Surrendering Sexual Temptations to God

I was in four airports yesterday. I was confronted with a massive amount of stimuli--good, bad, and otherwise. The stimuli included images and people who were temptations for me. At times this seemed like a barrage of enemy fire. (I watched a war movie on a plane, so the analogy comes to mind.)

Before working the Twelve Steps in Sexaholics Anonymous with a sponsor, I had spent years turning myself into every potential lust object in my environment. This is what I had unwittingly (but quite successfully), programmed my brain to do. And today I can still immediately respond in the same way to the barrage of stimuli surrounding me.

So I had four choices yesterday--four possible responses to my environment. I could have tried to run away from temptation.  But I had places to get to, so that wasn't realistic. I could have taken it all in and enjoyed the lust, but that would only be my former way of living in the addiction--and that is a bondage to which I don't want to return. I could resist over and over and over again, trying desperately to fight back against the onslaught. But my years of experience have taught me that will only result in building up pressure to the point that I will obsessively and compulsively return to acting on it. There is no "victory" to be had there, only the inevitability of defeat.

So my choice instead was to surrender to the reality that I would be moving through the volley of images, triggers, and temptations all around, and to surrender those to God in prayers of willingness to give them up and be free of them. It was as if each exhaled breath was an act of conscious contact with God in prayer, letting Him take what I do not wish to hold. And it worked!

"In summary, for us surrender is the change in attitude of the inner person that makes life possible. It is the great beginning, the insignia and watchword of our program. And no amount of knowledge about surrender can make it a fact until we simply give up, let go, and let God. When we surrender our 'freedom,' we become truly free." (SAWB p.81)