I realized I haven’t talked about this topic before on the blog I think, but these examples are one of the ways in which I help mentor men (and women if I get the odd encounter and I’m talking about it with one of them) with sexual temptations like pornography.
I was addicted to porn in the past for over 10+ years. This is what helped me break those habits.
Ephesians 4:20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Becoming more holy is not just “taking off the old” but “putting on the new” too.
Jesus notes what happens when you only try to “take off the old”:
Matthew 12:43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”
If the ‘house’ is empty and not filled with godliness, it’s going to be easier to fall back into temptation.
One of the reasons why “putting on the new” works so well is because you’re focused on doing what is right. If you continually think about temptation–not looking at porn, you’re actually continually tempting yourself because your mind is focused on it. When you continually tempt yourself, it’s easy to fall into temptation.
Obviously, we are to also flee from temptation, but what should we flee to? Doing what is right.
So to sum up, here are some things to consider for putting on the new:
- What is your mission for God? Are you actively working toward it?
- Are you engaging in more spiritual disciplines to grow your faith? Reading your Bible, prayer, meditation, fasting, etc.?
- What are your spiritual gifts? How are you using them in the Church?
- What can you do to serve or lead in ministries at the Church?
- How can you be more involved in sharing your faith or living out your faith?
- Other ways to be disciplined such as working out, having a disciplined diet, and things like these can also help improve your self control and your temple of the Holy Spirit too.
There are things that many Christians are simply not doing or not doing enough. Christians are called not to be solely hearers of the word but doers. What are the “do-ing” things of living out your faith? Start actively doing them.