Christian Addicted to Porn


I recently got an email from someone who read our post - Broken Masks. He was asking for help as he was addicted to pornography and masturbation. I'm SO grateful that he was courageous enough to reach out for help! Do pray for him if you have a moment.


This is a topic that the Church doesn't really talk about, so I've broadly shared our conversation to help others with the same struggle (his name was changed to protect his identity). Here it goes.


Michael

"God bless you so much for this message. I'm in a similar situation... I'm so addicted to pornography and masturbation. God forgive me but I just finished doing it a few minutes before I read this. I need help. I know I need help and I want to quit.  Worst of all is that I have been told by several men of God that God has a purpose for me and that I will do his work. I just wonder how I can do the work of God well with this pornography and masturbation. Please help me out".


Response

Thanks for reaching out Michael! I really appreciate your honesty and vulnerability in sharing what you've been going through. I know what it's like and I've been there too. The first thing I want to say to you is, be encouraged as there's hope! 

Something I've learnt with God along this journey is that there is SOOOOO much power in our confession. The Bible says "...confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working" (James 5:16). By sending your email to ask for help on this, you've done exactly that. And I'm already praying for you knowing that strength will arise in you.

Michael, you are a man full of purpose. God designed you in His very image, and has desired for you to walk closely with Him as His son. Satan has desired to disable you with his lies, but God has a much better plan and purpose for you. I need you to take these words very seriously Michael. 

Remember the identity God has called you to. He hasn't called you to be a slave who just works for a slavemaster, living in fear of whether or not the master is pleased. That's not God at all. God has called you to be His son. The Eternal Creator of the Universe, Sovereign God with infinite Power has called you Michael. Yes you, to be His son. This changes everything.

When we recognise that God has offered us adoption into His family, it awakens us to the truths that Satan desperately wants us to ignore. Here are some of these truths, assuming you've surrendered to God and responded to His invitation to be His son:

  1. Your old, sinful nature (which includes the one addicted to pornography and masturbation) is dead, and you're no longer a slave to sin (read Romans 6:6)

  2. Your sins are forgiven and paid for by Jesus at the cross. This payment also cancelled out the legal right Satan once had over you, putting Satan to shame (read Colossians 2:13-15)

  3. You are a new creation. Your whole identity and nature has changed, and God has given you His nature - which isn't a slave to sin, pornography and masturbation (read 2 Corinthians 5:17 and 2 Peter 1:3-4)


Now for some practical support.

Even though you've confessed to me (which is a great and important starting point), the next step is to confess and become accountable to someone much closer to you. Someone who is in your daily life. The reason for this is because it exposes the sin which you want to forsake. It's also an act of faith that shows God how serious you are about wanting to move on from these things. Confessing like this will take a lot of humility, but humility pleases God. Just be sure not to confess to someone who isn't spiritually mature enough to be trusted with this information. It would be wise to speak to a pastor who you have access to and can trust. One who is close enough to be a part of your daily life.

Also, you have to get wise about the influences in your life too. Something I learnt when journeying out of this same battle was how important it was to get real about my weaknesses. I had a lust problem, so it made no sense for me to watch movies with women dressed in sexually provocative clothing. It was pride that made me think "I'm so strong that I can handle this". For a few days or weeks, I'd be fine after watching the movie. But then somewhere down the line, I'd start to have sexual thoughts rushing to my mind. Then guess what? All the sexually provocative images I'd seen weeks ago would come rushing back into my mind. 

The bible says "...whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life" (Galatians 6:7-8). Every movie we watch, every song we listen to, everything about our everyday lives will constantly involve seeds being sown. The question is, are they seeds sown to our flesh (the sinful nature and old, ungodly heart) or seeds sown to the Spirit (our new nature and identity as Sons of God. The part of us that causes us to reflect the very nature of God)? This is why Romans 12:1-2 encourages us to not be conformed to the ways of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of our mind. This transformation happens as we flood our minds with things that provoke us to grow in godliness - things like reading the scriptures regularly, listening to Godly music, listening to sermons, meeting with other Christians who push us to grow more, engaging with things like the Reason to Behold website (and the many other Christian resources out there too). 

Don't let Satan trick you into thinking you're strong enough to "handle temptation". Proverbs 6:27-28 says "can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?". Of course not! If we hold fire on our chest, our clothes will get burned to pieces! The same is true with sexual sin, which is why the bible tells us to run from it. It doesn't tell us to "hang around the temptation, or put the temptation in front of us". The bible tells us to run from it (see 1 Corinthians 6:18 and 2 Timothy 2:22). Self-control isn't just being able to stand in front of something tempting and to resist giving in. Self-control is also identifying a weakness and running from anything that can tempt you to give in to that thing. In this case, anything that could sow an ungodly seed that will lead to temptation later.

Lastly, I just want to say this. It's extremely important that you are real with God about whether you have actually been walking with Him or not. All of my advice above is what I would say to someone who is confident they are a born-again child of God who has just fallen on some bumpy road along the way. But if I was advising someone who was not yet a born-again child of God, I would tell them to start by surrendering to God. We must first be born-again to experience the power of God and the new identity He gives to His children. A person who isn't yet born-again is still a slave to sin, and no matter how hard they try to quit giving in to sin, they'll struggle to finally break free. This is because they are under the curse of sin, which involves being enslaved to it. And that's one of the powerful things about becoming born-again - is the fact that the chains of slavery to sin are broken. That's what all of God's children must know, so that we can walk in the freedom God has already given us.

I'm praying for you Michael, and I know that God is doing a mighty work in you already. The fact that you came across this article right after falling into the same sin - that's not a coincidence at all. It's God's way of reminding you that He has called you to Himself and wants you to walk free from this bondage. He still cares for you and He still calls you to come back to Him. Don't ignore His voice and start taking action as above to walk free from these chains.

God bless you Michael. I pray this message has been a blessing to you. 

Best wishes 

Arnold

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