4 Questions You Should Be Asking Yourself In Recovery

Our health & success in recovery depends on being honest with ourselves. If we can’t be honest with ourselves and what’s going on inside our hearts, how we can ever expect to be honest with others? This week on the podcast, we talk about four questions that will help you navigate your feelings, thoughts, and the actions you take in your recovery journey.


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Recovery from sexual addiction (or any addiction for that matter) is a never-ending, ever-changing journey of finding healing & wholeness from unwanted compulsive behavior. The journey is rewarding, there’s no doubt about that. But it can also be a winding road to figure out what’s going on inside of you. Because so many of us have lived in isolation during the season of our addiction, our charge going forward is living a transparent life that people can see into. And one of the ways we do that is by asking the right questions. I would almost describe these as daily maintenance questions: An internal way to really gauge how you’re doing from day to day.

I originally heard these questions in an interview with Nate Larkin, author of the book “Samson and the Pirate Monks.” They can be used in your accountability conversations & relationships or as I described above.

1. What am I feeling?

Feelings certainly shouldn’t rule the day, but they do point to deeper things going on within you. It’s a careful balance for us to not let our feelings dominate us to make unhealthy decisions and at the same time allow them to help us discover what’s underneath emotions like anger, stress, fear, anxiety, loneliness, etc. This helps us to deal with the real root issues going on in a healthy way. Psalms 139:23 is an incredible prayer for moments like these: “God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.”

2. What am I thinking?

The greatest battles we face often lie in our minds. For a sex addict, thoughts of lust & fantasy aren’t the only residents that live there. A person can make unhealthy, harmful agreements with things that are simply not true. These lies can be words people have spoken over your life or perceptions about yourself or others that you’ve allowed to sneak in. 2nd Corinthians 10:5 tells us what we should do with our thoughts: “We can demolish every deceptive fantasy that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist that it bow in obedience to the Anointed One. Start with your heart, and then travel up to your brain to see what’s living inside of there.

3. What am I doing?

You’re now at the place where you find yourself on the edge. This is the tipping point. A moment where you take action. What is the first thing you do when you’re bombarded by feelings of pain & unhealthy thoughts? We’ve all faced this fork in the road. Do I choose to act out in some attempt to numb what I’m feeling or do I reach out to someone who loves me and I can safely share my struggle with? One decision is incredibly easy and one decision takes incredible courage. Which camp do you most often find yourself in? 1 Corinthians 10:13 says this: We all experience times of testing, which is normal for every human being. But God will be faithful to you. He will screen and filter the severity, nature, and timing of every test or trial you face so that you can bear it. And each test is an opportunity to trust him more, for along with every trial God has provided for you a way of escape that will bring you out of it victoriously.

4. What am I thinking of doing?

One of the problems in addiction is that we’ve ignored the real needs we have beneath our feelings and made agreements with lies. So what is our first response? To find a quick fix or medicate the pain that we might be feeling. Cover it up. Pretend it’s not there. Distract ourselves from dealing with the elephant in the room. What we do with our bodies in response to our thoughts and feelings matters. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says: Have you forgotten that your body is now the sacred temple of the Spirit of Holiness, who lives in you? You don’t belong to yourself any longer, for the gift of God, the Holy Spirit, lives inside your sanctuary. You were God’s expensive purchase, paid for with tears of blood, so by all means, then, use your body to bring glory to God.

Our health & success in recovery depends on being honest with ourselves. If we can’t be honest with ourselves and what’s going on inside our hearts, how we can ever expect to be honest with others? The questions above will help you navigate your feelings, thoughts, and the actions you take in your recovery journey.


If you and your spouse are struggling and would like help on your journey, please feel free to contact us! Or, if you’re a wife and need some extra help from another wife who’s walked through what you have, head on over to the “Support for Wives” section and shoot Tracey a message by filling out the contact form. All communication is strictly confidential.

How’s Your Heart?

Too often, we ignore what’s going on inside our hearts because it’s too painful to look at. Proverbs 4:23 has some excellent advice for us to remain diligent in checking in on our heart on a daily basis.


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If you and your spouse are struggling and would like help on your journey, please feel free to contact us! Or, if you’re a wife and need some extra help from another wife who’s walked through what you have, head on over to the “Support for Wives” section and shoot Tracey a message by filling out the contact form. All communication is strictly confidential.

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NEWS: Join the Live Free Community!

One of the core truths of recovery is learning that you can’t get better by yourself. And you never will…ON YOUR OWN. We need people and were designed to be in relationship and community with other safe, healthy people. Especially as we recovery from life-controlling addictions.

Purity For Life is proud to partner with and incredible online ministry called Live Free. Live Free is a private community for men seeking freedom from porn and lust. The ministry exists in the form of an app you can download on your phone which connects you instantly with a community of people who also struggle with pornography and other sexual addictions. Here you can ask questions, share struggles, and receive encouragement for the journey that you’re on.

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But it goes further than that. You can also choose to sign up for a weekly group meeting where the community goes deeper. Each week, you’ll have the opportunity to share openly and talk with other men face to face in a live Zoom call led by a trained group leader.

There are very few ministries, if any, that offer this kind of quality community experience in such a private, secure way. To learn more about how you can get started in a support group or even just get connected with the app, check out Live Free today!

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Does Porn Impact the Brain?

It’s amazing as much research that has been done on the detrimental effects pornography has upon the brain and yet I still hear this question being asked. The short answer is YES. But what actually happens within the brain when a person looks at pornography? Covenant Eyes has taken a really great look at the actual chemicals that are released when a person exposes themselves to something to graphic as pornography. We hope that it helps inform you to see how dangerous this kind of material really is.


Guest Post: Shame and Honor

Recently, one of the guys who attends a men’s support group that I lead was sharing about his week in the group and began to talk about the power of shame. But he didn’t stop there. He also shared about a power even greater that has the ability to transform: honor. I’m thankful that he was gracious enough to share these thoughts me in article form and gave me permission to share them with you. Thanks Daryl!


If you have struggled with a sexual addiction or brokenness, chances are high that you have also struggled with shame. Shame is that deep down belief that you are inadequate, insignificant, or defective. It’s a core belief of who you are based upon the things you have done or perhaps not done. And while shame can shape our lives, it never shapes it for the good.

I grew up with a heavy sense of shame and by the time I hit 20 years old I so identified with shame that I told others that shame was my middle name. How is that for assuming an identity of shame? So, when it comes to shame, and recognizing it as the primary tool the enemy uses in my life to take me down, I have learned a thing or two.

But shame is not the victor, because shame is a lie. We are not inadequate, insignificant or defective. The challenge is overcoming those feelings and not sinking into an identity of shame. And the pathway to overcoming shame is knowing the truth. Oh, so much easier said than done!

As someone who loves working with words, I often seek to understand what words that we often take for granted actually mean. And sometimes the best way for me to do that is to understand the opposite of a particular word. So, for example, the opposite of fear is faith. The opposite of confusion is clarity. The opposite of judgment is grace. You get the idea.

So, when it comes to shame, I was challenged to identify its opposite. But it is crystal clear. The opposite of shame is honor. Honor is not a word that we walk around using as being one of our core needs or desires, but it is. We want to experience honor from our peers, our colleagues, our wife, our kids, our community, and so on. Another word for honor is respect. It’s the belief that we have value.

The challenge is, we cannot just conjure up honor. It comes from our relationships. Are we honored among men? By our wives? By our children? By God?

The truth is, whether or not we are honored by others, we are honored by God. I love what Psalm 18:35 says. “You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.” Your help has made me great! Wow! Other translations say: “You stooped down to make me great.” That does not mean that God places us above himself. But he does honor us. In other words, he highly values us. He views us as incredibly priceless, significant, and worth taking whatever steps are necessary to be reconnected with us.

Psalm 62:7 says “My salvation and my honor depend upon God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge.” When Jesus died on the cross, he did not just die to take away my sin, he also died to take away my shame. He did that by demonstrating that my life was so valuable that he was willing to come and die and pay my penalty so that he and I could experience relationship with each other, without anything being in the way. What incredible honor he has given us.

God did not look down on earth and pity our disgusting lives—labeling us with shame. He looked down and because of the value he places on our lives, did everything possible to demonstrate how valuable we are to him. He established that we are honorable enough for him to die for us so that we might be reconciled to him.

When we live in shame, we lose sight of the honor and value God has placed upon us. Not because we are in and of ourselves great. But because he has established us in his sight as great…honored.

Does shame consume you? Are you overwhelmed by the weight of shame? Fight that lie with the truth of honor. As wretched as we all are in our own brokenness, and whatever the shame we may face, his heart toward us is one of honor.


RELATED: 023: Goodbye Shame, Hello Honor