I don’t claim to know a lot about everything, and I am certainly not the most righteous person to walk this earth, but I believe that I have some wise words about pornography. I wish I could explain how important this is. We should all be able to agree that pornography is a sin. It is a gross sin that is one that is particularly honed in towards you feeling guilt.
If you are often tempted to tell lies, I doubt you will feel nearly as guilty as if you are often tempted to look at porn. That is not to say that lies are less sinful, but it is to hopefully fully state the feeling of being hooked on porn. Porn generates a debilitating amount of guilt that you feel after viewing it , and all for good reason. Porn is a disgusting sin. I agreed with this assessment totally. My problem though, was that all anyone could ever tell me about is how bad it is, how much i needed to stop, and how much i needed an accountability partner.
I agreed and agreed and agreed,
but I sinned and sinned and sinned.
I sinned, all the while fully knowing that it is wrong. I sinned, wishing that I knew how to actually fight the sin, but i still sinned. Some people may say that it was just a simple choice that I needed to make. That may have been the case, but I found it impossible to make the right one. I was completely unequipped to fight the sin. All I knew to do to fight the sin was to try to manipulate my mood, but if I saw something that whet my pornographic appetite, all hope was lost.
I could not feel qualified to do any good work, and I felt totally enslaved. But all the while, no one told me how to actually fight sin.
Does it seem like you could be writing this? You don’t have to be talking about pornography, but on some level, whatever the most tempting sin in your life is, I would venture to guess that you can relate to this feeling.
I have found the key to fighting sin, or perhaps more accurately, God has shown it to me. Now pay very close attention. It is really so straight foreword that it is easy to discredit it, or say, “oh yeah i already know that.” Don’t do that.
There is only one thing that can actually fight sin. There are thousands of things you can do to restrain sin, but they are never there when you need them and they are torturous. There is only one thing that you can do to actually fight your sin.
You must preach to yourself the gospel.
It seems too obvious, but it turned out my ideas about the gospel had everything to do with seven year-olds getting saved and nothing to do with my sin problem today. Let me demonstrate what I mean for a second. I’ll put it in practical terms. All alone, in front of the internet screen. Idea pops into your head. Google search terms start racing and mental pictures start forming. You lock your door. Then it hits you, “I really shouldn’t do this.”
Right now, you need to preach yourself the gospel. You need to have the gospel so committed to memory that whenever you need to proclaim it, you have it ready. Until then, you may want to keep this explanation handy.
Say something like this,
“The gospel, is the news that God, aware of my sin problem, became a man in the form of Jesus Christ. Having made commandments, God is furious with me that I would venture to break them. He is furious that I could take such joy in watching women be defiled [and every other sin imaginable]. And so Jesus Christ the God-man lived a perfect life. He was entirely righteous and there was no trace of sin in him. Fulfilling the prophesies he was betrayed by one of his own and willingly, nay purposefully went to the sinner’s cross, only after sweating blood in the garden from praying so fervently in anticipation of God turning his face from him. He was beaten, crushed, and nailed. The crowds blasphemed in front of him, mocking his royal claims by placing a crown of thorns on his head. His disciples abandoned him. God poured the cup of wrath on Jesus and he drank every drop, and looked away in disgust of the sin that his Son has borne. Jesus died. Now all who believe in him and repent will be justified and have all of their sins forgiven. But we wont have to worship a dead man, because Jesus rose from the dead. He has defeated the power of sin. All who believe he has made slaves to righteousness and has given freedom to the captive. This is the gospel.”
Then you close the lid on your computer, and you realize something. Jesus, the Son of God has acted. You are suddenly loving Christ. You are suddenly treasuring Christ more than pornography. You suddenly don’t feel like you have to punish yourself into fighting it or trick yourself into taking your mind off of it. The love of Jesus has, by grace, taught you to love him back, and has wiped your record clean. Sin has lost its power and you are free.
That is how you fight pornography. That is how you fight sin.