Originally posted at: https://jesusbetter.wordpress.com/2021/04/28/i-like-pornography/
I denied my love for lust and porn for well over three decades. I would never have said “I like pornography”. I believed I was a good, Christian man. I told myself that I wanted to break free from the habitual sin of looking at naked women. I kept this sin a secret from everyone (except from God, of course). And in my own mind I never thought of it as pornography. I just liked to look at beautiful bodies. I just enjoyed being stimulated and aroused. And I was going to stop because this was going to be the last time I did it.
From my background of having dealt with a secret sin for decades, I have come to see how essential it is for us reach out for help, admit our weaknesses and talk about our mistakes. I was never going to find freedom from this ugly sin until I sought help. I was never going to reach out for the help I needed until I admitted to myself how serious my problem was. Minimizing my compulsive addiction to pornography meant that I would never escape and fine the freedom I so dearly needed.
The counselor I saw for a few months told me that Freud said “talking cures”. Talking helps lessen my anxiety as I open up about my feelings. For me, it was important to voice my mistakes and get them out in the open. Saying it all out loud to another person forced me to face the severity of what I had done and my drastic need to make real and lasting changes. For me to look my therapist in the eye and confess that I looked at pictures of naked women and then fantasized about being with them while I masturbated to reach orgasm was extremely difficult. Yet what better way to eliminate all of my minimizing and rationalizing?
Today a friend told me that she was only able to break free from the grip of compulsive worrying when one day she finally said out loud: “I like to worry.” That was hard for her to say. But it was an essential first step for her to take in order to stop worrying and start trusting in God to take care of her and her family.
Before I could learn to HATE porn and turn my back on lust I had to face the fact that for years I had liked porn, perhaps even loved porn. It’s impossible to treat an illness if we deny having the disease.
You may already know that the first of the 12 steps in AA is: “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.”
The river Nile is the longest river in the world. And DENIAL is one of the greatest problems any of us face as we seek to break from old destructive habits and build a new life built on the truth.
Those who are disciples of Jesus know that he has placed us in a family called the church. There we have brothers and sisters who like us, are striving to live for Jesus, but like us, they have their own weaknesses, challenges, and struggles. I pray the church can be a place for you and me to confess our sins one to another, pray with each other and find healing. This is certainly part of what the Lord had in mind when he placed us in this spiritual community.
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
I compare talking with a sponsor or a therapist or a good friend to looking in a mirror. I may have a dirty spot on my face, but without the mirror, or another person to point it out to me, I am unaware of this fact. If I ever want to grow and improve as a person, I need people in my life who can help me look at myself in the mirror and perceive my actions as they really are. It doesn’t do me any good to be surrounded by people who tell me what a great guy I am when my life is in shambles. It is essential to talk with people who will point me to the truth and help me face reality. Dallas Willard said reality is what you run into when you are wrong. A good friend who helped me with my recovery told me: “The truth hurts, but lies kill.”
Now I am very happy to declare, loud and clear, for everyone to hear: “I HATE PORN!”