An ongoing discussion about victory over sexual addiction.
The introduction here.
Part One, excuses and myths, here.
Part Two, the science, here.
Part Three, the soul, here.
Part Three and a half, the soul, here.
Part Four: I’m Ready To Cut It Off. Here.
Part Five: Quitting Isn’t Enough. Here.
So you’re ready to quit porn. You’re tired of the bleary-eyed, bloodshot, guilt-choked, late-night excursions, tired of the excuses and rationalizations and filthy mental loops, tired of feeling disgusted with yourself at church and with your mom and after a retreat and anywhere near children. You’re done.
Let’s ask: How serious are you about this?
Do you really understand that running back to porn to solve your angst or fill your boredom or release your tension is no longer a viable option? That you must absolutely, unequivocally, once-and-for-all never look back to porn? That’s scary for some people. Like cutting off a limb or moving halfway around the world. But if you’re ready to quit, there can be no room for thinking it’s optional. As of quitting, you are dead to porn and alive to Christ.
This is where addicts get stuck. In the back of every self-deceived mind, buried deep under religious behavior and emotional promises, is still the root of the problem: self-worship. We desperately wrestle for control over our options. We maintain a tenuous connection to what destroys us because we cannot — will not — imagine life without it. We hate enduring the pain of withdrawal. We love too much the ten second pleasure of a visual buffet even if it costs our sanity.
Short-term thinking, however, always short-circuits the human life. When you cannot let go of what controls you, you have become less human, not more.
If you’re not serious about this, don’t waste time finding out how to quit porn. I’ve wasted a lot of other peoples’ time in the same way. I knew all the right methods, techniques, reasons, and theology to quit porn in my own strength. They didn’t work. I had to make a final, final, final decision. Long-lasting change did not happen until I grew serious about my true identity in Jesus Christ. If you don’t care about that, there’s no point in quitting anyway.
So first get serious about quitting before you find out how to quit. And know that you can’t merely quit from porn, but move to and by the grace of God.
You must also know, as I’ve said many times, that effort is not legalism. The journey of grace in Christ will require some sandpaper sculpting, crazy chiseling, painful spiritual surgery, and yanking out every fiber of deeply rooted filth through the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s not easy, and you can’t just pray it away or “think harder” about the Gospel. You wouldn’t do less than that, but it’s concurrent with your striving. The Gospel says it is finished, but do everything to stand. Know God’s promise, but make every effort for holiness. Know the Kingdom of God has already come for you, but make every effort to enter through the narrow door. Apostle Paul already had the prize of Christ, but says, “I beat my body to make it my slave.” Of course we rest in what Jesus has done, but a truth faith is a faith that works.
If you’re serious, let’s get started. This will be quite long so please read it in spurts or when you’re in that right mood.