Saying "No" to lustful thoughts may seem way too simple and ineffective, but there is power in saying it! With the following process, I hope you can find lasting freedom.
NO. GO. TELL.
Do you remember repeating this mantra along with thirty other children in primary school during sex education classes? I do. I always thought it was hilariously abrupt. I was a weird kid. Looking back at this stranger-danger lesson now, I see wisdom. I see a phrase that can yet again rumble from your lips, not as a vulnerable child, but as the war cry of a brave woman fighting sexual temptation.
Done correctly, this will stop you in your tracks. It will quench the flow of tempting and addictive thoughts, provide accountability, and get you the heck out of whatever situation you've found yourself in. So, if you're sitting in your bedroom tantalizing lustful thoughts, by the end of the NO. GO. TELL process, you should be safely across the other side of the universe, accountability partner in tow and thoughts smashed into submission. So let's have a closer look at those abrupt little words, shall we?
As soon as the tiniest smidgen of temptation enters your mind, say no. Actually, make that a 'NO WAY!' This article by John Piper insightfully says 'Say NO to every lustful thought within FIVE SECONDS…You don’t have much more than that' Don’t even consider playing with those thoughts for any longer. Don't tell yourself you'll just finish off that fantasy and move on. Every second gives the addiction more power over you. You need to break the ritual. Try saying 'NO' out loud, with authority! Don't keep it in your mind, along with the fantasies. If you're feeling confident, yell it for your housemates to hear too! But, if that's a bit overwhelming for you, a firm and convicted 'NO' that only you can hear will suffice. But practice your war cry!
Get out of there! Are you in your room alone with your laptop or phone? Open the door and MOVE! Are you in a bar or club, being lured away from sobriety? Head for the door and go home! Are you home alone? Go and call a friend or family member over!
Realistically, most of our temptations happen in the lonesome hours of night, which makes some methods of distraction difficult. But for those who truly desire recovery, this will not be an excuse. GO in whatever way possible: leave the bedroom within those five seconds, open the doors and blinds, leave that party, go and run a few laps in your backyard, go and pat your dog, go and play your musical instrument, go to the 24/7 K-mart, go climb a tree, go dance like a possessed Beyonce' in the lounge room, go call a friend, go for a bike ride, go bake a cake and blast Taylor Swift, go practice your handstands, go run like Usain Bolt away from technology, darkness and isolation. If possible, get outside and move around. Get that chemical high from a sprint, instead of a porn-watching marathon.
Without accountability, you will probably fail. You will almost certainly fail. There is power in speaking out about what is bubbling up inside of you to an outside source. Someone who knows that sober you, doesn’t want this. Lustful thoughts multiply and overtake in their natural habitat: the mind. Alone. Hidden. Powerful. Call your accountability partner and text a few friends who are in the loop. Maybe even grab a housemate or family member and let them know. This simple act has incredible power to slay the lust monster and throw you into victory.
You need to say 'NO!' within five seconds, GO in the next ten, and your accountability partner should know about it before anyone's had time to even brew a cup of tea. Make sure you tell them what you're doing to wait out the lust (because, trust me, it feels urgent, but it will dissolve with some distraction), and if you're spiritual, have a prayer sesh. This may also be a great time to identify the reason you started to slip. Were you bored, lonely, depressed, anxious, rejected or simply pumped with those au natural desires?
'No. Go. Tell', may it be your war cry and defence against temptation. Write it on your hand, on your laptop, on your phone lock screen, and do it*
*Share your courage on Instagram! Tag @thegspot_ministries and use #thegracespot to show off your 'No.Go.Tell' motivation!