To repent is to express sorrow over sin that leads to a change of mind and heart.
But why is repentance so essential to living a life of integrity? Can't we just "do the right thing" without having to express sorrow over our sin?
The Backstory on Repentance
God's Word tells us plainly that human beings are made in His image. This makes humans distinct from everything else in creation. We bear a "resemblance" to God that is unique in the world; we were made to reflect His holiness throughout all of creation.
God's instruction to the first humans was simple: freely enjoy everything I have created, but don't cross this one line. We know how the story went. They crossed the line, and so have we ever since.
This disobedience to God is called sin, and it divides us from God and each other. It distorts God's image into something that doesn't look like Him or act like Him. Whereas God brought life, sin brought death.
The good news, though, is that God loved us. He didn't want us forever separated from Him. So, He enacted a redemptive plan to reconcile us to Himself. And this plan only required one thing of us: faith.
Where Faith Comes In
Faith has always been the central requirement for an intimate relationship with God. It was true in the Garden of Eden before humans sinned. And it's true now after we sinned.
But faith, although it is simple, is not that easy. There are all kinds of things that want to keep us from exercising faith: pride, fear, anger, lust, materialism, and so much more.
For faith to be "activated" we must repent of our sin. In other words, faith that truly makes a difference in our lives is not merely a mental assent that God exists; it is an active dependence on the Creator who made us and redeemed us through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This active dependence on God is where repentance comes in, and this must involve a true brokenness over sin.
King David in Psalm 51 said this after he was confronted with his sin of adultery, "For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you [God], you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge." (v. 3-4)
And the apostle Paul in the New Testament reminded the church in Corinth of the good fruit that comes from godly sorrow:
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. (2 Cor. 7:10)
Repentance is borne of a deep sorrow over sin. This is what prepares our hearts and minds for the humble dependence that leads us to faithful obedience and a life of greater integrity.
Let's look now at how repentance is essential to a life of integrity.
3 Ways Repentance Is Essential to Integrity
1. Repentance reminds us of our need for help
When we look honestly at our sin, it at least has to reveal that we aren't perfect. In order to have integrity (the "state of being whole") we must recognize how far short of God's standard we fall, and be ready to seek help.
If we never ask for help on our journey of life and faith, it is highly probable that we are not engaging in the discipline of repentance, and thus not living with integrity. Daily repentance will reveal our broken hearts and the areas in which we need the most help.
2. Repentance acknowledges God as our source of holiness
When we repent of our sin, we are saying to ourselves and to God, "I blew it! I missed the mark of holiness you expect. Apart from you I cannot live the life you require of me. You are my only hope."
We are not capable of living the life God requires of us -- because of our sin! But when we repent we are reminded of the great love and grace and mercy that God has given to us through Jesus.
Jesus did live a holy life. THE holy Life! And, by faith, he freely offers His life to us. Celebrate this amazing truth!
3. Repentance trains us to worship God, not ourselves
The root of all sin is pride, the belief that we can thrive independent from God. In essence, sin is self-worship.
When we repent we are starkly reminded that God alone is holy and we are not. He alone is worthy of worship, we are not. The very first of the 10 Commandments sums this up: "You shall have no other gods before me." (Ex. 20:3)
There is a rich and rewarding humility that emerges from repentance. And from this foundation the desire to actively depend on our Creator grows. Over time, this produces a life that looks more and more like the Image it was meant to reflect.
Repentance is essential to a live of integrity. Let's commit together to daily express sorrow over our sin that leads to a change of mind and heart.
Written by Jonathan Daugherty
Founder of Be Broken Ministries
There is a mistake I see virtually every man make in recovery. It is the mistake of defending "rightness." Let me explain.
Every man who enters recovery has a history of deception; of others as well as himself. He has told so many lies it would be pointless to try and tally them up. When the truth of his secrets comes to light, the people closest to him recoil in shock and hurt. They feel the sting of betrayal that his lies brought. They wonder if they can ever again believe anything this man tells them.
As the man pursues recovery and begins to experience some healing and freedom, he realizes that the ones he hurt are not so quick to "get on board" with his new life. They remain skeptical, even defensive; even accusatory. And for the man in recovery this causes him to feel the ironic sting of hurt and befuddlement. Few, however, recognize the irony. Instead, they rail against the accusations with a fervor of "righteousness."
This is a bad idea.
To defend being right when your history has been mostly wrong is a fool's endeavor. Even if the man in recovery is totally "correct" in his defense of his new life and behaviors, such defense does nothing to aid in the restoration of the relationship. Sometimes it is much wiser to endure suffering for the sake of reconciliation than to demand rights that will only ensure further relational fissures.
When a man learns to lay down his rights at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ (the One who understands unjust suffering better than anyone!), there are no accusations that can upset him. Whether the barbs and accusations of loved ones are justified or not, the man learns to find his identity in the grace of Jesus, not in how "correct" he might be in his recovery. This is the humility that leads to repentance and a completely transformed life.
Are you a man struggling with false accusations in your recovery? Do you feel the need to defend yourself? Slow down and follow the example of Jesus. Even when He was perfectly justified to defend himself from his accusers, He chose instead to entrust himself to the will of the Father. While He suffered immensely for remaining silent, His reward was great -- and so was ours: Jesus reconciled us to God!
If you want restoration in your fractured relationships, humble yourself before the Father like Jesus did. You may still have to suffer immensely, but your reward will be great. You will gain wisdom and the blessing of God, which is far greater than simply carrying "rights" -- all by yourself.
Written by Jonathan Daugherty
Founder of Be Broken Ministries
by Jonathan Daugherty
Since 2003, Be Broken Ministries has existed for a singular purpose: "Helping individuals and families move from sexual brokenness to wholeness in Christ." It is a simple mission with profound impact.
Our desire is to see every person desiring freedom from sexually addictive patterns to realize that desire through recovery. And we are delighted to say that we have seen many hundreds gain the freedom they desired.
Over the years, however, there have been many distractions to us maintaining focus on our mission. Trendy recovery methods might come along, enticing us to elevate form over function. Comparing ourselves to other similar ministries has, at times, caused us to think we were doing ministry "wrong" (or "right"). Opposition from those who disagree with our stance that porn and adultery are wrong can hurt and upset us. And there has also been just weariness, fears, and the struggle to persevere.
But time and again we return to the core values that God placed in this ministry from the very beginning: Grace, Honesty, Purity, and Community. These are the foundation from which we build every resource, every podcast, every workshop, every website, everything.
We believe for anyone who wants to effectively minister to someone sexually addicted, these are the core values that must exist. Therefore, let me share what these core values mean; to us, and to the process of recovery.
"No one is too broken to love."
When a sexual addict reaches out for help, the most important response they need is one of grace; the undeserved kindness of a friend. We believe this grace originates from God, who loved us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for our sin (including addiction) that we couldn't. God didn't wait for us to get "sober" or cleaned up or "on the right path." Instead, "...while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8b) That's grace!
Many addicts, however, are not greeted with grace when they finally decide to seek help. They are often met with condemnation, rejection, or rigid rules. This causes the addict to falsely believe that their worth is based on their performance, so if they just learn how to "behave" they will find the love and acceptance they long for. But that's not how grace works.
If you want to effectively minister to a sexual addict, you must lead with grace; extending compassion, kindness, and warmth even while they are still drenched in the muck of their addiction. It is a soft touch, not an iron fist, that draws the addict out of the dark and into the light of recovery.
"Everyone's full story is worth hearing."
Sex addicts (or any addicts) are excellent liars. They often have a history of not only telling lies, but also being told lies. In fact, every sex addict I have ever met learned to tell lies by being told lies, whether from a parent, older sibling, or the media they consumed in childhood. And lies beget lying.
The predominant teacher of lies for sex addicts is usually pornography. It teaches a young person a host of lies; about sex, about love, about relationships, about life. Once a kid has bought porn's lies, it becomes easy to travel down the road of deception -- of others and self. Eventually, this person wakes up in their late 20's or early 30's and realizes "I'm living a lie!"
Therefore, to help a sexual addict break free from a life of lies, you must introduce them to truth. Truth comes from God, for Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life..." (John 14:6a) For an addict to overcome their self-deception, they must encounter Jesus. This requires getting into His Word, the Bible, and reaching out to Him in prayer. As one draws closer to Jesus, the line between lies and truth becomes clearer.
But freedom for a sex addict doesn't just happen because they come to see the difference between the truth and a lie. Real freedom only begins when they honestly share their full story and commit to a life of brutal honesty. There is no true freedom if an addict never shares their whole story. All of it must come into the Light in order for them to experience total release and hope.
If you want to effectively minister to a sexual addict, create a safe place for them to share their story; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Encourage brutal honesty in a "shame-free-zone," reminding them that their worth is not based on their behavior, but on the God who loved them enough to send Jesus to the cross even before they ever acted out.
"A journey of better reflecting Christ."
No one is perfect, except Jesus. The Bible says, "Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins." (Ecc. 7:20) It also says of Jesus, "For our sake he [God] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Cor. 5:21) Jesus was perfect in every way, without sin. In other words, He was pure. We, however, apart from Him, are not.
Certainly someone wanting to break free from sexually addictive patterns must take steps toward purity. After all, pure is the opposite of impure. However, these steps are not toward a purity that we can conjure up within ourselves. Remember, there isn't a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. Therefore, purity must come from the only One who is pure: Jesus.
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Pet. 1:13-16)
If you want to effectively minister to a sexual addict, lead them to a deeper dependence on Jesus for their purity. A life of sexual integrity is one that reflects the image of Jesus.
"Enjoying the fruit of healthy relationships."
The ultimate vision we have for sex addicts in recovery is "True Lovers in Joyful Community." We believe God made us to be great lovers, not great lusters.* And the environment for developing as a great lover is in community. We desire addicts to one day adopt the very heart of God, a heart which loves.
It is hard for anyone to get close to an addict. They hide and lie and naturally push people away with their self-absorbed lifestyle. Everything about them points inward, to their brokenness, their pride, their lust. In essence, their lives are always and only about themselves. Not only do they not engage in real community, they can't because their eyes never look away from their own image.
When a sex addict finally has the "rock bottom" experience that jolts them awake to the reality of their self-centered life, they must (re)learn to connect with others in healthy ways. This involves telling the truth, listening, exercising empathy, serving with proper motives, and accountability. This is no small task for someone whose life has only been focused inward, but it is still the path to total freedom and joy.
If you want to effectively minister to a sexual addict, welcome them into a loving community where the truth is told in love and faithful friendships can blossom. The eventual place an addict needs to arrive for their freedom to be realized is a place where giving and serving others is of higher importance than receiving anything in return.
The greatest joy in recovery is investing these core values into a weary addict just looking for help...
*(thanks to Stephen Cervantes for coining this phrase)
by Gerard Terry
Was Paul’s Thorn Porn?
I like to think so. It gives my struggles a biblical proportion. And if Paul struggled with pornography or sexual temptation, I would not feel like such an outcast today. Plus, the church would have to preach on the subject once in a while and, like the adulterous woman, I would be forgiven by all. Who could hold porn use against me if Paul was addicted too? It would be a legitimate, mainstream, sin. Let’s look directly at the verse which mentions Paul’s thorn:
In 2 Corinthians 12: 7-9, Paul said:
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
No matter our struggle, each of us wants Paul’s thorn in the flesh to be the same as ours. Maybe that is why scripture does not specify what the thorn was. From overeaters to workaholics, from alcoholics to drug users and porn addicts, we can each identify with Paul’s desire for Jesus to remove our thorns. At times, I helplessly ask myself whether it is possible to beat this thing once and for all.
Origin of the Thorn?
Did Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” come from God? “I was given a thorn in my flesh” seems to imply a giver and a recipient. Maybe it came from Satan, since the verse mentions “a messenger of Satan to torment me.” Regardless, someone gave it to Paul, and it tormented him. I can identify with that. The incessant call and lure of pornography in my life is a constant frustration. At times, I don’t think I can go five minutes without an image on my phone, a billboard or my computer calling my name. I want to break free of this craving. If only God would give me a big, red “easy” button to push to stop the desire – I would push it.
Victory Over Pornography First Involves Surrender
Note how Jesus said strength to handle the thorn will come because His “power is made perfect in weakness.” When I come to the point that my reliance is on God to overcome my thorn, then I will have victory over this sin. Weakness implies a sense of humility. Gone is the pride that I can handle it myself. For victory, I need to welcome the infusion of God’s Holy Spirit to take control of my life. I need to surrender control over myself. Wow! This sounds an awful lot like a Lordship talk.
Paul’s Thorn’s Purpose and Ours
Nowhere in these verses is there a promise of overcoming the thorn, or the sin in our case. That is concerning. Aren’t we assured of victory in Jesus? How we define victory may be related to the purpose of the thorn in our life. Remember this verse from above? “In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh.” I excel in a lot of my undertakings, but in one area I struggle to prevail. Pornography brings me to the end of my abilities.
I think God has me right where he wants me: At a point where I know I cannot overcome my sin apart from Him. This keeps me humble. Yet, I am the first to admit that after a prolonged period of success in this sexual battle, I begin to look down on men still struggling – suggesting to myself that they should just get over it. Pride is like toenail fungus – it keeps coming back (Is this too much information?) It waits beneath the surface until we let our guard down or skip a dose of medicine. Ever lurking, pride is a constant threat to my relationship with God and others.
Pride is a constant theme of the Bible. God opposes the proud (James 4:6). Similar to Paul’s situation, porn and pride have an inverse relationship. When pornography is present in my life, I am humbled by my inability to win the battle. During these times, I am quick to give grace to others in their struggles, no matter what they are. When pornography is absent from my life, pride creeps back in. Just like in Paul’s case, the thorn is present to keep us from becoming conceited.
Consider the Good Purpose Which Pornography May Accomplish in You
We all know pornography destroys families and careers. Can there actually be a positive, God-
given purpose for pornography or other bad habits in our lives? I encourage you to consider the idea. Once you identify this purpose, you should meditate on it. Consider whether there might be another way to address the problem area underlying your purpose. Once you find an alternative solution for your sexual sin’s purpose in your life, you may be in a position to receive an answer to the prayer Paul prayed - for the “Lord to take it away.”
by Jonathan Daugherty
Today I was reading in Romans 7, a place in God's Word that has always brought both comfort and conviction. But I saw the passage in a fresh way. I saw the exaltation of Christ rather than the profound, ongoing struggle with sin.
Verse 18 says that there isn't anything good in us, that is, in our flesh. We may want to do good, but we don't have the ability to do it. This is a huge indictment against "working harder" theology. We too often assume that because we desire to do good that we just need to try harder and we will do the good we want. But we can't.
Then Paul writes his famous "I-keep-doing-what-I-don't-want-to-do" passage, which is the comforting part for me. I mean, hey, if Paul continued to have such an ongoing struggle with sin, I don't feel so "odd" for having my own struggle! But then he says something weird, something that didn't fit with my former theology of "new creation."
v. 24a - "Wretched man that I am!"
Shouldn't that read, "Wretched man that I was?" My former understanding of us being a "new creation" in Christ was that we should no longer see ourselves in language like this. But Paul seems to have no problem with such brutal honesty. He sees his sinfulness that is present in him -- even now. How, then, can he have hope in his battle with sin?
v. 24b-25a - "Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
Who do we look to in our current sinful state; in our ongoing, daily battle with indwelling sin? We look to our Savior, Jesus Christ, the One whose sinless sacrifice offers us a permanent place in the family of God. By His grace, we are His; messy, broken, wretched. But we are still His!
Maybe walking with God isn't so much about defeating sin as it is about humility, honesty and highlighting our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:1 - There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
by Jonathan Daugherty
How can you know if you are a good giver, one who mirrors the heart of God? I believe the mark of a great giver is humility. Givers who don’t even realize how deeply they are blessing others are so refreshing. It is as if they breathe out generosity without any effort or obligation. Have you known people like this? Model them!
I wish I could give you glowing examples from my own life of how my generosity just oozed out of me without my own consciousness of it. But then, I suppose, that would be damning evidence against me as a humble giver. But I do have a couple stories I want to tell you of some humble, anonymous givers that blessed my family during a particularly needy time in our history.
When we started Be Broken Ministries we had nothing; no money, no experience, no clue. We only had our story of God’s miracle of healing and His definite call to launch the ministry. Our faith was stretched that first year in ways we had never experienced before. One of the primary “stretching points” was our finances, or rather, lack of finances. We were hand-to-mouth seemingly every month, but we knew this was God’s calling and we felt peace about where the ministry was headed. Nonetheless, we still felt the pinch of the regularly empty bank account.
One day I was at work (a 100 square foot, windowless office space in my former employer’s building) when I got a call from my wife, Elaine. She was concerned about how we were going to have food for dinner that night. Our pantry was empty and there was only half a gallon of milk in the refrigerator. On top of that, we had less than $1 in our bank account. Yes, I said less than ONE DOLLAR! Remarkably, I didn’t feel panicky (either my faith was growing or I was mentally cracking up…). I told her we should pray, and we did. It wasn’t a flowery record-it-for-all-time prayer, but rather just a heartfelt offering of our needs before our heavenly Provider.
Later that same day, I got another phone call from Elaine. She was ecstatic! Barely able to catch her breath enough to speak, she said, “You are never going to believe what happened. Guess what came in the mail today?”
I, of course, had no idea what could have come in the mail, so I said, “Not a clue.”
“Someone anonymously sent us a $150 gift card to HEB (a local grocery store),” she squealed.
I nearly dropped the phone, along with my jaw. Tears just welled up in my eyes and we both agreed, “Thank you, Jesus.” Someone cared more about our need than their recognition of giving.
There was another instance in that first year of ministry where we were down to crumbs and had no money. We again prayed, expressing our need before God. That same night, after returning home from church, our front porch was covered with FULL grocery bags! Someone took the time to shop, bag it all up, and drive it to our home – anonymously! We just wept on our porch at the faithfulness of God. He truly does consider us more valuable than the sparrows…
The mark of these anonymous generous givers was that they gave in humility, not seeking credit in this life. They chose, instead, to “give in secret,” knowing that the God of heaven sees such true generosity and will one day offer eternal rewards. Those gifts have always provided a reference point of inspiration for my own aspirations of being a good giver. I want my giving to be measured by eternal reward, not temporal accolades.
Are you aspiring to be a true giver? If so, you are on your way to a life of no more regrets. As Jim Elliott once said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
by Jonathan Daugherty
Humility is essential to mature in wisdom and compassion. Pride ever blocks us from becoming agents of grace to lost and broken friends and neighbors.
I watched a movie lately that struck a cord deep inside me, one that hadn't been moved in quite some time. This movie dealt with issues of racism, death, selfishness, hate, and even grace. I didn't expect the core of my being to be rattled by a mere movie. After all, aren't movies simply for entertainment? Apparently not all movies. At least not The Grace Card.
The story follows the lives of two cops, Mac, who is a white racist, still bitter over the tragic death of his son 17 years earlier, and Sam, a black part-time preacher hoping to soon hang up the badge for his "true" calling, full-time ministry in the pulpit. They unexpectedly get thrust together as partners while Sam awaits a transfer due to a promotion on the force. Neither are thrilled with the arrangement. But both are right where God wants them, the place where grace most often thrives: suffering.
Mac's racism challenges everything Sam preaches about on Sunday but struggles to live out the rest of the week. How can God expect Sam to love someone who is so deliberately unlovable? As the story unfolds, there are multiple opportunities for Sam to extend grace and for Mac to receive it. But just as is true in real life, not all those opportunities end well. In fact, at one point they both just throw up their hands in frustration, neither wanting to give or receive anything good in the partnership. Often the effects of grace are not immediate.
Without spoiling the movie, I will say that grace ultimately wins in a profound way, a way that struck that cord deep in my soul. It wasn't so much that grace "won" as it was in how that victory came about, as if the avenue of grace was even more important than it's ultimate effect. Grace won because it was given away.
I cannot count the number of ways in which God's grace has blessed my life. I've tried. But His grace is simply too vast, too rich, too perpetual. Wave upon wave wash over my life and I am literally consumed by the beauty and kindness of God's grace. But, unfortunately, I probably could count the number of ways I have given grace. It's difficult and unnatural to love the unlovable or be kind to hateful souls. But loving the lovable isn't grace, it's just natural and expected (and easy). God wants to draw us out of the shadows of what is comfortable and natural, to be His agents of grace to people unlike us, who don't care for us, who might even hate us. Those are the souls He wants us partnered with, divine appointments of suffering that demand grace be given.
I needed that cord in my soul struck. It had been too long since it vibrated, reminding me that a quest for comfort is not the way of grace. Jesus never alienated himself from suffering, from humanity, from the broken or angry or bitter. He knew better than any of us that grace is meant to live in such connections, to be given most freely to the most undeserving, even those who spit in our face and utterly reject such kindness. I pray my soul never stops resonating with this simple truth: it's better to give grace than to receive it.
I promise to pray for you every day, ask your forgiveness, grant you the same,
& be your friend always.
by Jonathan Daugherty
I'm going to do something an author really isn't supposed to do when titling an article with a question. I'm going to give you the answer right up front (and keep my fingers crossed that you will still read the rest of the article).
Is purity for everyone?
I have been working in full-time sexual purity ministry since 2003. In that amount of time I have heard the stories of thousands of individuals struggling with sexually addictive thoughts and behaviors. There are an unbelievable number of people carrying terrible shame and secrets of trauma and abuse that is truly unfathomable. Many shed tears. Some have memory loss and debilitating emotional problems. All have felt afraid, angry, lost, alone, weary, frustrated, hopeless and myriad other emotions. We offer help to all these people, yet only a few ever embrace a new life of purity.
There are many reasons (mostly excuses) why so many people carrying so much pain never find lasting freedom and peace from their addictive lifestyle. The most common reason is because they remain fixated on their circumstance, convincing themselves that in order for them to live a life of purity, their situation must change. Maybe their spouse is threatening a divorce or a boss is dangling a pink slip in front of their nose. Whatever the case, those who don't ultimately experience long-lasting freedom have found a reason (however fickle and false) to return to the dungeon of lust and self-centeredness. (keep in mind, this is a generality based on thousands of cases; there are always exceptions...)
But are these the reasons why I say "no" to the question, "Is purity for everyone?" Not really. The reasons above (namely, believing circumstantial change, rather than personal change, will bring about a life of purity) are only one side of the coin of why purity isn't for everyone. The other side, I believe, is a much more basic, spiritual reason of why purity isn't for everyone. Purity is only possible for those in right relationship with God.
Recovery programs that only focus on correcting and managing behaviors are not understanding the true essence of purity. True purity is a condition of the heart, the inside of a person, not merely how a person chooses to use their body. To deny the reality of a spiritual need in sexual addiction recovery is to miss the point entirely. A person is pure when they are pure all the way through. How then does one achieve this sort of purity? Only from God.
God uses a particular word to describe his own attribute of purity: holiness. God is holy, perfect and pure in every aspect of his being. God created mankind in his image, breathing into Adam something of the essence of himself. Therefore, Adam and Eve were holy; pure and perfect in their original design. Then (you know the story) sin entered the world through their disobedience, and spiritually Adam and Eve (and the rest of humanity to follow) were stained, broken, impure. Man's pride marred God's holy creation.
Thankfully, God didn't abandon his creation. He made a way for humanity to be restored, to be made new in spirit. He sent Jesus Christ to pay the penalty we deserved for our pride and sinfulness, thus erasing our debt and exchanging it for his life in us. And the only requirement of us to receive this indescribable gift is faith, simply trusting in Jesus. In that moment of faith, God restores our spirit to his original design for us. He breathes life anew into our darkened spirit and the holiness of God pours in. In this new state, we are now able to understand and even partake in a whole new life of purity, true purity that is based on God's character and holiness, not our own.
So, do behavior modification techniques have any value in sexual addiction recovery? Of course they do. We each have a will, even if we have no relationship with God. But no person can experience the fullness of true purity apart from a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. And, ironically, even those of us who do have a relationship with God still have a choice: fully trust God and embrace his life-transforming grace or trust in our own intellect and effort to attempt to do what only God can do through us.
Purity, therefore, is only for those who 1) Know God through faith in Jesus and 2) Lay down their pride and let God have his way in revealing His holiness (i.e. purity) through them.
Final question: Is a life of purity for you?