Wednesday, February 17, 2010

7 Tough Questions for Accountability

Getting started with an accountability partner can be an awkward experience at first.  Two guys getting together to make sure they haven't been "naughty" can feel childish and plain silly.  "Hey Bill!  What ya been lookin' at on the computer?"  or "Bob have you masturbated in the last 7 days caus' you said that was a big problem last week?" (HINT: if you say these with a deep southern drawl it sounds hilarious!)   Accountability meet ups need structure and shape or they will end up just being a catch up on life and not an intentional examination of one's struggles.  We'll talk more about accountability in the future but here is a post by Stephen Altrogge over at his blog The Blazing Center that I found really helpful in bringing some much needed focus to my meetings with my accountability partner.  Let me know in the comments if you have found other activities helpful.

Have you been consistently pursuing the Lord through scripture reading and prayer?

Above anything else, I want to make sure that my friends are faithfully pursuing the Lord. If there is a deficiency in reading scripture and prayer, there will be a deficiency in their relationship with the Lord.

Have you diligently pursued your wife/husband this week?

This questions applies to married folks only. Our relationship with our spouse is our second most important relationship after the Lord. If I’m not diligently investing in my relationship with my wife, there’s a problem.

Have you seen any persistent patterns of sin in your life recently?

Sin usually isn’t an isolated event. The same sin usually occurs multiple times in different contexts. It’s crucial that we help each other identify patterns of sin.

Last week you confessed struggling with [insert sin]. Have you taken steps to fight it this week?

It’s not enough to just confess sin. We want to help each other actively fight against the sin that we confess.

When you gave into [insert sin], what were you believing about God in that moment? What were you believing about yourself?
Sin is the result of believing lies about God and about ourselves. We sin in worry because we believe that God isn’t taking care of us. We sin in lust because we believe that it will satisfy us more than God. We sin in anger because we feel that our “rights” have been violated. Sin is the result of believing lies.

What is the truth that you need to believe in this situation?
We fight against the lies of sin by believing scriptural truth. We must help each other see how scripture applies to every area of our lives.

When you had the conflict with [insert person], what were you craving at that moment?
Scripture tells that conflict is the result of cravings. James 4:1-2 says, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?
You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” Cravings underlie conflict.

Hopefully these questions get you going in the right direction. Let there be awkward questions!.
Read the rest of his post here

Friday, February 5, 2010

Does Sex Cure Porn Addiction?

Here is a quote from a thought provoking post by Dr. Bernell Christensen over at the Candeo site:

But what about sex? Why would someone continue seeking out pornography and masturbation when they can have sex with their partner? Why would they still have the need? Think of it this way—would having sex eliminate a cocaine addict’s desire for their drug? Of course not, because cocaine addiction is not about sex. The same principle applies to porn addiction. Most people are completely unaware that “pornography addiction is NOT about sex.” Pornography creates a literal chemical dependency in the brain. The individual uses porn as a “drug-of-choice” to escape and “self-medicate” in response to any number of pressures, difficulties, needs or situations in his life. Having sex is not going to heal a chemical addiction.

Read the whole article here.