Question from a Site Viewer
Wow, many praises to our Almighty GOD! GOD is great. I have known HIM since my childhood and HE always helps me in my life. I was reading your life history in faith and it shows me how great GOD is — how reliable HE is — how kind HE is — Praise GOD, Bro!
Well, I am struggling with pornography addiction . . . right now I am a kind of messed up . . . a repeated failure really builds in me an emotional impact . . . but, always in between these things, I still feel GOD’s help . . . I am sure that HE will make me free from pornography before taking my soul . . . let me know if there’s anything you can tell me that will help me in this regard.
Thanks for your email. And thanks for being honest with respect to your struggle with pornography.
If you substitute the pornography sites and pictures for the harlot in Proverbs 7:6-27, you will understand the dire straights you are in. Those who pursue pornography are like an ox that goes to the slaughter. Its house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death.
The problem with pornography is that it is so attractive to us. It is an enticement we find it hard to avoid. And once we look, we are drawn down into it even more. It leads our mind away from Christ, from those things that are pure and good, to corruption, pollution, and death. We look and we desire to see more. Our minds become focused more and more on sex, not as an expression of love for another, but a release of one’s own heightened and demanding desires. We become prisoners of our own minds. And with our minds fed on such matters, we struggle to maintain a holy and pure thought in our mind when we do finally seek out God. It is a bitter course of death, robbing us of life.
But there is hope. Listen to Proverbs 5:8-11:
Remove your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your honor to others, and your years to the cruel one; lest aliens be filled with your wealth, and your labors go to the house of a foreigner; and you mourn at last, when your flesh and your body are consumed.
Again, while this passage is directed towards a harlot, it applies with equal force to pornography. Jesus makes this clear when He tells us that one who looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery (Matthew 5:28). The Apostle Paul tells in 1 Corinthians 6:18 to “flee sexual immorality.”
Sexual addiction is a real problem with a great many people. As with other types of addiction, sexual addiction and pornography grabs the mind and warps it to think about one thing. It becomes a powerful stimulant, creating its own seemingly incontrollable desire, driving us deeper into the addiction.
As with all addictions, the best approach is to quit cold turkey. Simply quit. Stop. Save yourself from the hell that is being created for you with this addiction. Flee from the fire.
I want to provide you some basic concepts about overcoming this addiction.
- Understand that the addiction has established thinking patterns in your mind that will take time to undo. But God has given you the power to tear them down, if you pursue a life of abiding in Jesus and living with the power of the Holy Spirit. The weapons that God has given us to win the battle of the mind are powerful (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
- Spend time with God. Every day, spend time with Him. Set aside time to be with Him. Tell Him about yourself, about your life; thank Him for His love, confess your sin, and draw near to Him. Set your mind to develop a love relationship with God. Take a book of Scripture (I suggest 2 Peter), and read a little bit at a time. Think about it, study it, see what it teaches you about God, about yourself, about what you are to do. Find a verse to memorize in that passage and commit it to memory. Maybe there will be several verses, or maybe the entire chapter. Memorization of the Bible is one of the most powerful tools to retrain your mind’s thought processes. Keep the goal in mind, to grow in your love for God.
- Deal with thoughts of sex. We acknowledge that sex is not bad; God has created it for His creatures. But God teaches us to reserve our thoughts of sex for the mates God gives to us. So when such thoughts arise, if you are not married, take them to God. Tell God of your thoughts, and then hand them over to Him. Leave them with Him. In your conversation with God, turn to other matters – thank Him for the day, or pray for the health or salvation of others. If you are married and thoughts of sex arise, turn your desires always towards your spouse and again go to God and talk to Him about them and thank Him for your spouse. If you are not married and desire to be married, talk to God about it and seek a godly wife. But keep working on keeping your thoughts pure, by taking your sexual desires to God and seeking to transform your mind to thinking about your service to God and others.
- Understand that this struggle will be a lifetime struggle. Even those of us who have never gone into pornography still struggle with sexual matters. But the struggle is well worth the fight. What you will find is that what is a constant battle now, will become an occasional battle later, and a rare battle in the distant future, as you continue to pursue a life with the God above. At the same time, God will become more and more dear to you, and He will give you experiences that will shape and mold you in ways you never thought possible.
- If in your weakness, you turn back to pornography, do not despair. Immediately repent, return to God and confess and seek His help. Analyze what were the steps that led you to turn back. Avoid those situations or places in the future. If pictures of women lead you to desire pornography, train your mind to look only at their faces. Learn to look for their souls, rather than their bodies. Pray for them, that God will reach them with His love. Seek to become an agent for God in the world, by becoming an active prayer warrior for people. If it is the computer, set up a filter system to make access to such sites more difficult. If it is magazines, avoid going near places that sell such magazines. If you have to go, do not take any money with you, or only take the money you will need to purchase the items you need to get so that you have no change to purchase something else. Eliminate every shred of pornography from your house, your car if you have one, and your life. But do not rely solely on these external things. Focus on changing the desires of the heart.
- Finally, follow Philippians 4:8 and think about good things. Pursue a life that blesses others. Be kind to people. Seek out opportunities to carry the love of Christ to others. Understand that life is not about your happiness, but about denying yourself, taking up your cross, and following Christ (Mark 8:34). Live a life of gratitude towards God and service towards others.
I would encourage you also to find a good fellowship of Christians. Some churches today have sexual addiction recovery groups. You may find these helpful in your battle. But, never forget that the most powerful tool you have is a close and deepening relationship with the eternal God. Draw near to Him and flee sexual sins. May the God who came to rescue us from our sins, Jesus, guide your steps as you pursue after Him.
A fellow pilgrim,