Porn

Porn

Porn ruined five years of my life.

Sure, I can talk about how God has brought me healing and restoration in ways I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise, but at the end of the day… porn ruined five years of my life.

Sure, I can talk about the notion from 1 Corinthians 12, that God’s power is perfected in my weakness and how His grace is sufficient for me, but at the end of the day… porn ruined five years of my life.

Sure, I can talk about how I’ve been able to help others through this affliction because of my own experiences, but at the end of the day… porn ruined five years of my life.

Sure, I can talk about the eight years and counting of freedom I have enjoyed from this sin, but that doesn’t give me back the five years I lost before that.

In an age of endless excuses and increased syncretism, where almost any form of sexual behavior has become permissible, honestly dealing with the ruinous effects of sexual sin has never been more important. As a pastor (a vocation I took up several years after having been set free from my own struggles with pornography), I have counseled dozens of people out of addiction to pornographic content and have experienced first-hand the damage that is done to marriages, relationships, and even personal emotional health as a result.  There is real danger and there are serious consequences to being involved with pornography, and pretending otherwise only leads to misery or worse. Matthew 6:22-23 of the New Living Translation says this:

“Your eye is the lamp that provides light for your body.  When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light.  But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness.  And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!”

Thankfully, it seems some small parts of the world are starting to catch on to this as well.  In an announcement made by Google two weeks ago, the internet giant will take significant steps in limiting the advertising of pornographic content on its search engine.  Changes that have been in the works since March of this year, and thus, Google ads will no longer be accepted that are sexually explicit, nor will ads be able to link to pornographic websites.

This is an amazing leap forward for a company that has been setting the standard for internet practices for years, and it is particularly important considering the number of lives negatively impacted by the porn industry.  For more on this significant change, you can see Google’s letter to its account holders here.

While limiting access is a good start, more must be done if porn is an area you personally struggle with.  And, if porn is currently ruining your life, here are the things I did, and that you must do, to get free:

Recognize the severity of the porn addiction.

My captivity to internet pornography was extended, in large part, because I fed myself the lie that since “everybody did it,” it must not be that bad.  Believe me, whether you realize it today or ten years from now, it is that bad.  It will destroy your relationships, it will destroy your self-image, and porn will keep you from having a fulfilled life.

Repent and ask for God’s help.

Sexuality is a deeply internal issue for every person, therefore it can only really be dealt with at an internal level through the healing and restoration of the Holy Spirit.  Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted.  Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.”  Get God involved right now by asking for His forgiveness, healing, and guidance.

Recruit an accountability partner.

The journey to freedom is long and difficult – you cannot do it alone.  In my personal recovery from pornography, God brought specific people into my life with whom I was able to be completely honest regarding my sins and struggles.  They allowed to ask me the tough questions that kept me moving in the right direction.  Ecclesiastes 4:10 tells us, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.”

Recover intentionally.

You will need a guide and some tools to help you on your way, and one of the best resources out there for working through these issues is the free 60-day online recovery class found at settingcaptivesfree.com.  It’s the course I used eight years ago, and it’s the course I still use today when coaching others to find health and healing from the ruin of pornography and sexual sin.  If you need some additional tools, XXXChurch has some wonderful resources as well.

Porn addiction is something many put off until tomorrow. However, it’s something where you need to put a line in the sand and begin your recovery today. I hope you might consider using some of the tools mentioned here and even consider signing up this very minute on either of the sites mentioned, starting your journey to freedom from porn here and now.