The Renewing of My Mind—Part 3
Saturday, August 27, 2022 by Dr James H Dotson Jr

In my last blog, The Renewing of My Mind—Part 2, we talked about the first five of ten fundamental truths that remain key to my ongoing sexual recovery. Let me now share with you the remaining five of these transforming principles for living, each rooted and grounded upon the Word of God, that were and continue to be key to my deliverance from my addictions to sexual sins.

  1. The only strategy in the Bible for dealing with sexual sin is to run from it.
  2. Always be honest with God.
  3. Complete my past.
  4. Join with other “warriors” on my journey through life. 
  5. Persevere!

Principle #6: The only strategy in the Bible for dealing with sexual sin is to run from it.

“Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18, NLT)

The biblical story of how Joseph responded to the come-on of Potiphar’s wife is an excellent example for us all. (Genesis 39:1-23).

Joseph was a slave in Egypt and worked in the household of Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharoah, ruler of Egypt. God blessed Joseph’s work such that Potiphar made him overseer of his house and put all he owned in his charge. After a while, Potiphar’s wife noticed Joseph and desired him.

Day after day, she pressed him to sleep with her, but Joseph refused. One day, Joseph was carrying out his duties in the house when none of the men of the household was there in the house. On that day, Potiphar’s wife caught Joseph by his garment and demanded he lie with her. Joseph refused, left his garment in her hand, and ran from the house.

I no longer linger or tarry with sexual sin. I make haste and run from it. Period. End of story. If I play with sexual sin, flirt with sexual sin, get close to sexual sin, I just might get caught up in sexual sin again. I don’t want that!

I’m taking my cue from the Word of God: flee from sexual sin. And equally important, I build hedges around my life to keep sexual sin out of my life. (Romans 13:14). 

Principle #7: Always be honest with God.

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.” (Hebrews 4:13, NLT)

There was a time in my life when I would carry out my sins behind closed doors, as if God didn’t know what I was doing. And, often, I would come up with some rationalization to presumably excuse my sins. Worse yet, it was typically days, or weeks, or longer before I would acknowledge my wrong, confess my sins, and genuinely seek to change.

I have learned that it is essential to be honest with myself and honest with God, and to confess and repent of my sins when the Holy Spirit convicts me of my wrongs. I don’t play games with God anymore. I’m honest with him about who I am and what I’m thinking, feeling, desiring, deciding, and doing. (Psalm 139:1–7; 1 John 1:5–10).

God wants to make me a “new creation” And part of the way he transforms me is to reveal my imperfections and sins, like peeling back the layers of an onion, which when I surrender to the influence of the Holy Spirit I progressively grow and change (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:16-25).

Principle #8: Complete my past.

“Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.” (John 10:9–11, NLT

Jesus Christ most definitely came to save me from my sins. Hallelujah!!!

But Jesus is interested in more than just my spiritual well-being. He’s interested in my whole-person well-being. 

The reality is that over the course of my life, I have experienced both good and bad. And the bad has left behind hurts, wounds, regrets, and a damaged mind/spirit/heart (e.g., “emotional baggage”). 

By completing my past, I mean doing the work that’s needed to heal from past wounds, make amends where I can for my past wrongs and sins, and empty out emotional baggage I’ve collected over the years. 

Am I suggesting being consumed by or obsessing over the past? Absolutely not!

But I am suggesting an honest assessment of the past in order to live well in the present and the future ahead. The overall goal of completing my past is to effectively deal with the me from my past that’s blocking me from experiencing a better me in my present and from pursuing the best me God desires for my future.

When I entered counseling back in 1994, my intention was to get help to break free from my sexual additions. But as I worked with my counselor, I discovered that there was more from my past that needed attention. And those issues had to be addressed as part of breaking free from my sexual addictions. Moreover, those issues had to be addressed if I wanted to experience whole-person health—spiritual, mental, and physical well-being. And God is onboard with such an agenda.

“Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 2, NASB95)

Principle 9: Join with other “warriors” on my journey through life. 

“Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.” (Romans 12:4–5, NLT)

“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” (1 Corinthians 12:4–7, NLT)

The disciples/followers of Jesus Christ are likened to a human body where all are working together for the common good. (1 Corinthians 12:1-27). God’s design is not that I journey through life solo, but instead that I journey through life with my brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ—each one of us helping each other. 

I have been significantly helped by others on my journey through life, and I seek to help others on their journey. For example, I’m part of a core men’s prayer partners’ group and we typically meet virtually via videoconference once each week. We study together, praise together, and pray together. We keep each other updated on what’s going on in our lives, and we exhort, counsel, encourage, and support each other. We are honest and real with one another, and we have each voluntarily given permission to hold each other accountable. There are few major decisions in my life these days that I make without first consulting with and praying with my prayer partners. 

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27:17, NLT)

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9, NLT)

“Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.” (Proverbs 15:22, NLT)

That’s just one example of how I join with others on my journey through life. I could give you many other examples, but I don’t want this blog to get too much longer. It’s already longer than the norm for blogs. So, let me move on and share just one final principle for living.

Principle #10: Persevere!

“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12, NLT)

I liken my life to a journey. And all along my journey, I’m literally engaged in spiritual warfare—the struggle against forces of evil. Day-by-day, I face temptations, tests, trials, and tribulations. In the midst of these, God calls me to persevere and stand firm. 

How do I do that? 

First, I choose to stay close to God, put on the armor he has provided for me, and resist the devil. 

“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. … Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” (Ephesians 6:10–13, NLT)

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” (James 4:7–8, NLT

“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NLT)

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13, NLT)

Second, I put my hope in the future God has planned for me. 

“There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” (John 14:2–3, NLT)

“But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness.” (2 Peter 3:13, NLT)

This world is not the end of the story of my life. I’m counting on the better future God has planned and is planning for me. And that helps me to “stay the course” on my journey through life.

Copyright © 2022 Training for Transformation, Inc. All rights reserved.


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Confronting the Realities of Pre-Marital Sex: Part 1—Tangled
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