The Secret to a Long Successful Recovery ~ blog
You probably realize this already, but I have a thing for numbers. I like numbers. I liked math in school. My dad had a master’s in electrical engineering and taught at the United States Naval Academy. When we were kids going on a long drive, he would give us math problems to figure out in our heads. Nothing simply like what is 9 divided by 3…more like what is 19345 divided by 13.
I would literally visualize doing the problem on a blackboard in my head. Blackboards were these black, green, or brown objects people used to write on using a white stick called chalk. First used in Scotland in 1801, these massive boards hanging on the wall at the front of the room proceeded today’s whiteboards which have now been replaced by smartboards. But I digress…
When I was in high school, it was a private school with only 50 guys in my class…no girls allowed. When my junior year began, and my dad realized I was not on track to have calculus before graduating. So, he insisted I take Geometry, Trigonometry, and Analytical Geometry all in my junior year and Calculus my senior year. It was a good thing he was there to tutor me. Then my freshman year in college I took 12 credits of Calculus, 2 years’ worth in one year. So … yes, I like math and I like numbers.
You might have deduced that since our ministry is a number. 180 is the name my wife suggested for the ministry, so I give her credit for that one. We help Christians who have been heading deeper and deeper into sexual sin do a 180, an about-face of repentance, and head back towards God.
Now, today, let me give you another very important number that I want you to remember. That number which is actually a number phrase is …
50 / 50
Why is this number important to everyone who is trying to recover from sexual brokenness? If you have done a 180, returning back to God and away from your sexual sin, somethings you do another 180 and are heading back into temptation, watching porn, and giving yourself self-gratification. That is doing a 360, which is a bad number. 180 Good. 360 Bad. If one does a 180 that becomes a 360 then they need to make it a 540 to be heading back to God … again. Getting dizzy yet???
So, what is 50/50, and why it is so important to understand?
50/50 is used in a lot of contexts. It can mean what the odds are if you flip a coin. There is a 50% chance it will be heads and 50% chance it will be tails. If it is a business deal it means the work and the profits will be shared equally between the two of you. It can refer to odds if there are only two results that can happen. But what does it have to do with recovery from sexual brokenness? I am glad you asked.
I have learned during the 14 years and 9 months of my recovery that if I am focused only on myself…my own recovery and forget about everybody else…I am literally going to be doing a half-assed job and my recovery will take another 180 and I will head back into an isolated life and back into sexual sin.
Sure, everyone wants their recovery to be a quick process. What they do not realize is that recovery is not a class or a degree can you earn in 10 weeks at Phoenix University. No matter how much you hate sexual sin and have seen it destroy the things you held most dear, hating it does not stop it. It is one of the most addictive behaviors in the world and we live every day where porn is omnipresent, and our sexual desires are insatiable.
I have seen many men do the 180, repent, and begin heading back to God. Some find traction and after a year of hard work they feel they have mastered their recovery and they begin to slip back into their old way of life…ending up alone again and a target for temptation…again. Sometimes they email me and ask if they can return to their Online Support Team because they have realized a critical lesson.
Recovery is a Lifelong Commitment
Why??? Because we still have this sinful nature living inside of us, we still live in a fallen world where sexual sin is immediately available, and we have demonic forces working against us. That is the biblical reality for every Christian woman, man, and teenager.
And here is where the 50/50 comes into play. When a new person starts their recovery, they come into 180 broken, discouraged, and thinking crazy thoughts like God has stopped loving them, or He must not even exist, or it is impossible to stop giving in to sexual temptation.
However, they find they are…
now part of a team of believers who are helping one another.
They learn how to walk out of their sexual addiction and the early steps it takes to do this. They begin to sense a connection with a team of other men who are there to help them every day, just as they had others there to help them every day. They find that they are not alone and do not have to deal with temptation on their own.
They are in the first 50 of a 50/50. And the reason they are getting help and making progress is that the ones who used to be in that first 50 are now in the second 50 giving help to those in the first 50…because when they were in their own first 50 there were others in their second 50 helping those in their first 50? Clear???
Here is an absolutely critical truth about your recovery…
Making a recovery and keeping your recovery going means that the first 50% of your recovery you are receiving the help you need. Then, the second 50% of your recovery is you helping someone else to recover. At first you receive what you need and then you give to the next person what they need. And in order to keep your recovery going, you continue to give help to more broken and addicted brothers or sisters in Christ.
Why is this the case? Because you never really learn something until you can teach it to others. If you are in your recovery just to help yourself your motive is selfish and you don’t see yourself as being part of the solution for someone else.