104-S: Purify Your Thoughts with Belah Rose

5 Jul
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Though I’m mostly talking about purifying your mind regarding sexual thoughts, this is what I would prescribe anyone battling challenging thoughts. I think we don’t talk about purifying our mind enough, especially in regards to sex. I think it may be because of embarrassment or because we think it’s not necessary to address–head on.

Well, this episode, I do. I address exactly what I wish someone had sat me down and explained me  when I struggling so severely with my sexual thoughts. I give you the why, the how and the science behind changing your thought-life towards what God desires.

Scripture/Quote:

  • “Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden” – C.S. Lewis
  • 1 Cor 10:13
    • No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
  • Romans 5:3 & 4
    • Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
  • “He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how” – Nietzche
  • “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” – Jim Rohn

Resources:

Purity Meditation: Sign up and I will send you a recording of me reading scripture with some mellow, relaxing music.

Listen to the scripture and meditate on it. You are a child of God. You are washed clean. He has forgiven you. You are loved by God. Sign up & receive the download in your inbox.

  • YouVersion – The Bible app that I use to read the bible every morning. I really like the highlighting feature so I can highlight verses I want to go back to later. Or I highlight in a different color verses I want to memorize.
  • Essentialism – The book I’ve listened to 2x already and plan to listen to again. An incredibly relevant read in our world of distraction. Helps us understand God’s will for our lives (written by a Christian, but for a secular audience). I cannot recommend it highly enough.
    • Listen to this life changing episode of the author talking about the disciplined pursuit of God’s will. It brought me to tears the first time I heard it. The kind of tears and reminds you, this is what life is about.
  • After You Believe – The book I listened to (mostly) that talks about our character as a means to determine our vocation in eternity; showing why our character matters to God.

For Transcript (see below)

Thanks for listening! I hope you are encouraged to live in wholehearted intimacy!

Love,

Belah

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Transcript: (basically)

  • The most important thing
    • encouragement to dig in and work on this
  • why we struggle with sexual thoughts
    • why does it matter?
      • Story – husband doesn’t connect with God
      • if we don’t get an understanding this it may keep us from God
    • “Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden”
      • – C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
    • why our past matters #dym
      • We are shaped by our past but not defined by it
        • “Jesus changes everything”
        • This idea is dangerous for some bc they expect to be healed, get rich, or have a their wrest dreams come true
        • He does and doesn’t
        • But doubting has given me the grace to see my faith as something I’m building, day by day…Enduring
      • And so the choices you’ve made don’t get erased from your memory
        • Your sin and shame do but the choices shape your path
        • If porn is in your past, your future involves a battle against those thoughts
        • there are beautiful scriptures that clarify God’s promises in helping you, like:
          • No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Cor 10:13
      • by His immense grace, our past matters to our future
      • again, we are not defined by it
        • our worth, our potential, our meaning, our purpose is not defined by our past
      • but we are shaped by it
        • had I not been witness to my parents horrific divorce
        • had I not endured a horrible marriage and my own divorce
        • had I not sinned in many, many ways especially sexually, I would have nothing to talk to you about
      • my past has shaped me, but it does not and will not define me, or my value to Jesus
        • because what defines me is my connection to God and His work of redemption
      • my past makes me run towards Jesus; reminds me daily how much I need him
        • Paul remembered his sin
          • he said he was the worst of all sinners
  • how we should think about suffering
    • Suffering isn’t popular in our culture
      • and suffering is not something our culture is comfortable talking about or dealing with
      • I believe it is a mistake for us to ignore or try to distract ourselves away from our suffering
        • because once we recognize we’re suffering
          • we are given an arsenal full of ways to handle it
          • but if we deny that what we’re dealing with is a level of suffering, then we don’t have those options
      • for example,
        • when someone acknowledges the suffering of their health
          • they then can start to look for solutions; go to doctors; research; determine what’s next
        • but if never acknowledge your suffering, you can’t get through it or even learn how to manage well
      • Now if you know me at all, you know I’m not a very negative person
        • I actually am a quite positive, it’s one of my strengths actually
        • but what if suffering was not as negative as we thought
          • what if its very important
    • 1 – we have to acknowledge it; we have to face our suffering
      • There is a part of suffering that shapes us, if we face it
        • it allows us to become more aware of our need for Him
        • Jesus was no stranger to suffering
        • it allows us to partake of His suffering
    • 2 – we have to see our suffering as important; it has a purpose for God
      • yes, it’s painful
        • so is going to the gym
        • it is suffering in the moment
          • but that suffering reaps a better harvest
            • its an investment; it matters to the future
        • Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3 & 4
    • I do believe in the tranformative power of prayer
      • I believe that is part of our life with God
      • communing with Him, getting to know Him, and there’s lots in the Bible about physical healing and Jesus & the apostles taking people out of their suffering
        • but there is also Jesus
          • who took the cup God has poured for Him and suffered to do God’s assignment in His life
        • but also Paul was in prison
          • and Paul even had a thorn in his side
            • we don’t know what that was, but he asked God to take it away
  • how we should suffer
    • 1 – acknowledge the suffering
    • 2 – make changes according to that suffering
      • suffer = discipline
      • Big Disciplines
        • determine what God’s will is for you
        • get your life prioritized
        • do you want to get to the end and realize you were so distracted you never took the time to ask the question that mattered?
        • use the regret thing again, lets say you did it wrong…now you can go back and do it right
        • even Nietzche says “he who has a why to live can bear with almost any how”
        • Here’s how I have found God’s will
          • I used to not understand
          • 1- I worked to start learning about God’s gifts in me
          • 2- I looked at what He’s already blessed in my life
          • 3- I visualize my funeral and consider what would matter to me if those things were spoken
            • that’s actually how I came up with Wisdom, Love, Passion
            • that’s the 3 words I want on my tombstone
          • 4- I listened to what broke my heart int his world
          • 5- pursued a lot of things I thought was God’s direction
            • I took risks
            • and they were scary, but they were the right things
          • fyi this is not the steps to find the right job
            • I used to think those were one and the same
            • and they are for some people
              • but Paul talks about, if you’re stealing from others, stop…do something useful with your hands and make money so you can help others
              • he talks about it like it’s totally aside from your ministry
        • I’ve got a link to a show I’d love for you to listen to that helps me follow my
        • 3-determine your God-work
          • example of Kimberly
        • I mention this because I struggled for a long time thinking, like our society, that something isn’t valuable unless there is a money label attached to it. ie my work isn’t good enough if someone won’t pay me for it, or unless it costs money, it’s not worth desiring (that’s how we treat the earth isn’t it?)
        • But, remember Jesus talked more about money than any other thing. HE cares about how we think about money. This is some understanding that’s going to be important for my next point.
      • Small Disciplines
        • really practical
          • fill your mind with the right stuff
            • science
              • pathways
                • repetition
                • We can’t always resist or desires but we can change and reorder them based on our lives. Focus on your love of family etc above your desire to lust
                • focus on your purpose
                  • Focusing on your short and long-term health goals, makes it easier to quash cravings and resist temptations.
                  • In a study pages by a journal Proceedings of the national academy of sciences shows participants that focused on their goal while experiencing a craving showed activity in their
                  • Prefrontal cortex the rational, decision making side of their brain. When this area of the brain is activated it pulls the breaks on the reward system (the part of the brain that tells us to do things that feel good even if it’s not good for us). Because the two areas cannot due simultaneously. The result, decreased desire for the treat.
                  • This response is rather like a muscle.
                • ask yourself questions
                  • carry a journal with you & make yourself answer those questions
                • carry a book with you
                • have scriptures in your wallet
                • divert your eyes
                • get really curious about God’s creation
                  • watch nature shows
                  • pursue the God-calling He has for you
                • talking out loud to interrupt your thoughts
                • listening to affirmations give a free audio away to listen to the scripture affirmations #dym
                  • delightyourmarriage.com/thoughts
        • protect your mind
        • Why no one talks about sexual thoughts in the church?
          • I used to think no one talked about sexual thoughts because I was the only one struggling that may be partly true,
          • then I thought it was because everyone else is embarrassed and that may be partly true
          • but I think the most important is because the closer you get to Jesus the easier that struggle becomes
        • prayer and meditating on the Word
          • Story about Matt re Bible reading
            • I was at a talk not too long ago and a man, let’s call him Matt. He was a sharing his story. He had been in jail for a long time because he had almost killed his father with a hammer. They found out he was a sociopath bc he couldn’t feel thongs like empathy. He would have these violent urges. He was incredibly bright and hated Christianity with a vengance. Well, while he was in jail a man kept reading his Bible in his cell. Matt ostracized this man. He had debate after debate with this man. And the thing that bothered Matt so much was this Christian kept winning the debates. So, finally Matt decided to start reading the Bible, because he was sure if he know more, he’d be able to win the debates and defeat that Christian once and for all. Well, he ended up becoming a Christian. Now, he’s out of jail, married and has 4 children with an amazing woman. But he said he notices those violent urges and thoughts come back when he’s out of the word for a while.
          • what I do
            • I just work on memorizing one verse a day
        • redirect your thinking
          • So I’ve read a lot about redirecting your thoughts via meditation. And this had really helped me.
          • use a special motion to redirect
          • use a special trigger to redirect
          • be open with someone about the battle you’re experiencing
          • engage in safe activities
          • believe “no temptation has over taken you”
  • “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” – Jim Rohn
  • my last piece of catalytic encouragement
    • we don’t know what eternity will be, but it very well may matter