Pornography Has Me In Its Grip

Question from a Site Viewer

I am 22 years old. I’ve been watching porn since I was 18. I try to stop but the longest break I’ve had is 10 days. I feel so guilty. But I have friends that watch porn and have sex and they are prospering and growing. Why can others enjoy such things but Christians have to kill their sexual desires? Why does God punish Christians when others thrive? How can others do these things and still be successful Christians?

Tim’s Answer

Thank you for your inquiry.  From what you have stated, you are blessed far above your friends.  The fact that God is convicting you of sin and disciplining you about your sin gives indication that you are His child (Hebrews 12:7-8).  Your friends provide evidence that they are not children of God.  It is never a good thing in our lives if we can sin and neither feel remorse nor suffer the disciplining hand of God.  Such indicates that God is not active in our lives.  So you should be thankful to God that He cares enough about you to convict you of sin and to discipline you for that sin.

But God does not delight in discipline.  He delights in holiness and righteousness.  He delights in us using our bodies to honor Him and honor one another.  Sexual promiscuity, pornography, covetousness, and other similar matters are things God hates.  Jesus calls us not to live life like your friends are living.  He calls us to purity.  Blessed are the pure in heart, Jesus says.  Colossians 3 is a great chapter on the distinction between a life lived without Christ and a life lived that is pleasing to Christ.  The first thing God calls us to do in this passage is to seek heavenly things and put to death thoughts about fornication (Colossians 3:5).  Sex was created by God to be the physical bond of a husband-wife relationship.  Pornography and fornication is defiling to God and demeaning to us who have been created in the image of God.  Thus, Jesus warns us not to go there.  He tells us to avoid even thinking about such matters (Matthew 5:27-30).  The Scriptures warn us that the one who is seduced into the prostitute’s house is like an ox going to the slaughter (Proverbs 7:22).  Sexual addiction can lead to a completely wasted life.

I urge you to flee from all such matters (2 Timothy 2:22).  It is possible for humans to control what we think.  Many times, we have let our minds become so undisciplined that we have a hard time even comprehending that we are more than mere animals.  But God has given to us a mind and calls us to use that mind in ways that benefit God and our fellow humans.  He commands us to love Him and to love one another.  He tells us to think about good things (Philippians 4:8).  We are not victims of every stray thought that comes into our mind.  We can choose what thoughts we will let stay.

Like physical exercise, mental exercise takes effort and perseverance.  And it takes a new focus. 

I urge you therefore to focus your mind on Jesus Christ.  Discipline your life to make memorization of the Bible a habit of life.  Meditate on the Scriptures.  Pray always.  Learn as much as you can about Jesus from the pages of Scripture.  Draw near to God. 

And when sexual thoughts come into your mind, go to God in prayer and tell Him that you desire to live purely.  Acknowledge that He knows your struggles and seek help from Him.  Then, leave those thoughts with Him and choose to think about other things, things that are good and pure. 

As you live life this way, the day may come when God will bring into your life a wonderful woman.  With the change in the way you think, you will be able to value her as a person, not as a sex object.  And if God leads you to marry her, then you can reignite your sexual passions with her, focusing always on what is best for her. 

We have elsewhere provided advice you might find helpful in overcoming your present addiction to pornography. 

I trust you will take this matter seriously and save your soul from the death of sexual addiction. 

knowing vs doing