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Miranda Writes: Are You Dull? Part 3




by Omar Miranda



Last time, I discussed the importance of accountability in relationships (specifically in the context of overcoming sex and/or porn addiction), as well as the four essentials of picking the right person to keep us sharp. Let’s review: First (and most important), you must pick somebody who has a close connection with the Lord Jesus Christ. Second, pick somebody you get along with, who you enjoy hanging out with, and who has a lot of the same interests and hobbies as you do. Third, try to pick somebody who has at least been an addict, preferably with sex and/or porn. And last, your accountability partner needs to be the same sex as you because you will be discussing deeply personal issues, and this sort of interaction—if shared with the opposite sex—can lead to some problems between yourself and that person.

Now let’s talk about some more specifics of staying sharp. There are many different issues to consider after you’ve chosen your accountability partner. The four most important ones are who, what, when, and where (or the four W’s).

Who

First, the “who.” You need at least two people, but as you experience more honesty and victory over your addiction, you can work more with others. There truly is strength in numbers.

What

Next, “what.” Though there are several things you can talk about, the best is to be straightforward: after a little small talk, you can get into the real issue. I’m going to include 10 questions that I wrote specific to myself. Research shows that if people are not consistent with these areas, they are more apt to fall back into their previous addiction.

1. Are you spending time daily reading your Bible and praying?
2. Are you serving the Lord with gladness? If not, how can you learn to?
3. Are there any areas that you’ve been teaching or proclaiming something that you’re not living? Is there anything you’ve been doing or not doing that you would not want others to know about?
4. Are you faking it? Are you leaving a better impression on others than is true?
5. Are there any areas of your life where you’re not obeying what you know God wants you to do? Do you have a secret, cherished sin? Is there anything you need to repent of?
6. Is your heart tender and responsive to the Lord? Can you hear His still small voice?
7. This week, have you been in contact with anything that was in any way questionable, such as what you’ve been watching (on TV, in movies, on the Internet), listening to, or reading?
8. How is your relationship with your wife or significant other? Have you been spending at least one hour a day with that person? Have you had a date with that person this week?
9. How is your relationship with your children? Have you been spending at least one hour a day with them?
10. How has your self-care been? At least eight hours of sleep? Exercising at least 30 minutes a day? Drinking enough water? Getting at least 30 minutes of fresh air and sunlight a day? Nutrition? One hour of “me” time daily?

When


Next comes the “when.” There are many different meeting “schedules.” You need to be meeting at least once a week. In November of 1999, when I was first learning to be clean and sober, I was speaking with my accountability partner several times a day. (Thankfully, I don’t need to do that anymore. But hey, it got me through.) The bottom line is: When you’re getting started, you’re mantra needs to be “Whatever it takes to gain victory!” I still speak with my accountability partners (I have two) once a week. If it’s been a particularly stressful week, then I make sure I call them twice a week. Remember—whatever it takes to gain victory.

Where


Last, we get to the “where.” Ideally, when you’re starting your lifelong road to recovery, it’s best to meet in person. Any place is fine—a parking lot, a restaurant (although restaurants can get kind of pricey if you’re meeting several times a day); anywhere you can talk face to face with some degree of privacy is best. As you gain sobriety and confidence, you can begin meeting via phone, webcam, e-mail/IM, but I would strongly recommend meeting face to face if you’re just starting out.

You may ask, “Omar, why do I have to meet face to face? It’s so difficult to look somebody in the eyes and speak to them about this issue.” Exactly! That’s all the more reason to do it. You see, everything you have been doing as an addict has been in private; this is why you have to see somebody face to face! There are at least two really great reasons for a real-life meeting: (1) it teaches you how to really relate socially and appropriately to somebody else; (2) it’s more difficult to lie to somebody to their face.

Power from above


Understand: This will be a lifelong commitment and struggle. I am not dissing the power of God; you know that my favorite scripture in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. It boldly reminds us that we used to be sexual sinners, but now we are clean in God’s holy wash cycle! The power of God can, and does, clean us. It empowers us to make different and right decisions and to make positive and lasting life changes. We, though, must make the conscious decision to use the power. God will not take away your sex drive, because, ultimately, it comes from Him. But He will help you manage it in a healthy way. Praise God!

I hope this accountability primer over the past few weeks has been useful in helping you begin the road to clean living.

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 1-770-354-2912

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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