February 27, 2020

Freedom from Porn Addiction

Written by Tripp Prince

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 27, 2020

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.   Matthew 5:27-29

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus invites us to tend to the deepest desires of our hearts, especially those that root in and become a foundational part of who we are and how we relate to God and others. It is not that desire is bad- far from it! Our desires are meant to direct our hearts and lives towards God and draw us out of ourselves and into his love. Yet when they are inverted and seen as ends in themselves, they will consume us and deafen us to the voice of the Lord.

As a pastor, one of the gifts of this vocation is sitting in intimate conversation with men and women, journeying with them through the joys and sorrows of life. However, as I reflect upon Jesus’ words today, I am painfully aware that few things have more explicitly been the source of guilt, shame, and self-destructive behavior than the misdirected desire for love and intimacy, especially as it is seen in addiction to pornography. 

Though much could be said about this topic, what perhaps grieves me the most is the way in which this struggle, or failure in this struggle, has come to be an accepted norm in so much of the faith community. This sentiment was confirmed when someone I know recently referred to a porn addiction as “normal guy stuff.” While it may be widely accepted in our culture, the objectification and exploitation of the human body for personal gratification is anything but normal for the Christian believer, male or female. It should be resisted at all costs, Jesus says, plucking out an eye or cutting off a hand if needed!

We must not let the figurative nature of Jesus’ words dull us to the intensity with which he delivers them. An addiction to lust is dehumanizing and rots away at your soul from within. It is not normal and is not the flourishing life the Lord intends for you to live. Jesus longs to see you freed from this burden, but he also reminds us we have work to do. Freedom from the power of porn requires decisive action and an unshakable resolve to pursue God and flee sin.

Dallas Willard once said, “Intimacy is a spiritual hunger of the human soul, and we cannot escape it.” Freedom is not found in trying to escape your longing for intimacy or pretending your desires do not exist. It comes when we see the purpose for which these desires were given, to point beyond ourselves and reveal our truest and deepest desire as human beings, to know and be known by God. 

Prayer

Father, by your grace give me the strength and courage to resist any form of addiction to lust, and help me to live as a free son or daughter in your kingdom. Amen.


Application

If pornography is an ongoing struggle in your life, consider a STRIVE 21-Day Detox, or reach out to our friend Michael Leahy and his trusted ministry: Brave Hearts. Take an intentional step today towards lasting freedom.


Related Reading

1 Corinthians 6:13; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:5


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Freedom from the power of porn requires decisive action and an unshakable resolve to pursue God and flee sin. #WisdomHunters #pornography #truth #Jesus


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