Sermon: Insanity Cycle
This week was our third week of Recovery. Brandon Clements led us through a sermon about the insanity cycle from Isaiah 55:1-3. Here is a quick recap of this week’s Gathering:
Last week we talked about functional saviors. Functional saviors are what you value above everything else, what you turn to when you are pressed, and what you worship. Every time you turn to a particular functional savior you are reinforcing the habit of turning to that functional savior. Every time you do something you are more likely to continue that behavior--this is how addiction works and is something we call the insanity cycle.
1. Trigger- Something sets you off--causes a sense of restlessness or discomfort or stress, and all of a sudden all you can think about is your functional savior, whatever it is and you have a desire for relief; for the feeling to go away.
2. Temptation- Then you are presented with some kind of temptation.
3. Think/Obsess- You begin to think and obsess about your functional savior. It starts to consume you.
4. Act on Desires- Eventually this leads to acting on the desires, and once you’re acting on the desires, you think you might as well go all out and binge.
5. Pain + Injuries- At some point it stops, and you realize you aren’t satisfied.
6. Remorse + Sorrow-This is where the pain sinks in, you think, “I am so stupid. How did I fall for this again?” It didn’t work last time or the hundreds of times before that.
7. Resolution/Promise-This is the end of the cycle and you say to yourself, “This is the last time I do that. The last time I fall for that lie. I’m making a promise to myself that I’m going to quit turning to that functional savior.” And your willpower and determination may last for a little while but at some point you will be triggered again. And the process will start all over again.
4 Tools to Help Break the Cycle
1. Repent in community
In order for you to get serious about pursuing joy in Christ, you will have to put this tool to work. You have to run to community and confess. If you are not using the gift of gospel-centered community in your spiritual growth, you’re probably not serious about your spiritual growth. In order to leave behind our old affections we must pursue new ones in Jesus.
2. Set up needed accountability
When trying to reduce or diminish your love for a functional savior, it’s helpful to restrict your access to it as much as possible. It is like building a fence around a bull, it will hopefully keep the bull still for a little while, giving you time to work on the real issue.
But the bull is eventually going to break out of the fence, because it’s a bull.
Accountability is the necessary systems to set in place to displace an old affection and give the space needed for a new affection to grow.
3. Pay attention to your triggers
When trying to uproot a problematic behavior, it helps massively to know why in particular you are turning to that problematic behavior. There’s always a reason why you are turning to a particular thing, and the same surface level sin issue can have very different reasons or motivations underneath it.
4. Focus on Jesus more than you focus on your sin
Instead of focusing on what you want to stop doing, spend more energy on things you should start doing to focus on Jesus. Prioritize the things that foster your love for Jesus and your spiritual health.
Grace Alone by Kings Kaleidoscope
We Sing As One by Young Oceans
God of Ages Past by Shane and Shane
The One Who Saves by Hillsong