This Question assumes that you are reading the Bible on a regular basis; hence the ‘extra’. Spending ‘extra’ time in God’s Word means 30-60 minutes of reading above and beyond your regular Bible study time when you are in the Addiction Cycle.
Let me ask you a rhetorical multiple-choice question.
Q: When you are in the pornography Addiction Cycle and you are obsessing, planning, and preparing to act out, should you:
- Just go ahead and act out
- Watch your favorite cable TV show with that attractive star/co-star
- Surf the Internet aimlessly
- Read the Bible for an extended period of time
I know it seems silly when I phrase the question this way, but how often have you sabotaged your own best efforts to quit an addictive or compulsive behavior by continuing your daily routine as if everything going on in your head was A-OK?
Answer 4 is the correct choice for a number of reasons:
- It is hard to read the Bible and act out at the same time
- God will remind you of certain promises which you had forgotten
- The Holy Spirit will prompt you to pray more fervently during this time than you otherwise would
- Jesus rebuked Satan with the Word of God; you should, too
- If you are reading the Bible you are not actively engaged in behaviors that will send you deeper into the Addiction Cycle (like watching triggering television programming or surfing the Internet aimlessly)
- You are retraining your brain to respond to stressful and triggering situations with study of the Word rather than acting out. This will pay huge dividends in the future
I know this suggestion sounds like a ‘church answer’, and I hate church answers. But this time I think the church got one right; it works.
I also know that reading the Bible can sometimes feel burdensome, especially when you are tired or depressed. If this is true for you, allow me to make a few suggestions. First, buy several translations of the Bible to keep around the house so that you are not reading the same translation over, and over, and over…I recommend the following translations: New Revised Standard Version (NRSV); New International Version (NIV); New Living Translation (NLT). Reading your favorite verses of Scripture in different translations not only relieves boredom but can give you new insights into God’s Word.
Second, try reading your Bible out loud during this extended period. Reading Scripture out loud really brings it to life for me and I’ll bet that it will do the same for you. Yes, your throat may get hoarse so keep a glass of cold water close by.
Third, try reading the Bible in the first person. If you’ve never done it before let me be the first to tell you: it is awesome.
Today’s Challenge: The next time you have the urge to relapse into an addictive or compulsive behavior pick up a Bible and find a comfortable place to sit and read.