Three Taverns Church

How Do You Deal With Temptation?

2 Comments

“And we ceased fighting anything or anyone – even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically.”
The Big Book, Step 10

I am experiencing this very thing now with regard to my pornography addiction, and it is so exciting! I don’t feel like fighting my addiction anymore; I just accept that I am the way I am and work through my issues. Today I feel much more sane than before, and I view my addiction like a choice rather than a compulsion…I don’t feel like I’m constantly pulled toward acting out anymore. Yes, there are times of temptation, but the temptations usually pull me toward a character defect (resentment, anger, jealousy) rather than acting out.

For example, if I’m sitting at a computer and I feel the urge to visit a website I have no business viewing it is almost automatic for me now to either close the browser or walk away from the computer. I can make the choice to not act out because I don’t want to pay the price for losing my sobriety.

For a long time I was trying to ‘do the right thing’ according to the Bible,  my pastor, my mentor and even the 12 Step program. That was OK for a while because it kept me sober and moving forward in my recovery program. If I hadn’t had the Bible, a pastor, a program or a mentor to push me along in doing ‘the right thing’ during those days, it’s very likely I would have acted out.

But now I’m ready to start making my own decisions. I no longer feel the need to avoid pornography because someone else says it’s ‘wrong’. Now I want to avoid pornography because I know it’s unhealthy for me to use it. I understand the great moral hazard involved and the great many prices and penalties I’d have to pay if I went back to acting out. This is part of growing up and maturing: Rather than hiding behind other people’s reasons for staying sober, I can choose my own reasons for sobriety. I can respond to temptation on my own terms.

What is your experience in dealing with temptation?

2 thoughts on “How Do You Deal With Temptation?

  1. RM, I am rapidly approaching this same point in my struggle with pornography. It’s gotten to the point where it just isn’t as appealing as it used to be. I think I can attribute all of that to God and his growing me spiritually and emotionally. I can also attribute it to your blog and insights revealed within it (specifically looking more closely at WHY I am being tempted, what the catalyst is, whether it’s boredom, loneliness, or even anger/self-pity). So thank you for that! I have found a couple of things I use to deal with temptation. You mentioned one of them: walking away (or as Paul put it, “flee!”) from the source of the temptation. Another is finding another activity (preferably something practical or useful) to occupy my time instead of turning to pornography. And yes, then there’s the reflection on the consequences of acting out, regardless of whether or not anyone else knows. All of these things have God’s fingerprints all over them. I’ve also come to the mature understanding that in my own strength, I will never defeat permanently defeat pornography. And I’ve also realized that there is a real possibility that God will never heal me fully of my addiction, but that His grace is sufficient and He will never leave me, especially in my darkest hours.

    • That’s a good word. I’m watching a series by Andy Stanley called Free, and he talks about living through the Spirit vs. following the law…powerful stuff, and as it relates to this topic I think Andy would say that as long as I “fight” pornography addiction and try to keep a set of Do’s and Don’ts, I will fail every time. But I will just surrender to God and let His Son live in and through me, I won’t have to struggle with sin…

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