GETTING STARTED - Escaping Pornography



7 Stone Strategy

Congratulations on your desire to take the first step toward a pure heart, soul, and mind!  I'm proud of you, my friend. The 7 Stone Strategy is designed to help you break free from pornography and lust and create more wins at faith, work, and life.

As you prepare to begin, remember to take it easy on yourself. No matter how you feel, God sees you as a great man.  The road you are about to walk may feel lonely, but you aren't alone. While you have to take the journey, there are others walking their way back to freedom. 

I'm assuming you may be experiencing hesitation, worry, or fear and anxiety over becoming a Pure Man. What happens when you commit to this process and fall back to your old ways? Many guys stall before starting because of this dread of disappointing themselves. 

You aren't alone. This feeling is common to all of us, no matter the circumstance. You are wired to feel this apprehension. Psychologists call this the "spotlight effect".

The spotlight effect is the phenomenon in which people tend to believe they are being noticed more than they really are. The spotlight effect comes from the innate tendency to forget that although you are the center of your own world, you are not in the center of everyone else's world.

This tendency is especially prominent when you are preparing to step into a place where you believe judgment will exist.  Research has shown that such drastic over-estimation of your importance or impact on other people is pretty normal. 

In other words, you aren't as important as you may think.  In fact, most people are significantly more concerned and interested in themselves, which ultimately means your fear of coming clean - will largely go unnoticed - except to yourself. Through this process, the people who are intimately close to you will see your struggle with porn by the impact it has on them... not you.

The largest contributor to your hesitation and judgment is driven by your own shame and disappointment. So, let's get moving.  You are in your own spotlight - fight through the fear to hesitate. Let's take that step forward.


A few suggestions about how to win this battle the first time around:

    •    Be patient:  You didn't arrive here overnight. Rushing through the steps will diminish the effectiveness of finding a fresh start. How you finish is up to you, as long as you finish.

    •    Take it easy on you:  The most common struggle for men who want out of an impure lifestyle is the feeling of shame. The voice you hear inside will shift from disgust and unworthiness to joy and celebration.

    •    Be Accountable: After testing a dozen solutions, we have partnered with Accountable2You,  a Christian based accountability solution for all of your devices. There is a cost of $6.99 per month and they give back to our ministry 15% for the referral.  They have also agreed to give our users the first month free, but you must use the coupon LIVEBOLD at sign up to get the credit. Then use it for as long as you need it.  We'll talk more about this in the Accountability part of the program. Click the banner, sign up, and come back. 

        *This program doesn't stop the porn from coming through your computer, but it does send text messages and emails to your accountability partner when you access those sites. It also alerts your partner when you disable the program. We are focused on recovery rather than simply sheltering your machines. 

 

Now, let's determine if you are ready to get pure with the 7 Stone Strategy. Take a look at the following stages of addressing addiction or addictive behaviors. This will help you discover if you're truly ready to hit the ground running.  

 


Determine which stage accurately describes your current state of mind toward getting clean. 

STAGE 1:  Becoming Aware

You are aware of the problems related to your use of porn or impure behavior, but you still find a way to justify it.  At this point, you see the use of porn as a benefit for some selfish reason.  

The benefits you have assigned to using porn are still a little higher than the consequences and shame you encounter after using . You aren't completely sold on the destructive nature it holds, but you are aware of the costs. 

At this stage, you aren't likely to win the battle. However, the tipping point isn't out of reach.  A simple balance sheet of costs vs. benefits could be the very tool which wakes you up to moving forward. 

PRE-WORK:  Grab a pen and paper. Draw a line down the center of the page. On the left side write "benefits". On the right side write "costs". Prayerfully begin writing down everything you can imagine for both - including names of people. After finishing the list, step back and look at which column has more items. Then examine the nature of those items.

    •    ​Do the benefits outweigh the costs? If so, you likely aren't ready to move forward.

    •    Do the costs outweigh the benefits?  If so, you are ready to move forward to stage 2

If you want change but still value the benefits higher than the costs, you aren't ready to commit to lasting change. Keep praying for God to reveal your costs and benefits in an honest dialogue with yourself.

If you realize the costs are too high and that you and others are paying those costs, it's time to pray for God to open your heart for change. if so, You are ready to review stage 2


Stage 2: Thinking About It

At this stage, you are aware of the costs and impact of your impure lifestyle. This is the point when fear steps in and old familiar habits want you to believe the effort to change is too high. 

You are likely thinking that a change needs to happen, but you haven't quite decided that today is the day. Most guys in this stage haven't "been caught" or encountered a serious consequence to their behavior. 

You know it's coming, but the fear of stepping forward is still larger than the benefit of becoming free of porn and an impure heart.

PRE-WORK:  Pull out your list of benefits and costs and spend some time examining the people on the list, not the items. Categorize the benefits and the costs into (a.) Self  (b.) Others / name them - specifically who are they?

    •    Who is the primary target of the benefits? 

    •    Who is the primary target of the costs? 

Typically, you will be the number #1 name on the list of benefits, while the costs seem to be spread from you to other people in your life.  If your list (both columns) is focused primarily on you, then it's likely you aren't ready to move forward.  

If you are stuck here, spend time in prayer with God, asking Him to reveal faces of those who aren't getting all of you or your best effort at daily life.

If you are now aware of how others may be affected by your use of porn and lust issues, perhaps you are ready to move to stage 3. 


Stage 3: Looking For Change

You are now aware that the choices you are making have consequences. You spend less time blaming others for your actions and have begun to accept responsibility for your decisions to use porn and commit acts of lust.  

You know it's your decision to change and you have come to realize that you are the one to make the change.  It's time to get serious and you feel the desire for change for the benefit of yourself.  

If you've made it to this point, you are ready to start the journey. The evidence is the gathering of resources and courage. This app and it's tools are evidence that you've committed to begin.  The road ahead can only be travelled by you, but you don't need to go it alone. 

PRE-WORK:  On the back of your balance sheet, write a statement to commit to your journey. The best way to accomplish this is to write a note to yourself, stating that...

“I am about to set out on a journey to recapture my purity and become the man God designed me to be.” 

Date the letter and promise yourself that you will stay the course for as long as it takes, you will invite a brother along for the journey, and you will finish. While we don't know how long it will take, we are committed to win. Sign it and date it. 

    •    Find a brother you can trust who can walk with you. While our community on the app can serve as a back-up team, they can't replace the person you can look in the eye to help. This is critical. It may take time. Be patient.

After completing this pre-work, you are ready to move to stage 4


Stage 4: Ready To Take Action

You are ready to take the actual steps necessary to create a lasting change and a new life free of porn. You are eager and excited to get moving toward your goal of purity. 

Porn, lust, and impurity have ruled you for entirely too long and you have become tired of falling victim to it's power over you. 

The pathway to purity is now open for you.  It will be difficult, you will want to quit, there will be setbacks, and the change may feel too much to bear - but stay the course. 

You are ready.  The journey ahead will draw from God's Holy Word, an understanding of how God wired your physical body, and plenty of heart and soul work. 

Living an impure life seems to make our days feel sluggish and heavier than they should be. It's as if we are walking through life with heavy stones in our backpack. The unnecessary weight on our shoulders will eventually slow our stride, fatigue our walk, and give us the feeling we just can't get to the next summit of our life. 

This purity journey will consist of removing 7 Stones from your life. It will give you new legs, new energy, new focus, new purpose, and more effectiveness to live out the life God designed for you. 


Here are the stones you'll have to lift to get there:

STONE 1: CONFESSION > Secrecy is the prison

STONE 2: REPENTANCE > A desire to change must take root in the heart

STONE 3: FORGIVENESS > Forgive yourself then forgive the cause

STONE 4: ACCOUNTABILITY > Earning back your own trust

STONE 5: TRIGGERS > Replacing triggers and screens to change behavior

STONE 6: RE-WIRED > Finding new pursuits which ignite you

STONE 7: FREEDOM> Sustained change and a new image

 

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  - Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:28-30)

You will experience freedom but it will come with some challenges.

  1. Expect the first phase to contain fear and hesitation capped off by an unbelievable freedom fueled by God.You may believe that the work is over, but it’s only the beginning. Start quickly while you have the determination and the clean heart —- waiting too long will cause a slip back into your old habits.
     
  2. The second phase will be your most difficult challenge. Your natural body will begin to beg and crave for the stimulus you once gave in to on a regular basis. This process may seem as if God has departed and your spirit has weakened. This is a lie of the flesh. God is still present, forgiveness still exists, but your body and mind need to be severed from impurity and re-wired for a new life. Don’t give up here… it can be done. 
     
  3. The final phase is a gradual realization of freedom and a return of God’s presence in your everyday thoughts. Your mind will be different. Your cravings will be different. You will feel different and your attitude toward impurity and pornography will be different.

Now, let’s get busy. Take your time, follow each step carefully, and become a pure man!