Interlude: Finding Release from Compulsive Disorders
[This article is for Christians. If you are not saved, you may wish to visit our, How to Get to Heaven page.]
*** WE HAVE PROBLEMS ***
Modern man has problems, problems that are heaped on him from birth, and these problems are intensifying as the masters of the present seek to further enslave mankind. Through the television, movies, education, entertainment, lack of meaningful activity (e.g., skilled work, gardening, cleaning) etc., men are finding themselves caught up in a number of unprofitable--and often destructive--activities that they cannot seem to stop doing. This is what I mean by "compulsive disorders," things that you can't stop doing even though you know that you need to stop doing them. Some add the adjective "obsessive" which, to me, has the idea of a person being fixated on the object of the "disorder" (lust)--they think about it almost all the time. They would term this "obsessive-compulsive disorder." When we come to the Lord, we are to be free and holy. We have to let those things go and not be ensnared by them. The Lord Jesus Christ is coming for a church without a spot and without a blemish. His bride is not to be hooked and addicted to lust and compulsion. We can, and we should, be free.
Here are few examples of compulsive disorders--
- constantly eating for pleasure, going back to the kitchen repeatedly to eat--maybe even to the level of throwing up when turning over in your sleep from a full stomach. This does not mean a person is fat. This can happen to someone who weighs 108 pounds.
- addiction to sugar and sweets.
- eating sweets to cover up stress. You can eat them, feel better for a little while but then must have more soon thereafter.
- masturbation, a vicious, unclean habit that demands more and more and leads to a lack of control.
- television watching addiction where the person feels withdrawals when attempting to stop watching it.
These things affect young and old. With just a little thought I can call to mind people who have contacted me with these sorts of problems, as well as my own experiences and those of persons that I have read about who have been caught up in disorders/lusts like these--including a three-year girl whose mother said that she often masturbated in full view. I don't even want to say the word masturbation, but it is happening and it is happening all over the world--I can remember a young man, not yet twenty years old, who wrote to me from India years ago who related something to me concerning himself--and his is not the only contact I have received in this area. I've heard from a 14 year old male frightened by his lack of control in the area of masturbation. These are not the only examples but I give them only because of the horrendous situation and the reality that this is widespread upon the face of the earth. As will be seen below, it is actually being encouraged amongst and taught to children in books.
[Aside: People are now being introduced to the incubus devil by its name (please don't look it up unless you are troubled by a spirit in your sleep, we have an article on this site), and, I am sure, are becoming enslaved to it. That evil spirit is a plague and more than one person has been troubled by it in their sleep without knowing its name. That was my experience. I had been plagued from my youth but thought that it was just my own problem. Then one day after I began to follow the Lord, I was listening to a Christian radio program and heard the speaker describe that devil and its activities. I believe that the hair stood up on the back of my neck. I eventually went on to write an article about it, but that was years ago. Now that same name (or its counterpart) has been paraded on tv somewhere and other venues. I know this because as I have reviewed my website logs in the past year or so, I have found that many people are searching on certain terms to find out more information on this evil spirit (apparently so that they can get it to attack them)-- and that is how they find this website. I did cursory research and saw that the media told them about this spirit--a tv cartoon featured the "female" counterpart of it. Tv, tv, tv, tv. When will those who say that they are in the household of God stop watching it? I don't know how a person could be healed while watching it (or how a saved person could persistently desire messages which are blatantly unholy). King James wrote about this spirit in his book, "Daemonology."
I do not mention these things lightly--I'd rather forget them forever. I by-and-large keep them pushed out of my mind and don't discuss them with others. I have had to weigh the propriety of mentioning these things at this time. I've concluded that multitudes of people worldwide are being ensnared in lust and wickedness and that answers are few and that good answers are even fewer--and so I speak. Children are actually being taught masturbation. I've seen an horrific book with illustrations showing little children different ways that they can engage in this lust by turning innocent things into lasciviousness. Grown-up adults, evil ones, are seducing and deceiving the youngest of children. Why oh why are they so interested in somebody who is just trying to grow up? In a society governed by the principles of the devil, deception has to reign and sin deceives (ref. Hebrews 3:13)--so people are attached early to addictive sins very early, ones that are hard to be rid of, ones that provide some momentary pleasure. These sins will deceive them. Meanwhile they are shielded from the truth as much as possible because children believe the truth--I know that from my work with them. To them, the truth will eclipse everything else. I can remember having a class of kindergartners to second graders during Vacation Bible School that did not want to go out to the activity time or craft time because we were so busy lifting up the name of Jesus. We lifted him up high. As long as I have my right mind I do not think that I will ever forget that very first VBS class that I ever taught.
I have seen a book for young boys which contained hideous line drawing pornography that disrespects every woman on the face of the earth. I have read an excerpt of a book for young girls putting down "religion" and saying that masturbation is okay--I saw these books when I was in the used bookstore in the "children's" section looking for information on health and picked one up just to see what they were telling children. Once I saw the first one I thought that it was just that book that was like that, but it was not. This is what children are being fed. I speak out, not because I want to talk about these things (I don't), but because people are being swallowed up by them.]
*** ONWARDS TO FREEDOM ***
Having prayed about your situation, don't focus on it and don't beat yourself up. It is easy to get into a vicious cycle where one keeps focusing on the problem and meanwhile it persists.[Update: I can remember struggling with my issue over and over again, complaining the whole way. Finally, after one of my complaints, someone asked me, "Mrs. Tracy, are you willing to do right?" That really stopped me in my tracks--I thought about it for a moment and found that I had to say yes, that I was willing to do right. I believe that it was that same day that I told the Lord that I was willing to do right. That was a key point. The question was not "Do you want to do right?" (The answer to that question was "no." (I enjoyed my sin.) The question was, "Are you willing to do right?" The answer was yes. That was a key point for me. Your flesh (ref. Romans 7:18) will never want to do right, but is your mind willing to do right? That is the question. If you are willing to do right, tell God that you are willing to do right. I don't recall praying a big, long prayer about, but rather just stating that I was willing to do right.
On another day, I was talking with the same person and came to understand that there was nothing mentally wrong with anyone whose mind was taught in the holy scriptures. Their reasoning is actually fine (very fine) because it has been taught by the word of God. I then concluded that there was nothing wrong with me. That was another key for me. Because I was fine, I was okay and not hopeless or unreasonable. I just had to walk in the knowledge that I was okay, no matter what. Up to that point, I had been making unreasonable decisions and performing unreasonable actions, but my reason was fine. I had relinquished reason to my lusts and so then I became controlled by unreasonable actions. My lusts grew in power and stature--and it was hideous and horrifying. With my newfound knowledge, I was going to simply walk away from that and just start living normally with no big pronouncements. The first bulleted point below is where I started and continued. Things started changing and I just kept on going. I've personally walked in all of the bulleted points below.]
The Bible teaches that we must mortify the deeds of the body (ref. Colossians 3:5) and that we must put on the new man (ref. Colossians 3:10). Here are considerations for finding release from compulsive disorders. This article is about leaving that which is unprofitable in order to live a normal and productive and fruitful and satisfying Christian life. This article is about laying destructive habits to the side and going forward and not looking back.
- Get yourself in line with someone with normal habits, without necessarily telling them that you are doing so, just look at their life and do as they do. This person is your model even if they do not know it. I think that in some (perhaps many or most) cases they should not necessarily know your problem, lest they be tempted and lest you two keep talking about your issue over and over when your goal is to just move forward and leave it behind and forget about it. Here is an example of how it can work--if a person has an eating problem where they constantly eat they can look around and see that their child has no such problem. The child is normal. That person can determine within himself to eat only when the child is ready to eat and to eat nutritious, balanced home cooked meals (made of whole things, not processed) at the table together. The child does not know that his parent has a problem. There is no eating between meals but the drinking of water only.
If you have an eating problem and have no child, you can put yourself on a schedule for one, two or three meals a day at set times with no "snacks" in between. You may want to consider my eating pattern--I do not eat before 10 am and often do not eat until well into the afternoon. I do not always eat a second meal, and when I do, sometimes that first or second meal is a piece of fruit.
- Focus on living the work lifestyle, doing things for yourself, not just sitting around. We don't really work too much anymore. People generally go to a job (which often requires little skill) and then come home and seek out diversions for the rest of the evening. The work lifestyle is different from this. It is a Biblical (refs. 2 Thessalonians 3:10, 1 Timothy 5:14) and satisfying lifestyle. In it, one goes from one task to another. It is self-perpetuating. It has no end and it always seeks out the next good thing that needs to be done. It is on the lookout for what needs to be done. It is so satisfying because of its daily productivity and the results of that productivity--a series of finished products that you did and use yourself, an increase in your skill levels, an attention to your children who are also learning with you and cheering you on, a clean house, a tended garden, clean clothes, a book or article that you have written, something important that you have translated, etc. The work lifestyle makes you a more independent, whole person and reduces stress because things are not left undone. Things left undone bring about stress. The Bible says to be diligent to know the state of thy flocks. You may have no goats; however, you may have a checkbook that needs to be balanced, a house to be organized (clothes, books, cabinets, etc.) a garden that needs to be tilled, or a shelving unit that needs to be built. There is inside work to do and outside work to do. Even if you have no yard for outside work, you can care for the outside of your dwelling, cook your food outside on a small grill, complete useful carpentry projects, take a walk, compost your kitchen scraps, learn about your local fauna (animals) and flora (plants), etc.
If the old habit calls, you can ask yourself a question, "What should I be doing?" and then you can go and do that thing that you should be doing (not a junk project, something that is good to be done). What happens is that one goes from doing one good thing to the next good thing and quickly finding that they live a life of productivity and usefulness. They find that there is always something to thank God for when rising early in the morning to present oneself before the Lord when rehearsing the previous day's events. I fill up my time with prayer, reading, a morning walk, housework, teaching, yardwork, studying, and communicating. The Bible teaches that we should do all things heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men (ref. Colossians 3:23) and that whatsoever our hand findeth to do, we should do it with our might (ref. Ecclesiastes 9:10). God is watching and helping and leading and guiding his people who are trying to do his will. Our whole lives should be consecrated unto the Lord, including all of our property (grass, leaves, couches, desks, tables, pencils, goats, cars, etc.), and we can serve him whether we are washing dishes or conducting a Bible study.
- Once you have gotten a level of freedom (this can start from day one), stay free and don't go back and fetch up the old ways. Stay with the work lifestyle and the good new system that works for you as you simply walk onward. All of this advice presupposes that the reader is a Christian, a follower of the the holy scriptures. Stay on your guard because your adversary, the devil, walketh about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. If something is out of bounds (outside of your rules), call it out and stay in bounds. For instance, if your rule is no food outside of mealtimes, don't hearken to that call for an after-dinner "snack." Go do what you are supposed to be doing minding your real and true business, doing productive things. You will find that you are living a useful, productive life going from one completed task to another.
*** A NOTE ABOUT DEPRESSION ***
Depression is not a compulsive disorder, but the simple principle of living the work lifestyle is critically important for those who experience depression. Fornication, whoredom, and naked movies (pornography) have torn up whole families, but I can testify that the evil years can be fruitful years, though they be long. Do not focus on what you do not have in this life. Focus on what you have and what you can do in this life while you are here.
If you have children, one of the number one things to remember is that they need you. You may be tired and heavy and listless, but get up any way and go on that walk and build up your children's bone density. Identify wild edibles together. Teach them God's word and his requirements of man. Love your children and care for them, they need you. Time spent with them is time well spent. Those narrow shoulders of theirs are young and tender. Be tender, pitiful, and kind. Let your heart be soft, don't let the woes crowd out love and kindness, seek out loving ways and let your eyes be holden with love. Learn how to do this by doing it. Keep on doing this and don't stop. When they don't do what is right, correct them and seek reconciliation, keeping the bond of unity--let not the sun go down upon your wrath.
You may want to sleep your life away, but get up anyway and do what needs to be done. Your mind may be foggy and forgetful, but concentrate on the task in front of you, take no thought for the morrow, don't focus on the past. You will see your own sort of life emerge, a productive one and you will find yourself fitting into it hardly thinking on what is not going right.
In the midst of the evils of this present world, I personally have found much pleasure in looking at a montage of dozens of large animal photographs that I cut out of magazines and mounted on kraft paper and hung across a wall. When I look at it, I marvel at God's power and creativity. I also derive much pleasure from being outdoors and working in the yard. When I had very deep and heavy sorrow to where I was almost paralyzed by it, God called me outside where I looked at the flowers and planted and landscaped. I could not think about too much. My mind was like, "Look at the pretty flowers," and that was about all I could think. It was during this time that I came to know God as my nurse.Psalms 41:3 The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.
When I was at my lowest weakest point, I did not go to the seventh-floor mental ward and I did not go on any drugs and I did not go to a psychiatrist--it was God my Father that stepped in and took care of me in my extreme sickness, and he did it in the most pleasant, gentle, understanding way. God is a God that is nigh unto his people and he will continue to be there for his people even through all the pain and tears and loneliness. You may be very sad and heavy and even frustrated at times. Talk to God your Father about this because he can help you and counsel you and heal you in even the most trying of circumstances.Psalms 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
And always read God's word every day and let it break up the hard casing that always seeks to encase and harden the heart.
Click here for "Finding Release From Compulsive Disorders -- Part II"
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