Speaker 1:                           00:06                     [inaudible]

Speaker 2:                           00:07                     a relapse or setback is when you engage in the unwanted sexual behavior that you committed to never do again. Your sobriety is in reference to how long you’ve gone without a relapse. Once you have a significant track record of walking and sobriety from the unwanted behavior, it is important to redefine a relapse to include those routines that lead you to acting out. As an example, the alcoholic initially defines a relapse as getting drunk and then later as drinking at all, but eventually his definition of relapse will include even going to a bar. If your definition of relapse doesn’t eventually grow and mature to include those routines that set you up to act out, you will find yourself being led back into relapse. But to begin with a relapse is the unwanted sexual behavior. Our response to relapse must be repentance and not just regret the Bible.

Speaker 2:                           01:03                     Contrast these two responses. Regret is feeling bad for one’s actions, but repentance is being broken over your sin, resulting in confession and a decision to turn away from your sin. This is an important distinction and one that makes all the difference in how you respond to a relapse. Freedom is near when you embrace living in reality. Living in reality means you are completely honest and don’t try to deny, minimize, or rationalize a relapse. It is important to remember that simply not relaxing isn’t the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is freedom and this only happens by living in reality. Responding to a relapse is an opportunity for you to be real with yourself, with God and others about where you are in your recovery. If the ultimate goal is simply not to relapse, then the temptation to deceive is strong, but when the goal is living in reality on your way to freedom, you see an immediate and complete confession.

Speaker 2:                           02:04                     After a relapse, as a big win, we want to celebrate not relapsing and having an extended streak of sobriety, and we also want to celebrate an immediate and complete confession after a relapse. Living in reality is a must for freedom. Dr Mark laser refers to a relapse as a slip which stands for short laps in progress. He says, when you’ve walked in purity for awhile and then relapse, you are not back at square one. Genuine progress was made. Change happened. Don’t let a relapse defeat you at the same time. Dr Lazar says it remains a short lapse. Only if the person learns from it repents and grows and understanding. As a result, a relapse is always possible, but it’s not inevitable. You need a plan if you relapse into your old behavior. A plan doesn’t give you permission to relapse, but it does help you know how you can turn a slip into a future victory.

Speaker 2:                           03:04                     Here are five critical responses to a relapse. The first is confessed to God and turn from your sin. Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. After confessing our sin to God, we must repent and turn from our sin. One sign of repentance is following the second response. Confess to your accountability. The Bible reminds us of the healing effects of confession. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. Dr Ted Roberts says, you are only as sick as your secrets. If you relapse and don’t confess, you now have two problems. True confession is a commitment to get real about all those places that you’ve worked so hard to hide. I recently interviewed four men who are now walking in freedom after years of recovery. Each of them emphasize the need to confess as soon as possible after a relapse, at least within 24 hours.

Speaker 2:                           04:09                     The longer you wait to confess, the more tempted you are not to come clean and the less likely you are to move forward in a positive way. Living in reality has to be a bigger goal than being comfortable. Thirdly, you must receive God’s grace and move forward. When a person trusts Christ as savior, they are forgiven of all their sins. By faith, we must accept that we’re forgiven even though we sometimes won’t feel like it. After you’ve confessed and repented, you can still feel condemnation, guilt, and shame, but the Bible reminds us there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus in sports. It is important to have a short memory and forget your mistakes so you can move forward. Instead of allowing a mistake to dominate your mindset and performance on the next play. The apostle Paul encourages us to have this mentality as we pursue Christ likeness.

Speaker 2:                           05:06                     One thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal. After you’ve confessed and repented, received God’s grace and forgiveness and move forward. Don’t take your sin too lightly where there’s no repentance or two personally where you beat yourself up. Instead of receiving God’s grace and forgiveness, Jesus suffered for our sins, so we don’t need to try to add to his work on the cross. By punishing ourselves, his sacrifice should lead us to repent and invite the Holy spirit to lead and guide us. Freedom is not a destination, but a process of practicing the right things and one of those right things is receiving God’s grace and moving forward after a relapse. The fourth response is don’t binge. A relapse can be a spring forward with the right attitude and perspective, but it can also be a shame causing binge inciting stumble when you have the wrong response.

Speaker 2:                           06:09                     Don’t allow a relapse to lead to a mindset of bingeing. Don’t tell yourself, since I’ve already messed up, it doesn’t matter if I binge because it does matter. Jeremy Weil says a relapse does not stop the healing process, but it will have consequences. A relapse has consequences like ingraining the unwanted sexual behavior in your mind even more, which makes the urge more difficult to resist in the future. Remember, the measure of a man is not the absence of sin, but how he responds to a relapse. If you confess quickly after a relapse, you will be less likely to binge. Lastly, you must learn from the relapse thoroughly. Evaluate what led to the relapse and determine what course corrections need to be made to prevent future relapses. This is a crucial step in making progress in your recovery in one. We’ll look at more closely next.

Speaker 1:                           07:12                     [inaudible].

 

Leave a Reply