Just to recap, here are Steps 1-3 of the 8 Steps:
1. Pray at the beginning of each day for 15 minutes
2. “Bounce” your eyes
3. Ignore “triggers”
The effectiveness of all these steps is dependent upon the amount of effort you put into each Step as well as your willingness to repeat each step in the face of difficulty and possible failure. You get out of it what you put into it, and we’ve found that people who are not genuinely interested in being free from pornography won’t rigorously follow these steps.
Step 4 is based on biblical precedent and can be stated as follows: Get the Word in you. By “the Word”, of course, the Bible. In chapter 4 of the Gospel of Matthew Jesus Christ is tempted by Satan three times, and each time Jesus responds to Satan’s offers with a verse of Scripture. Your effort and willingness to be free from pornography will be challenged nearly every day by the enemy, and if the best retort you’ve got to his challenges is “I want to stay sober,” you’re in for a long road. You need to be able to respond to Satan and his lies with the truth of God’s Word; to do that, you need to memorize at least two verses that you can recite in moments of temptation.
My two favorite verses for this purpose are (changed to 1st person):
1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken me that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let me be tempted beyond my ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that I may be able to endure it.” (ESV)
2 Corinthians 10:5 “I destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (ESV)
As an example of this Step in action, let’s say that I drive past a bikini barista and look inside before I realize what it is I’m looking at…there’s a good chance I’m going to be “triggered” and tempted in that moment. I’ll bet you that the enemy is going to be telling me to take a second look, that there’s nothing wrong with looking, that I have to take another look, that the woman wants me to look, etc. But I know that looking back in that coffee stand will not be healthy for me. So as soon as I hear those lies in my head I remind Satan (and myself) that according to God’s Word the temptation I’m facing is common; that nearly every man in history has faced it; that this particular temptation is within my ability to resist; that God has provided me a way out of this temptation. In this example, my way out would probably be to ignore the barista until I drive on by.
Today’s challenge: Pick 1-2 Scripture verses that would be most helpful to you in times of temptation and write them on index cards; repeat them to yourself out loud until you have them memorized. The next time Satan tries to convince you that looking at pornography will be different this time, that this time it will be satisfying, recite God’s Word back to him.