Porn, voyeurism, extramarital affairs – We do what we do based on what we believe about ourselves. Let’s start examining the roots.
In this episode, we’re going beyond behaviors to examine roots.
Understanding what you believe to be the truth about who you are deep down is key to making real change. And you are worthy.
True change is more than a shift in behavior. Examining your deep-down beliefs about yourself determines how you’re growing, or not. Lord, open our hearts and show us what we are believing about ourselves.
Give us the courage to examine our roots as our next step to “Becoming Whole.”
This is not about a bad habit. This is about an issue with your sense of identity.
If you’re doing something you feel ashamed about its because you are reinforcing the shame you already feel about yourself.
Our new identity isn’t meant to be a mask that we wear over our identity, that false identity comes off and we are reborn.
H.A.L.T.S. These basic needs can become triggers unless we identify them and move in a healthy direction with them.
H – Hungry
L – Lonely
T – Tired
S – Stressed
The next time you feel one of these basic needs: Identify it and Challenge yourself to eat a good snack, reach out to a friend, take a 20-minute nap, take long, deep breaths, etc. THEN make a decision.
Questions for Reflection:
- Where are you wrestling with habitual sin?
- What are you believing about yourself that might contribute to that habit?
- Where do you believe you are shameful in your identity? (Identify it and maybe seek Healing or Listening Prayer for it)
You can read even more about this from Josh at One Sign You Don’t Believe Who You Really Are
Click for Full Podcast Transcription
One of the things I found for a lot of people who come to our ministry, wrestling with some type of unwanted behavior, unwanted sexual behavior, a lot of them are looking for how do I stop this one thing, it’s almost like they view the behavior as just a branch of root something, they just pull that out, and then they’re on with their lives. What many of them, and I was like this to fail to recognize is that we do what we do, based on something deep about what we believe about who we are. We do what we do, based on something deep about who we believe that we are. Now, let me just talk about belief here for a second. Because there are two kinds of belief There’s our confessional belief, that would be more of the things we say we believe. But then there’s also our heart belief, our functional belief that’s on a deeper level, often unconscious, unexamined. Sometimes we are functional belief in our confessional belief are miles apart from each other, we may believe that God loves us. But when things get difficult, we find ourselves railing against God, or not praying, because our felt belief, our functional belief is not congruent with our confessional belief. The same thing is true when it comes to who we think we are. So when I say that we do, out of some deep place where we believe about ourselves, what I’m suggesting is that on some unconscious level, for most of us, we have some deep, negative faulty beliefs about who we are, that are impacting what we do. And they are the root, the spring from which our bad behavior, our sinful behaviors coming. So that’s important for us. Because if you are wrestling with some type of unwanted sexual behavior or any type of unwanted behavior, and it’s been ongoing, and habitual, especially if it’s bringing you shame, then you’re going to have to look at the deep ways that you think and believe about yourself. It’s not a matter of just changing your behavior. Matter of fact, if you’ve if you like me, and like many people have wrestled with and wondered, why am I still doing this? I hate that I’m doing this. Why do I keep going back to this over and over and over and over again? The answer is probably rooted somewhere deeper than you’ve been looking. And I’m suggesting today that has something to do with how you’re thinking about yourself. In other words, this is not just about a bad habit. This is about an issue with your sense of identity. And this is especially true where you feel ashamed if you’re doing some kind of behavior that you feel ashamed about. You feel like man, that is not who I want to be at all, but I keep doing that shameful behavior. Well, that suggests that on some deep level, you are ashamed. So let me say that again. Because this was a revelation to me more recently, even I attribute this to Jay stringers work. If you’re doing something you feel ashamed about. Oftentimes, what we think is we think that we’re feeling ashamed, we feel ashamed of who we are, because of the shameful thing that we’re doing. But Jay stringer teaches and I’ve come to believe, and I’ve come to see this in so many men that I walk with, that if you’re doing something you feel ashamed about, it’s because you are reinforcing the shame that you already feel about yourself. shamed. People do shameful things. People who are ashamed, do shameful things. So if you’re doing something you feel ashamed about, you need to look for where in your sense of your identity. Are you ashamed? Where do you believe that you are shameful in your identity? uncovering that getting healing in that area is going to help you to change your shameful behaviors and other behaviors. So to give an example, when I first started recovery, and we’ve done this with a lot of people recovering from pornography addictions or other sexual addictions, we’ve encouraged people to look at the acronym halts h A LTS, and that stands for hungry, angry, lonely, tired, stressed. Look at that acronym, because those are oftentimes when someone begins to feel temptations towards whatever the sexual acting out that they do. And so beginning to kind of rewind, okay, the temptation and come out of nowhere, I was actually feeling hungry, angry, lonely, tired, or stressed. Be nude identify like, Oh, that’s what was going on for me. And we’ve taught for years and years is now you can take those, those legitimate needs of hunger, anger, loneliness, tiredness, or stress and move towards in a healthy direction with that move somewhere good with them. But here’s the identity question. What’s going on for you at the Genesis, what’s going on for you way back when that you didn’t, and haven’t learned to go to healthy good, positive life giving places with your hunger, your anger, your loneliness, your tiredness or your stress? What have you believed about yourself that has sent you into the dark with those legitimate human experiences, rather than into the light with those legitimate human experiences? So add to h LTS any other number of acronyms? Is it fear? Where have you taken your fear? Why have you taken that into the dark rather than the light? Why do you take it in Your sadness into the dark rather than delight? Most often, I’d suggest because on some level, you don’t believe you’re worthy for the light, you don’t believe you’re worthy of a good, healthy, wholesome resolution to the pain and discomfort you feel in life. This is an identity issue. So, a lot of times in the Christian culture, we’ve talked about the kind of having a new identity in Christ. And I’m afraid that for a lot of people, that’s kind of become a band-aid over these deeper issues. You have a new identity in Christ, the old man is gone, the new one comes, you praise God, and we should praise God. But unfortunately, a lot of us have never really rooted out that old sense of who we are, we have never really even uncovered. What is the old man and me? What’s that old self look like? What’s that sensible self look like? And even though we’ve been living out of that sinful self, we’ve been telling ourselves No, no, we’re new, we’re new renew. What I mean, by making that a band-aid is we’re almost trying to place that over that deep sorrow, that deep shame we have about who we are. And we’re trying to make ourselves feel better. And I’m proposing today, instead of doing that we need to face the reality of what we’ve been believing about ourselves, that functional belief level, that deep heart belief about who you believe you are, we need to face that place, if we’re ever going to find the kind of freedom and life and health that we’re after. Okay, so here we might think about this. Who does God say that you are? Who does God say that you are? Now in order to find that out? Instead of just looking at the Bible and saying, Can you believe all these things about me? I’m a new creation, I’m a part of the royal priesthood, I’m a son or daughter of God, etc, etc. All those things may be true if you’re in Christ. Good, good, good. But, but if you really want to know on a heart level, who, who God thinks you are? And then I think we have to start with Who do you believe that you are facing some of the reality of what you believe deep down inside. And so bringing that word, bringing that identity to God to begin with? God, I feel like a rich God, I feel like a pervert. God, I feel like I can not do anything, right? God, I don’t feel like a man among men. I feel like a little kid when I’m with men. God, I don’t feel attractive or desirable. I feel like somebody who’s just cast aside, we come with those deep confessional places. Now, why do we do that, not to affirm that those things are true, but to meet God in those deep places, because that’s where we want the truth of the identity he has for us to go, we don’t want it on the surface level? We don’t want to band-aid, we want to go down to the deep place to that place. We’re where we’ve been living from. So in that place, now we bring that to him. And they’re in that place we wait to hear now what do you say, Lord? This is what I believe? What do you say? And I’d also recommend, this is a great place for listening, healing prayer with somebody who’s experienced in that we bring those deep seated beliefs. We even ask in that place of listening prayer, like, Lord, would you show me what I’ve been believing about myself. And we allow him to excavate those things out, we allow him to excavate those old images out, we press those old identities into the body of Christ on the cross and receive from him our new identity in Christ. Now that his new identity comes to the deep places. The second thing we can do is we can embrace that new identity, but not as an obliteration or negation of who we are, but rather a return to who we are. So in other words, I think a lot of us is we’ve thought about being a new creation. We’ve understood that to mean that the old self that the original self that who we’ve been is just completely worthless, completely deprived, completely awful. But the truth is, Jesus didn’t come to seek to save that which is not existent. He came to seek to save that which is lost. So is there depravity throughout who we are? Yes. But that doesn’t mean that all we are is depraved. Jesus has come to heal and to restore that which is lost, he’s come to raise up that which is dead, he’s coming to find that which is lost, he’s going to restore us. And so now our new identity in Christ has become a mask that we wear over this identity that we feel so ashamed about, it becomes that that mask you’ve been wearing, or that that false identity becomes taken off, and now we can be reborn, like new babes, we can come to know who we are and grow in that new identity. So let me give you an example. Because I’ve been talking a lot of kind of conceptual. Let’s drill down and let me give you an example. So young guy I know I’m going to call him Sam. Sam used to wrestle with pornography and other sexual sins, but one of his struggles was voyeurism. So he was, he would try to look into Windows from afar. He was drawn to that. Even the pornography looked at was more voyeuristic. And his fantasies were typically voyeuristic kind of a fantasy of, you know, looking at someone from far away and then seeing him and kind of then wanting him and drawing him over. Well, as Sam began to dig into his own sense of identity, so that was a behavior that he felt really guilty about really badly about. He’s a Christian guy. And he was taught the Lord about and sought help about it as we walked through it. Part of we came to recognize that deep down, part of his sense of himself was that Sam was on the outside. That’s a sense that he had of who he was, but what his identity was. And now we actually look back at his story, his own history. And that’s kind of the way he lived in his family, there was a lot of rejection, a lot of abandonment. So Sam felt and even as he watched some of his siblings be accepted and embraced by his parents, Sam still felt on the outside. So Sam, and his deep, deep message about being on the outside and not being worthy of being on the inside. So now Sam could bring that deep sense of like, I’m somebody who’s on the outside, I belong on the outside, I’m longing for someone who invite me in, but I belong in the outside, he could bring that sense of identity to the Lord. And then from there, the Lord spoke deeply to Sam about his own belonging in the family of God, how God had seen him from far off the garden, desired him even before he was created, and the God had created Sam, to be a part of his family. And he was a beloved member of beloved son in God’s family. Now that he was a chosen member of God’s family God had chosen Sam was interested, he created and he also wanted him to be close to him. And that began to change Sam’s sense of himself, his sense of identity. So those behaviors of being like a guy on the outside he was, that’s where he belonged, and you can only look in from the outside began to diminish, because now Sam had a new identity as one who belonged when you could be on the inside. That’s just one example. So much more we could say about this. But I want to just pause there, invite you as you’re listening to consider where you wrestling with habitual sin. And what might you be feeling or believing about yourself that’s contributing to that sin? Let me pray for you. Jesus, you know who we are. And Lord, you know, who we believe we are, you know, others have told us we are whether it’s the enemy, or people in our family, or even tapes that we just run over in our heads. Lord, you know who we believe we are in an unconscious level. And now Lord, would you expose that those deep places that we might meet you there, Lord, and in those deep places? Would you replace those faulty old ideas and images we have of who we are with true images and true ideas who you say we are. But bless my brothers and sisters on this journey. I pray these now name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, amen.
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