Porn Addiction, Part Five: Quitting Isn’t Enough


Most Recent Edit: May, 2017
– My book on quitting porn addiction is in paperback for only $7.99 and e-book for 3.49 on Amazon! It’s been officially endorsed by Craig Gross of X3Church. It has been updated and expanded in 2017. It contains this entire series of posts plus brand new info, fully updated with research, with specific steps to quit.

I call myself a recovering porn addict, but I’m much more than that.

When we identify ourselves by what we are not, we hardly know where we are going. When you finally quit porn and you’re cheering your new journey and sharing with people who are rooting for you, then when you fall again it can be even more devastating than before.

I thought I had this, you might say. And it’s back to binging, self-loathing, and might-as-well resignation to your addiction.

What happens to so many Christians is not a spiritual downfall to lukewarmness, but an incomplete picture of God’s Epic Story.

We are saved by His Grace — but that’s not the end. We are saved from something towards something better.

And if you want even half a chance of defeating porn — of sin and Satan and the grave itself — you’ll need to know not only what you’re called from, but what you’re called to.

So then, three things you must know in destroying your porn addiction once and for all.


1) The MissionGod’s Glorious Story of Epic Restoration

God doesn’t just call us to Prayer-Praise-Scripture in an internal struggle of spiritual growth within a four-walled building of like-minded people. That’s necessary, but not all a disciple can be.

God also calls us to Go, to Make, to Give. You know, sort of Jesus’ last words to us.

We’re saved by grace but also called to glory.

The reason that Christians so easily fall back to sinning or stagnancy is because they forget God’s Mission. A disciple who is in the fray has little time for self-loathing or in-house bickering because they’re now on the battlefield facing the Enemy. Churches fight wrongly because they’re in battle facing each other.

I’m not saying that Busy-ness is the answer. God is our Rest from the deadlines and demands of this world. But being a disciple requires getting out of your chair and rolling up your sleeves for people who are going to hell, starving to death, being abused, and stricken by every affliction. The church is not a building where you learn to “be good,” and certainly not just a place you learn the Five Steps to Manage Sexual Sin.

If we’re only in this for the benefits of “spiritual transformation,” then we’re no better than a withdrawn monastery of non-masturbating monks. How self-righteous do you think that gets? Oh right, like today’s church.

A truly transformed people step outside comfort, walk into danger, and risk it all for the Gospel. I know: we’ve heard this in church before and it sounds very Christianese. Sure, it can make you self-righteous too. But how about we just do what Jesus says? As in carry the cross and follow him to the ends of the earth? More than likely it’ll get you to a place where you can only rely on God and absolutely nothing else. Staring death in the face while armed with the Holy Spirit does wonders for your sin problem.

When you’re not on Mission — “I’m A Victim.”

I know that defeating porn is hard, and pursuing the lost in your community does not guarantee you’ll overcome. But if you’re whining all the time about needing accountability, about needing your computer in your room, about feeling too guilty to serve God — at some point you’ll need to jump off the guilt train and be done with it.

I’ll say it this way: If you feel sorry for yourself, you should feel sorry for yourself.

A victim blames others. Even a victim who blames himself is really saying, “Someone feel sorry for me.” So say it together: I’m the problem, and I’m not the solution. So forget about me. I’m done with that. Case closed.

Beyond your little Victim-Is-Me Game awaits the God of Infinite Joy. He’s not waiting passively either, as if Jesus hopes you’ll accept him in your heart. You freaking need him, and he’s going to painfully, powerfully, persistently bring you to Real Joy. That means getting over yourself. Jesus built a bridge for that called His Cross. So drop the self-pity and don’t you dare call yourself a victim.


2) The Gifting — God’s Unique Design For You To Be A Countercultural Force For Him

Everyone has some sort of gifting from God. You can call it gifts or talents or abilities, but all of it is used for the common good of humanity and the glory of God, both in the church and the world.

Even your emotions, personality, specific trauma, childhood events, and your physicality is all for good use. Since God specifically designed all of us, He did it for a reason. As other pastors have said, He doesn’t make junk.

Are you aggressive? Consider law enforcement, the courtroom, sports, for the glory of God. Are you clinical, scientific, analytical? Consider the medical field, forensics, research, physics, for the glory of God. You mad? Consider songwriting, or art, or making movies, or writing, for the glory of God. Do you talk a lot? Consider preaching, for the glory of God.

I’m stereotyping here, but grab hold of opportunities and open doors like crazy.

If you’re “too young” to think about these things, work towards them. If you like drawing, then draw everyday. Writing, music, science, history — anything that fascinates you, then fill yourself. It’s not if you’ll find something, but when. Just a little aside: I’ve been writing since I was about eight years old.

It makes me angry when people get all flaky and facile about their dreams. I don’t like to say it this way, but please do not be the thirty year old still playing beer pong with his high school buddies (or actual high school people) in the back porch of his mom’s place dressing up like a sixteen year old hipster. You can’t be young and old at the same time. Learn to age well and die well.

God has also gifted you with experiences. He set up your parents, your city, your school, your church, and your location. A lot of that is outside your control. And maybe you don’t like what you’ve been dealt; I understand it doesn’t feel equal.

May I suggest that really “privileged” people with extra luxuries tend to drift sideways and amass more of nothing? If you have a unique set of challenges to overcome, call it a blessing and move on. Every single thing you experience is drawing out the real you to unleash God’s power all over the place. Pain can make you bitter or it’s a motivator. We choose which one. Choose wisely.

When you forget your True Purpose — You fall for the lie, “I Am Worthless.”

Porn addicts who neglect their true purpose think “I’m worthless” and guess what they’re back to?

Consider that your gifts take time to cultivate, and that using your God-given gifts does not make instant success. I always knew I was meant to speak somehow, but I’ve bombed tons of sermons. Sometimes later that Sunday night I’d use porn to stabilize (it did anything but stabilize me).

Our neurotically productive American culture expects fast results. But fast results fall apart faster. Holding onto your True Purpose doesn’t mean that your self-worth comes from success and trophies. It means to persevere no matter what is happening, as long as you’re following Jesus. No goal is worthless that is for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. Which means every follower of Christ, at all times, is never worthless.

Also know: He loves you. No one else’s opinion matters. Serve Him, for the love of God. Literally.


3) To Lift Him — Less of Me, More of Him, To Make Much of Him

How many problems come from focusing on our own problems?

The familiar cycle of porn addiction is that using porn leads to using more porn. It’s a vicious guilt-driven loop of sin so I-might-as-well-sin-again.

This won’t be a surprise, but every single problem in your life is only multiplied when you stare at yourself.

A car on the road cuts you off — I’m offended.
A lady cuts you in line at the grocery store — I was first.
My wife didn’t even do the dishes — I worked hard all day.
I’ll get back that jerk who fired me — My job was everything.
I deserve this porn, I’m so beat up by life — Me, me, me.

When John the Baptist’s disciples questioned John about this new guy baptizing people, they were pretty much saying, “You gonna let this Jesus up on your territory?” You know the rest. John rebukes them. He says famously in John 3:30 — “He must become greater; I must become less.”

The crazy thing is that no matter what you do, God is always greater. Either you see that now or you’ll know it later. What matters is which side of the line you’re standing on.

Recognize sooner instead of later: You are not the point. Be free, dude.

It’s so easy to say that in church since we sing songs about freedom, but much harder in the “real world.” In intense moments of temptation or heated emotions, no one ever thinks, “Less me, more Him.” Instead the self increases exponentially.

It takes a drastic surrender of yourself to be who God has called you to be. The Bible says things like, Deny yourself, carry the cross, crucify your flesh, leave it all behind. It also says to take off the old self and put on the new, and that anyone in Christ is a new creation.

In the real world we can only do that by submitting to the Will and Purpose of God. And the power to do what God commands is in God. When you obey Him, He won’t leave you hanging. The filling of the Holy Spirit directly coincides with our submission to God’s Word. Which is why living out your Mission with your Gifting and Lifting Him Up always leads to supernatural joy.

When you’re not Lifting Him — You’re lifting yourself, and that’s a prison.

All this talk about porn has been pretty personal, with methods and psychology and behavioral changes. But all of that can still be a prison if we’re only focusing inward.

Staring at the self is slavery. It inevitably leads to disappointment, frustration, anger, and more porn.

If you fall again to it, don’t even for one second get caught in the dumb spiral of self-pity. Of course you’ll feel guilty. It’s all a matter of what you do with it. Will it draw you towards you, or draw you to God? We spend exhaustive hours running at ourselves with guilt and new methods. It’s better to run at Him with all you got. He receives you like a Father full of grace every time, and that’s exactly how His love will pull you out of your sin. When you go to Him it’s a constant strengthening, but you’ll need to run to the source until it’s a second nature reflex.

Catching even a small glimpse of God and His goodness is the biggest blast of fresh-air and freedom you can possibly imagine. Everything else pales quickly in comparison. Please don’t fall for the Secular Humanist self-absorbed garbage that calls you awesome. If we’re ever even close to awesome, it’s because God is awesome.

I’m praying for you, friend. It’s not easy but we have a strong God.


Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self‑imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

— Colossians 2:20-23, 3:1-2



Read Related:
— Question: Quit Porn, But What About Masturbating?
— Question: So Porn Is A Sin?
— Question: Porn Killed My Feelings For God, Now What?
— Question: Just used porn, what do I do?
— Porn Addiction: An Introduction
— A Look At Porn


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3 thoughts on “Porn Addiction, Part Five: Quitting Isn’t Enough

  1. Hi all, I have a site that has similar theme to yours in that we are using it to bring the subject of Porn addiction and especially the feelings of the partners of porn addicts into the public arena. My site is called http://www.dontrewardbadbehaviour.com/ I would appreciate your views on the site and its content if you can spare the time.
    To this end I am just about to Publish a book, (You Want Me To Do What With That?!) It’s a humorous account of the life expectancy of a relationship with a Porn Addict written by me .. Lindsay McKinnon

    Like

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