Dr. Victor Cline, a clinical psychologist at the University of Utah and a specialist in the area of sexual addictions, has observed a four-step syndrome common to almost all of his clients who have given themselves over to a sexual immorality and it’s various expressions.
I kind of think that the way Paul lists these selective terms here in Colossians 3, because he’s describing an addiction process like Dr. Cline.
Step 1-Addiction (immorality). Despite negative consequences, most addicts are unable to rid themselves of their dependence on a certain behavior. Their addiction rules their lives.
Step 2-Escalation (impurity). Cline describes the second phase as an escalation-effect – going further. This nearly always diminishes the viewer's capacity to love and express appropriate intimacy within relationships.
Step 3-Desensitization (lust). It no longer alarms and it all feels legitimate and necessary and deserved.
Step 4-Acting out (evil desires/acts). This is when you harm other people in some way because of the bondage.
This seems to be a progressive pattern. And I’m learning that early emotional wounding is almost always a factor in the various forms of sexual addiction.
Do you have an emotional wound? Christ can heal it today.