Hi, I've been going through an addiction that has unshaped my spiritual life with God. How do I defeat this addiction of pornography?
I am always tempted when I am by my computer and was wondering if you have any suggestions besides going to a shrink or a pastoral staff. I went to my pastor about this and I wasn't really helped with my situation. I haven't been going to church much either.
I appreciate your courage in voicing your addiction and admitting it as such. I also respect your desire to remain anonymous. Addiction to pornography is wide spread, but because it can be entertained in secret we will never know just how many are involved.
Because pornography appeals to the normal interest in sex, particularly among men, it has almost a universal appeal and all of us are in danger of responding to its seduction.
1) You have done two things right: you have confessed your need and you have reached out for help.
2) I would carefully think through and even memorize 1 Corinthians 10:13. What is Paul saying here? Some ideas:
a) Sexual temptation is common. It is part of being a human being.
b) God is aware of our sexual need and wants us to live a moral life in which we make healthy choices. This verse comes in the context of people who did not make healthy, life-giving choices.
c) He is able to "provide a way out that we may be able to bear it." What is this "way out?" It could be a number of things.
3) Ways out.
a) A personal decision. We are not changed so much by experiences - as exciting and helpful as they may be. We are changed by our decisions, which may be influenced by our experiences, but which we make before the Lord.
b) One decision could be to place a monitor on your computer which would not allow it to take in pornographic websites.
c) Another decision is to look for relationships of accountability, friends who love you, respect you, and to whom you reveal your secret, to whom you make yourself accountable. Alcoholics Anonymous is built on this. You might even find (or start!) a Pornography Anonymous group. Whether full fledged addicts or not, most men find pornography is in one shape or form a temptation - all of us need all the help we can get!
d) Psychological help. I don't know why you are adverse to seeking help from a "shrink" or counselor. Your addiction may be just common, "home made sin." Or it may have a deeper root that a trained psychologist or counselor could help you discover. A professionally trained one will not be shocked by your confession and will hold your secret in confidence. Try to find a Christian.
4) Church. We all need to worship God regularly in the company of His people. Participation in Church is not an option for a believer in Jesus. We don't find any illustration of "solo Christianity" in the New Testament. What we see illustrated there is sinful people who have found salvation in Jesus meeting together to worship God, and share the life of His Spirit. If your church is not like this, find one that is.
5) Urgency. Don't wait in moving ahead. Habitual sin will corrode your soul, make your miserable, ruin your social relationships, and ultimately, send you to Hell. Jesus came to give you life. In Him you can encounter victory over sin, though it may be the fight of your life. But it is worth it.
Thanks again for writing.
In His Fellowship of Grace,