Unit 4 Review – For the Mentor

JOURNEY TO FREEDOM HANDBOOK

UNIT IV                                               REVIEW

Purpose of this Key:

  1. Assess progress and celebrate victories.
  2. Assess the changes in their personalities, relationships, and thinking.
  3. Identify struggles, spiritual tests, and deceptive thoughts.
  4. Assess growth of reliance on prayer and the Word.
  5. Target problem areas.

1. Which Key in this Unit was the most helpful to you? Why? With which of the Biblical characters did you most identify?

Common responses:

  1. Answers will vary.
  2. Many identify with Hezekiah, whose faith wavered, but who also confessed his sins and moved forward.
  3. Many identify with Joseph, who had family issues and who struggled with forgiveness.
  4. Some identify with Jehoshaphat, who had faith in the face of overwhelming odds.

Points to emphasize:

  1. Affirm any Biblical response.
  2. Review the weaknesses and strengths of the characters with which they most identify.
  3. Encourage thanks and praise to God for the insights they have gained.
  4. Counsel based on your knowledge, experience, and what you have learned from working with this person.

2. Which Key was the hardest? What is making it difficult?

Common responses:

  1. Answers will vary.
  2. Many have struggled to forgive those who have wronged them.
  3. Some say that they were all hard, but they learned the most from the hardest ones.

Points to emphasize:

  1. Affirm any Biblical response.
  2. Never criticize anyone for their difficulties with forgiveness.
  3. You may need to review the material on forgiveness.
  4. Be aware that they may be struggling to forgive others for severe sexual, physical, and mental abuse. They may have been bullied daily at school or at home, gang-raped, forced into prostitution, tortured during satanic rituals, and often humiliated in various ways.
  5. Counsel based on your knowledge, experience, and what you have learned from working with this person.

3. Are there broken relationships in your life in which you have reached out, asked for forgiveness, and tried to make amends? How did it turn out?

Common responses:

  1. Many have experienced broken relationships and have tried to make amends.
  2. Many are trying to make amends with family members.
  3. Some have experienced good results, and some not good.
  4. A few have been able to witness to family members, who have become interested in spiritual issues as a result of seeing change in the ssa/ma/tx overcomer.

Points to emphasize:

  1. Affirm any efforts they made to seek forgiveness and reconcile. They took the risk, and those who were rejected are feeling much pain. They can celebrate with Jesus because they did the right thing.
  2. Encourage grieving in the presence of Jesus, Who spent 6 hours on the cross so that broken relationships could be reconciled.
  3. Encourage them to wait on God’s timing. Reconciliation might happen at some point in the future. Meanwhile, love hopes and believes all things (I Corinthians 13:7), and even endures the pain of waiting in love for the other person to love back.
  4. Encourage them to pray for those who are rejecting them. Those may be people they once hurt, so the ssa/ma/tx overcomer needs to pray for them to be healed of their hurts.
  5. The other person may be watching the overcomer to see if his/her changes are genuine and sincere. The other person may have difficulty trusting.
  6. Reaching out with a request for forgiveness is an act of obedience that God will bless. That effort might be opening a door for God to work on their hearts, in ways that may not become apparent for many years. 
  7. The ssa/ma/tx overcomer might come from a very dysfunctional family. The overcomer may have once been the family scapegoat, who was blamed for everything that went wrong. No matter how bad the other family members were, they could always point to the overcomer and say that he/she was worse. Now that the overcomer is recovering, they might have to face their own sins, so they resent him/her for recovering.
  8. Sometimes ssa/ma/tx overcomers become spiritual leaders in their families as God works through them to change the whole family.
  9. Encourage them to give thanks and praise if their broken relationships have been reconciled.

4. How have your relationships with others of the same sex as you changed since you began the program?

Common responses:

  1. Some are able to trust others more.
  2. Many are more comfortable with Christian friends of the same sex, because the conversations are not about sex.
  3. Many are learning what it is to have a true friend, who knows all about them and loves them anyway.
  4. Many are learning to have non-sexual friendships with others of the same sex.
  5. Some are still distant and mistrustful of others of the same sex, but some of that may be the result of their environment.
  6. Some now find it repulsive to think of sex with another person of the same sex.

Points to emphasize:

  1. Encourage thanks and praise to God for any progress.
  2. If they are more cautious, affirm the need to use discernment. Not everyone, even in church, is able to be helpful to an ssa/ma/tx overcomer.
  3. Affirm that this is a process and may take time. Some have never had a same-sex friend who was not also a sexual partner.
  4. For many ssa/ma/tx overcomers, a factor in recovery is often having a heterosexual friend of the same sex, who knows all about them and loves them anyway. They are blessed to have others of the same sex as them who will support them, fellowship with them, hold them accountable, pray with them, walk alongside them, and just be friends.
  5. Counsel based on your knowledge, experience, and what you have learned from working with this person.

5. How have your relationships with the opposite sex changed since you began the program?

Common responses:

  1. Some report no change.
  2. Some have more female friends.
  3. Some have developed better relationships with family members of the opposite sex and are learning to meet the emotional needs of the opposite sex.
  4. Some report opposite-sex attractions and the wish to someday marry someone of the opposite sex.

Points to emphasize:

  1. Accept where they are with this issue. Nothing will be gained by pushing them further than they are ready for.
  2. First Corinthians 7 was written for some. Living the single and celibate life under the guidance of the Holy Spirit can be as joyful and productive as marriage (Isaiah 54:1 & 56:3-5).
  3. Some who are experiencing opposite-sex temptations might need to be reminded to not indulge in lust. Sometimes overcomers, especially males, are so excited to experience opposite-sex attractions, because they like feeling normal, that they let themselves go too far in that direction.
  4. Be aware that ssa/ma/tx people might have issues with both sexes. God wants to heal the total person, not just their attractions.
  5. Encourage anything they have learned about how to relate better to others. Many of them have experienced troubled relationships with both sexes from when they were young.

6. Have other people noticed the change in you, and commented on it? Are there examples you can share of people treating you differently since you began the program?

Common responses:

  1. Most say “yes”, and go on to describe the comments others have made.
  2. Some people have noticed that the overcomer has a more positive attitude, and they accept him/her more.
  3. Some people have noticed that the overcomer is less easily angered and is more calm and relaxed.
  4. Some regard the overcomer as more trustworthy and sincere.
  5. Some are more willing to become friends with the overcomer and seem to care about him/her more.
  6. The overcomers who are not receiving such comments from others are usually those who are still spending much time alone with God as the Holy Spirit searches their minds, confronts their sins of thought, and causes them to identify lies with which they were deceived, face painful memories, and live transparently before God.  

Points to emphasize:

  1. Encourage thanks and praise to God for changes that have become visible to others.
  2. If they are still spending much time alone with God as the Holy Spirit’s searches their minds, encourage them to continue to replace lies of the devil with truth from the Word.
  3. In either case, they are likely becoming more humble, less selfish, more respectful of others, kinder, etc. Refer them to Proverbs 27:21.

7. Which areas of your life did you formerly insist on controlling, that you have now surrendered to the Lord? What has been the result of surrendering?

Common responses:

  1. Some still struggle with wanting to be in control.
  2. Some comment on how much easier life becomes when they surrender to God’s will.
  3. Some wanted to “fix” difficult people, but found it easier to let God handle them.
  4. Some wanted to please everyone and make everyone like them, but now realize that was unrealistic.
  5. Some surrendered their sexual urges and gained victory.
  6. Some are now more careful about what they say (James 3).
  7. Some are more transparent and open with other people.
  8. Some are less angry, have stopped seeking revenge, and feel more peace.
  9. Some have surrendered their use of time and their plans for the future.

Points to emphasize:

  1. Encourage thanks and praise to God for the peace that comes from the surrendered life.
  2. If they still struggle, counsel based on your knowledge, experience, and what you have learned from working with this person.

8. Has your faith led to any suffering? In what way? Are there ways in which God has used it for good?

Common responses:

  1. Some are frequently ridiculed for their faith but realize persecution comes with the Christian life.
  2. Some have been made the targets of gossip and slander but have seen Isaiah 54:17 prove to be true.
  3. Some have lost friends but realize those were not true friends.
  4. Some have been able to witness to those who were persecuting them and have been defended by others.
  5. Suffering has brought them closer to God and into deeper prayer, exposed more of their sins so they could repent, and made their faith stronger.

Points to emphasize:

  1. Affirm any Biblical response. The Gospel divides people (Matthew 10:34-39).
  2. Give lots of encouragement. Some are being faithful to Christ even in hostile environments.
  3. Refer them to I Corinthians 1:26-28 and Philippians 1:12-14.
  4. Their present suffering may be a training ground for future ministry and possible leadership. They do not yet know what God will use them for in 5, 10, or 15 years. What seems unlikely now may become reality a few years in the future (I John 3:2).
  5. If they are not suffering now, they might be at some time in the future (Matthew 10:16-33 & II Corinthians 11:23-28).
  6. They should look for God to deal with their persecutors. Assume the persecutors are under conviction of sin, feel angry as a result, and are reacting accordingly.
  7. Sometimes persecution precedes revival. They should never stop praying for that to happen.
  8. Counsel based on your knowledge, experience, and what you have learned from working with this person.

9. Have you made any compromises in the last few months that may have seemed like good ideas at the time, but which you now realize were deceptions?

Common responses:

  1. Some have not. Some were tempted but refused.
  2. Some made compromises that seemed harmless at the time, without consulting God’s will. Since they were not God’s will, the results were bad.
  3. Anyone who has gotten this far in the program realizes that compromises are dangerous.

Points to emphasize:

10. Have you identified any lies that you used to believe, and with what truths have you replaced them?

Common responses:

  1. Many once thought ssa/ma/tx sins were acceptable. Now they have repented.
  2. Some thought ssa/ma/tx fantasies were acceptable as long as they did not act on those fantasies. They realize that is a deception.
  3. Many believed they were born ssa/ma/tx but now realize that is a deception.
  4. Many thought they could not control other sins, such as outbursts of anger, wanting to control others, etc.
  5. Some were self-piteous but have now received the kindness of God.
  6. Some thought they had to be totally self-sufficient and were too proud to ask others for help. They have become more humble.
  7. Some were the opposite: too passive and too willing to let others make decisions for them. They have become more assertive.
  8. Many had low self-esteem but realize it was based on lies they were told by others. The Word told them otherwise.

Points to emphasize:

  1. Affirm any Biblical response.
  2. Encourage thanks and praise to God for showing them the truth.
  3. Encourage them to continue to invite the Holy Spirit to search their minds, expose the lies of the enemy, and test their thoughts with the Word.
  4. When our will is to obey God, He will give us wisdom and insight. Often we have to walk in obedience by faith for a while before He gives us the wisdom and insight that makes obedience easier (II Corinthians 5:7 & Hebrews 11:1).
  5. Counsel based on your knowledge, experience, and what you have learned from working with this person.

11. Are you viewing any of your past differently because of what you know now?

Common responses:

  1. Many wish that they had known years ago how to overcome ssa/ma/tx.
  2. Many are disgusted at the immoral lives they once lived and all the time wasted by sin, and they wish they could go back in time and make better choices.
  3. Many are amazed at how much they have changed.
  4. Many state that their disgust at their past motivates them to live better lives in the future.
  5. Some once thought they could never be happy but now realize that was a lie of the enemy.

Points to emphasize:

  1. Affirm the changes in identity that resulted when they gained insights from the Word.
  2. Encourage thanks and praise to God.
  3. Refer them to Joel 2:25 and encourage them to look for God to restore everything in their lives that was wasted by sin. If our sin takes us on the wrong path in life, after we repent, God reconfigures a new path of service for us (Ephesians 2:8-10).
  4. They should not waste time and energy condemning themselves for their former sins and wasted lives. Jesus took the condemnation on their behalf. It is more productive to surrender their lives daily to God’s will and focus on what He wants them to be doing now.
  5. They need to pray that any former victims will turn to Jesus to receive healing. 
  6. The Holy Spirit can show them how even small and seemingly harmless choices led to problems later in life, how little things made a big difference, and how the devil deceived them in various ways.
  7. When we repent and accept God’s forgiveness, He uses everything, even our former sins and mistakes, for His glory (Romans 8:28). He turns penitent sinners into monuments to His mercy and trophies of His Grace.

12.Have any other trials or tests appeared in your life? How are you handling them?

Common responses:

  1. Answers will vary.
  2. Some have experienced painful events recently, such as the death of a loved one, rejection by family, or some major disappointment.
  3. Some have been tempted by sexual offers.
  4. Prayer and the Word are what help.

Points to emphasize:

  1. Empathize with the losses, rejections, and disappointments.  Grief is a normal response.
  2. Give encouragement. Tests are never easy when one is in them.
  3. Encourage them to continue to surrender to God’s will and look for Him to make good come from the tests.
  4. God only allows tests we are capable of handling. But He will allow us to go right to the edge to make us stronger.
  5. The devil will lie and tell us we cannot handle the tests, God is expecting too much of us or has abandoned us, and we are within our rights to go back to the life of sin. He lies.
  6. Every test will be different. The enemy always has more lies to tell. Prayer and the Word are the only solutions.
  7. Refer them to I Corinthians 15:31 and II Corinthians 12:7-10.
  8. Counsel based on your knowledge, experience, and what you have learned from working with this person.

13. On a scale of 1-10, evaluate yourself on where you are with each Key. Please explain your answers.

Common responses:

  1. Answers will vary.
  2. Some just write numbers, while others explain how they have grown or what they still need to work on.
  3. Numbers are usually high by this time.
  4. Forgiveness might still be a struggle for some.

Points to emphasize:

  1. Affirm any Biblical response and all the growth they have experienced.
  2. Affirm that God has done a mighty work in their lives and that they have come a long way even if they still struggle.
  3. Encourage thanks and praise to God.
  4. Never criticize a low number. Try to find the reason for it. Review any material from the Keys.
  5. Counsel based on your knowledge, experience, and what you have learned from working with this person.

14. Describe how quickly you quote a relevant Scripture when confronted with a temptation.

Common responses:

  1. By this time, many have learned to quote Scripture as an automatic reflex or are very close to doing so.
  2. Some fantasize about sin or indulge in negative thoughts for a while but not as long as they used to.
  3. Some are caught off guard at times, think ungodly thoughts until they realize what they are doing, and then quote Scripture.
  4. Some state that verses are in their minds frequently, thereby blocking temptations.
  5. Some quickly block temptations by using the Emergency Prayer.

Points to emphasize:

  1. Affirm any use of Scripture to block temptation.
  2. The goal is to quote Scripture as an automatic reflex against temptation, so encourage any progress towards that goal.
  3. Remind them that the more consistently and persistently they do this, the more their minds will be re-wired around the Word of God rather than ungodly thoughts.
  4. Encourage the use of the Emergency Prayer if they are caught off guard by temptation or realize they have started a fantasy or negative thought. Then they can follow up with memorized Scripture.
  5. The more we resist temptation, the more God can release blessings into our lives.
  6. The more we resist temptation, the better we feel about ourselves.
  7. Even if they are quoting Scripture as an automatic reflex, they should be aware that God will likely put more tests in their paths. Often after a period of significant spiritual growth, God will allow us to coast for a while before putting more tests in our lives that will require more growth.
  8. Some temptations arise from our own sinful nature, from inside of ourselves. Other temptations seem to come from outside of ourselves, from the devil, and feel like an intrusions. The two kinds of temptations feel different. In either case, the Emergency Prayer is effective at stopping us from dwelling on tempting thoughts.

15. On a scale of 1-10, how victorious have you been lately over sins of 1) deeds, 2) words, 3) negative thoughts, bad attitudes, hidden motivations, secret agendas, and 4) fantasies of sinning?

Common responses:

  1. Numbers are usually high by this time.

Points to emphasize:

  1. Affirm any Biblical response and give encouragement. The overcomer has come a long ways.
  2. Encourage thanks and praise to God.
  3. Never criticize a low number. Try to find the reason for it. Review any material from the Keys.
  4. If a number is low, counsel based on your knowledge, experience, and what you have learned from working with this person.

16. Please go back and explain your answers in #15.

Common responses:

  1. Answers will vary.

Points to emphasize:

  1. Counsel based on your knowledge, experience, and what you have learned from working with this person.

A NOTE TO THE MENTOR: By now, some of the Points to emphasize may seem a bit repetitious. This is largely because anyone who has gotten this far in the program has shown a tremendous growth in spiritual maturity, reliance on the Word and prayer, and consistency in overcoming temptation. Many now know what they need to do and require less input from you, the mentor. By now, much of your role in their lives is to encourage them, cheer them on, point out changes they may not have noticed in themselves, affirm their growth of faith, and just help deal with any problems that arise. They may have started the program relying heavily on you, but by now most have learned to rely heavily on Jesus. In Unit V, you will be presenting some new information, while re-affirming what has already been learned, and continuing to encourage them and cheer them on.

Plan of Action:

  1. Affirm any Biblical response.
  2. Counsel based on your knowledge, experience, and what you have learned from working with this person.
  3. Give encouragement for any valid ideas on how to make changes.
  4. Encourage confession of sin and receiving forgiveness where they identify a need to make changes.

Additional points:

  1. Sin does not usually occur in isolation. Often they appear in clusters.
  2. Sexual sins were not Sodom and Gomorrah’s only sins (Ezekiel 16:49-50).
  3. Furthermore, they proudly put their sins on display as though their sins were something others should admire (Isaiah 3:9).
  4. Ssa/ma/tx people who are overweight often eventually recognize that gluttony is also a sin and realize they need to eat less and exercise more.
  5. Many also eventually recognize that they are often lazy and prefer to do as little as possible, which is why they do not exercise enough.
  6. Many have abused chemicals. Some have had various addictions.
  7. Some are not good stewards of their money. They view their money as theirs rather than a blessing entrusted to them from God. So they spend more than they can afford, gamble, and carry a large debt load.
  8. Many simply waste time watching worthless shows on television.
  9. Others might be workaholics, frantically striving to make as much money as possible.
  10. The Keys can be used to overcome other sins as well. As the overcomer makes progress in overcoming ssa/ma/tx temptations, often he/she will begin to express concern about gluttony, sloth, and materialism.
  11. Tithing one’s income helps one overcome greed, selfishness, and materialism. Tithing helps one become more concerned for the needs of the poor rather than one’s own self-indulgence.
  12. Becoming accountable for one’s time helps one overcome sloth.
  13. Regular fasting, with focused prayer, helps one overcome gluttony.
  14. Keeping 1 day in 7 as holy, and doing as little work as possible on that day, helps one overcome workaholism (Exodus 20:8-11).
  15. It is not enough to overcome a sin; its opposite virtue needs to replace it. Selfishness needs to be replaced by generosity, hostility needs to be replaced with kindness, sloth replaced by Christian service, etc.