfection.
71) When in doubt ask questions. The only stupid question is the one not asked.
72) Live step 11 with prayer and meditation.
73) Balance yourself.
74) Don't use other things obsessively as a maintenance program.
75) Learn to take spot check inventories.
76) Remember the fact that NOTHING will make you act out again.
77) Know that it’s okay to be human, to make mistakes.
78) Be kind to yourself. Don't be hard on yourself.
79) Take the disease seriously! It can kill you.
80) Know that whatever it is that's causing pain - it shall pass.
81) Smile at the worse problem and see what you can learn.
82) Don't give away more than you can afford too.
83) Don't stay inside too much. Get out, go somewhere!
84) Get a home group and attend it regularly.
85) Don't expect life to be all roses, even in sobriety. Without problems there would be no use for our existence.
86) Remember step one
begins "WE" You are not alone.
87) Be willing to go to any lengths to stay and be sober.
88) Know that no matter how bleak and dark your past may be, it will get better!
89) Read the Promises in the Big Book page 83 and 84.
90) Don't be in a hurry.
91) Watch out for your EGO.
92) Protect your sobriety at all costs. Keep the light on you.
93) Learn to listen, not just hear. Be open-minded and nonjudgmental.
94) Don't use bad language and dishonor your Creator, Giver of Sobriety, God.
95) If the rest of the world looks bad, check yourself out first.
96) Show gratitude for your clean and sober time.
97) When times get tough.....go to tons of meetings and share!
98) Remember you can cut down any fear, into half or none, by discussing it with another individual.
99) Try to manage your money, budget yourself.
100) Look for those LIVING the 12 steps, not just talking them.
Invite Him in!
Go forth this week and have a good and Godly week, for what good is a good week, if it is also not a Godly week.
Keep Your Mind and Heart Firmly Fixed on Him (A Reply to an Email from an Online-Group Member)
I do not believe that God would want to keep you in a way that is contrary to His moral laws. Though it may seem that he is dragging His feet at this time in dealing with your inner struggles, be assured as it says in the poem "Footprints in the Sand" that He is always with you and is always carrying you even in the worst of times. He may be allowing you to struggle on a while for purposes known only to Himself, but for which are in your best interest. Change of course does not occur over night especially with habits that we have been in for some time. As with any bad habit we need to replace and change that habit with something else to fill what may seem like a void until such time as the bad habit no longer exists. It is said that to develop a habit takes 21 days of constantly doing the same habit over and over again, This is a quote I learned when I was training to drive school bus several years ago.
So, please do not be discouraged thinking hat you will always struggle with this, or that God wants to keep you there. Those types of thoughts come from only one place, and that is from the father of lies himself, Satan. John 8:44 He will do anything to keep you where you are at, to discourage you and to drag you down. He does not want you to change. He is working on you big time because you pose a threat to him these days as you are struggling to do the will of God. He hates God with a passion. He hates you as you struggle with change because you are a likeness of God and he hates anything that reminds him of God.
Therefore, do not give up, keep working on believing that change is possible and will happen though not perhaps as fast as you would like. God is not finished with you, but has only just begun. Be sure of this: ".....that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Phil. 1:6 King James Version)
Have a great and Godly week, keeping you mind and heart firmly fixed on Him.
"Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." Col. 3:2 (King James Version)
Never cease day and night to pray, to read scriptures to be focussed on Him at all times. And He then becomes our spiritual food, sustaining us by His Spirit.
Go for it. Have a great and Godly Week.
Maybe it is time to fold your feathers, and let God. Be blessed, be encouraged, and let God.
If you were a Facebook member, and if you received a message to accept Jesus as your friend, would you?
If you received Him as a friend and you had the opportunity to say Like Him, would you share Him with your friends?
If He shared some awesome messages on Facebook with you, that could save lives, would you tell your other Facebook friends?
If Jesus asked you to tell your Facebook friends about Him, would you be to ashamed to do so?
If Jesus came to your door today, would you let Him in?
If Jesus walked into your door, would you let Him be your friend?
If Jesus shared a life altering message with you, that could save lives, would you tell your friends?
If you had the opportunity to tell others about Him, would you be too ashamed to do so?
If Jesus allows you a glimpse of Heaven, would He be ashamed of you?
If Jesus opened the door for you to see the Father, would He be your friend?
If Jesus asked the Father to be your friend, would He be ashamed of you?
Using our sexual energies another way…
Who hasn’t struggled with sexual issues in his or her life? Some think it is alright to do (almost) everything and anything that comes to our minds as far as sexual desires are concerned. Really? Resisting impulsive behavior is a sign of maturity and also something that sets human beings apart from other species. For the Jews and Christians (or Jewish believers in Jesus) among us leading a chaste life is something we do out of our love for God. We know that if He tells us to do or not to do something, then not because He likes to boss us around, but because He created us and loves us. Who should know better than Him what is good for us? When a loving father tells His child to do this or not to do that, then because he knows what could happen if the child does not follow the father’s orders. The worst thing that comes to my mind is what we pray for in the Lord’s prayer: “Lead us not into temptation”. This does not mean that God literally leads us into temptation. However, the worst scenario would be that God lets us go our own way, telling us “why, you think you know better and want to go by yourself? Okay, you can do just that!” Sometimes though the Lord seeks us by letting us go. He lets us go our own way so that having to face the consequences that this will bring along might bring us back to Him. Some sort of a last means to save an disobedient child.
Some believe that sexual energy somehow has to find a way to be expressed, else we “explode” (meaning that we “need it”, we need to have orgasm – and be it through masturbation – in order to stay physically and/or mentally healthy.) I am not a doctor and I will not give medical advice, but looking at the many people that live a pure life without having health problems through that – as opposed to the many cases of sexual transmitted diseases coming from an impure life that seeks personal pleasure and the “quick fix” rather than real satisfaction God’s way, I think I need not say more.
So what to do with that sexual energy? It is an erroneous belief that it can and should only be expressed through sexual intercourse or masturbation. Sexuality is not something bad. God has given us sexuality for a reason – for the good of the (heterosexual) spouses and the procreation of children. However, we are also told in the written Word of God that not all are made for marriage (and thus able to physically express their sexual energy through intercourse). Some renounce marriage for the sake of God’s kingdom. There we have the key: Those people express their sexual energies in a godly way: for the sake of God’s kingdom. What does that mean for us? Let’s ask God to show us our call, our vocation in life. He designed each one of us like nobody else on this planet and He did that for a reason. We were given talents that nobody else has and we are supposed to use them much like sexuality in marriage: They should become fruitful and multiply. “Not doing something” or “refraining from doing something” is only part of the deal. It is only a means, not an end, and it certainly does not bring rich fruit if things stay there. Those who renounced marriage for the kingdom of God do not stop to be men and women who have sexual energies. They must not stop there but express them the way God wants them to be expressed: for the sake of God’s kingdom.
A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body!
Health is crucial for all of us. Christians know that their body is the temple of the Lord and this is why we need to take care of it and keep it in good shape. Note that we are not simply talking about physical health here, but also mental and spiritual health.
Here some points to ponder (note that these are NOT medical advices. Talk with your doctor or therapist about these points! Also these are only some points. I am sure there is a lot more to think about!):
• Make sure you go for a check-up to your doctor and dentist at least once a year.
• Watch your food habits (in short: Try to eat much fruit and vegetables – if possible uncooked. Cut down on alcohol, coffee, sugar and meat. Drink enough water each day. Make sure your food comes from your area and not from other countries. Eat the fruit and vegetables that grow during the season you are in. Eat whole grain products and brown or wild rice and avoid superfine flour and husked rice. Avoid fast food. Also avoid heating meals in the microwave. Avoid products that are chemically changed a lot.)
• Get a daily structure regarding the times you get up and go to bed, the times you eat and so on.
• Get enough sleep (thumb rule: eight hours a day).
• Do sports on a regular basis (like going to the gym, hiking, walking, swimming or whatever else there is). Even 30 minutes of walking a day can do you much good.
• Follow your doctor’s advice.
• If you have serious physical problems or problems that have been going on for some weeks already, don’t hesitate to go to your doctor.
• Make sure you get enough rest and also fun times in your life.
• Learn about ways to calm down (like autogenic training, muscle relaxation according to Jacobson and the like).
• Find out the stress factors in your life and eliminate them if possible.
• Surround yourself with things you like. If you don’t like the color of the wall in the kitchen, change it!
• Learn about healthy ways to set boundaries.
• Find out about your emotional needs and learn to meet them a healthy way.
• Make sure your social needs are met a healthy way.
• If you have been hurt, seek someone to talk about it. Then learn to forgive! Don’t let past hurts ruin the rest of your life!
• Get a positive attitude. Your perspective on things makes the difference!
• Work on your masculine (for women: feminine) identity. Seek the company of other men (women) to learn from them and grow with them. If possible, take part in programs like Men’s Fraternity.
• Keep your mind busy. Life is not a long and silent river. We need to keep on learning, growing and maturing.
• Find out about your calling in life. Thumb rule: Find out what you are passionate about. God gave us our passions for a reason!
• Get a mentor if possible.
• Surround yourself with healthy men (women).
• Seek good friends!
• If you have serious mental problems or problems that have been going on for some weeks already, don’t hesitate to go to a psychiatrist. Follow his advice.
• Set up a daily structure. You would not ride a motor bike without a helmet, so don’t start the day without putting on your spiritual armor either! Pray, meditate and read the Bible each morning!
• Seek a spiritual mentor.
• Join a local church community.
• Find out about spiritually unhealthy things or people in your life and avoid them if possible.
• Do works of love.
• Repent and confess your sins regularly. Find out about practical steps to make amends or to avoid sinning in the future.
• Pray like there is no tomorrow.
James E. Phelan (Author)
Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Morris Publishing; 1 edition (June 15, 2006)
The Game Plan: The Men's 30-Day Strategy for Attaining Sexual Integrity [Paperback]
Joe Dallas (Author)
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 1 edition (July 19, 2005)