Winning the Battle Against Internet Porn

Question from a Site Viewer
I have been struggling with my faith for awhile now. I can’t seem to get away from Internet porn. Winning the battle against porn seems nearly impossible to me. I’ll go months without it then ruin it by slipping up. The worst part is I have a beautiful girlfriend and a kid on the way. I just can’t stand being the person I am and I really need help, but I feel like I committed the unpardonable sin.

Tim’s Answer
Thank you for writing. There are two ways to live in this world. We can live in pursuit of Jesus Christ or we can live in pursuit of something else. Jesus said it this way: “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). We cannot seek to serve ourselves and seek also to serve Christ. There is no fence we can straddle. Jesus invites us to follow Him. And winning the battle is far from impossible.

There may be other ways to get away from Internet porn other than choosing to sacrifice our desires and choosing to follow Christ. But I do not know what they are. The attraction of pornography is the desire to serve ourselves. We must sacrifice that desire to serve Christ. I believe it was the same desire for sexuality that continued to draw ancient Israel to Baal and away from their God. Sexual matters can be an opiate of the mind. The more we think about the subject in impure ways, the more those impure thoughts control us.

Winning the battle will be difficult. But you can win the battle, and I can tell you how. But I will also tell you that most people are too lazy to fight to win. We fail to discipline our minds and because we do not gird up the loins of our minds (1 Peter 1:13), we lose repeatedly.

The way to win is this. Pursue God. When you wake up in the morning, start your day with prayer. Thank Him for the day and plead with Him for guidance through the day. Keep things right between you and God. If you have sin, confess it and turn away from it. We cannot both live in sin in one area of our life and be pleasing to Christ in another. Life does not work that way. Sin always begets more sin. You state that you have a girlfriend and a child on the way. I suspect you know that Scripture has to say about that. These reflect choices that do not draw you closer to Christ. If you want the assistance of the Holy Spirit to walk a life pleasing to God, then you need to seek to obey what God tells us to do. Sin should be confessed and stopped so that the Holy Spirit has room to enlarge the dwelling place of God in our lives.

Having turned from known sin, begin the process of transforming the thought life. Work on memorizing some Scripture everyday. And when any impure sexual thought comes into your mind, use it as a trigger to turn to God, tell Him about the thought, leave it with Him, and finish by praying for someone who is in need or by singing a song to Jesus. Every time, whether it is once an hour or once every two minutes, let the temptation for illicit sexual gratification serve as a trigger or a reminder to talk to God and pray for others. Do not give place to the thought in your mind. Do not let it linger. Always, use it as a reminder to praise God and pray for others.

As you engage in this battle, seeking the presence of the Holy Spirit, and using the weapons of Scripture, Christian songs, prayer, and praise, you will win the battle. It may not seem so at first, because sinful thought patterns can become firmly entrenched. But what happens over time is that by engaging the mind in this battle, you actually will create new thinking patterns and new thoughts that will displace the old thoughts. The day will come when you will suddenly realize that it has been several days since you last thought about those evil matters. When that day comes, do not let down your guard. Rather, redouble your effort to memorize Scripture, study, pray, and praise. Be vigilant and disciplined. We understand that part of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control. We are not mere animals. God gave us a mind to engage, and He gives us His Spirit to assist, and He asks us to discipline our minds to think about what is good (Philippians 4:8). We need to do what He has asked.

Finally, take the time to worship Christ. Quiet your heart and tell Him how much you adore Him. Give yourself time to pour out your heart in love to Him. Spend some time simply adoring Him. Let the discipline of worship draw your heart into a deep love for the Savior.

So, the decision is yours. The follow-through is yours. He has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). But we must make the daily and moment-by-moment choice to think about the things of heaven, put away sin from our lives, and learn to love God and others (Colossians 3:1-17).

I can tell you that if you are willing to make the pursuit of Christ your priority, you will conquer your addiction to pornography and you will experience the true water that satisfies.

I pray that you will take up the good fight and choose life for yourself.

with my prayer,

tim

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