“The mind is a funny thing”… ever heard that before?
Personally, I examine the thoughts that run through my mind all too often, and not much seems funny about it. I can’t tell you how many times my mind tells me to do one thing, but my heart and my body are telling me drastically different messages.
The tricky thing about our mind is, more often than not it wants what it wants, and it wants it now.
Let’s apply this to addiction for a second. Do you ever find your brain battling with itself? Hear me out. Part of you is done with porn and other unhealthy sexual behaviors. You’ve seen the fruits (or lack thereof) of it, and are convinced you want to live life differently. Then the other part of your brain comes in and says “well, but maybe….” Sound familiar?
I believe this internal brain battle happens because our mind is trying to follow two paths at once. One is the mindset of I want what I want, and I want that now. We’ll call that instant gratification. The other is willing to sacrifice immediate relief for long-term happiness. We’ll call this one joy.
Now we could apply instant gratification vs joy to all areas of life, but we’re here to talk about sex and pornography addiction. Each time you have an urge to engage in a behavior, you’re met with those two options.
Am I going to sacrifice the long-term progress I’m aiming for; the healthy relationships, the heart change, the happier lifestyle, for a few minutes, or at the most hours, of relief followed by guilt?
Or am I going to sit with and work through the uncomfortability of this desire, and continue working towards the end goal?
The thing about an urge to do something is this; it lasts way shorter than we think it does. Think about the last good day you had. Did you spend it thinking “this is taking forever”? Probably not.
We only think that way when we’re experiencing something uncomfortable. In fact, that good day probably flew by.
So what if we looked at bad days that way? It’s just a day. This urge is just a moment in time that can be worked through.
Next time you experience a thought or urge to watch porn or engage in another unhealthy sexual behavior, consider the idea of a need vs a want. Is your body or heart trying to give you a cue for a need it has? Maybe you need water, food, to call a friend, or a nap!
Listen, God wants more for you than instant gratification that sacrifices long-term joy.
He may ask us to set aside our comfort momentarily and experience an emotion we don’t love. But trust that He is working on something for your future.
The next time you experience a temptation, remember: You can either have instant gratification with long-term consequences, or you can have long-term joy with short-term uncomfortability.
How will this decision impact your future? And in the meantime, what might your body be telling you, that your mind is deceiving?
Hang in there, YOU can do difficult things with His help.