Finding Your Point of No Return ~ blog
If you were to diagram your usual pattern of crossing your boundary, edging closer to sexual sin, and then falling again back into looking at porn and acting out … where would you see your point of no return to be?
It is the place where we are no longer thinking of maybe this is wrong, and we need to turn back. You blow past the 180 signs early in the temptation process and have another fall.
When is the time when you are most vulnerable to the enemy’s attack and have the most falls? Here are some of the answers I hear on a regular basis.
- In the middle of the night when I wake up aroused from a dream.
- In the morning when I wake up aroused.
- When I am in the shower after waking up aroused.
- When I am bored and alone at work.
- When I get home from work before my spouse gets home and I am alone.
- At night after my spouse or roommates have gone to bed.
- While I am trying to fall asleep and tempted to fantasize.
For some of you, every day is a challenge and you feel driven to look at porn and act out every day. For others, it might be once or a few times a week. Others settle into a less frequent pattern of every two weeks or once a month.
Regardless where you are in your recovery every time we are being tempted there is a point of no return. So, picture yourself, as you are being tempted, as walking down a stairway. With each step, you are being drawn closer and closer to viewing porn. You feel this sin has a power of its own and it is pulling you further down the stairway until you hit one step and suddenly the stairs all turn 45 degrees and the stairway become a slide and down you go to what you know you want but should not have.
That is what I call the point of no return. The problem is where that step is located changes and becomes very unpredictable. Sometimes it can be the very first step and because of what has been happening in your mind and in your life, you are so stressed out, frustrated, and angry that you are ready to fall as soon as your device connects to the cesspool we call the internet.
Other times it can be a slow and gradual build-up of things that trigger you and images you have seen during the day. Little seeds of lust get planted in your brain during the day that you have not rejected, and they have been germinating for a long time setting you up for the moment you are alone and get online.
The problem with thinking we can play around with lustful images and thoughts but not have a fall is that is a lie. Especially if we have years or even decades of using porn and masturbation to deal with our stress and problems.
In times when we are thinking clearly and being in a community of others, we can think rationally about these things and apply wisdom and knowledge to make good choices. However, when we have not been careful and we binge on television seeing sensual scenes and images, when we have clicked on that pop-up with a girl in the bikini to see more, we can almost fall immediately.
So, how do we begin to stop this from happening?
My first suggestion is that we pay more attention to strengthening our relationship with God. We take the time to commune with Him and His Word. We spend time in prayer asking for His Spirit to fill us and enable us to walk in the Spirit. We feed ourselves spiritually so that we have His help in times of temptation.
But you already knew that right??? However, there is a huge difference between knowing you need to do it and actually doing it. Step one is beginning your day moving closer to God and further away from sexual temptation. Nothing replaces spending that time with Him when it comes to walking in purity.
My second suggestion is to train yourself to be more aware of how you are feeling. I have learned that I am more vulnerable to temptation when I am feeling certain things. There are things that get my attention and turn me from pursuing the Lord and walking in the Spirit and cause me to look for some kind of medication.
If I am feeling stressed or rejected by my spouse, I am more tempted to seek fulfillment from temptation but using sex, porn, or anything that begins the process of sexual temptation for me.
What I am saying is we all need to be more self-aware of how we are feeling and where our thoughts and feelings are leading us. The moment we recognize that we are in a place where we are more likely to fall … that is the point before the point of no return. That is when we need to do a 180, reach up to God, and reach out to someone who can help us.