Well...*great* (and yes, I'm being sarcastic).
A couple of days ago, I read an article with this title: "666 Park Avenue Promises Sex, Drama, and Demonic Forces". It's a show that will be coming to ABC soon. One that *promises* sex, drama and *demonic forces*, meaning they are going to *make sure* that those things, simultaneously, will happen on the program. And while some may be (understandably) appauled by the absolute *boldness* of it all, you can best believe there are people, *including Christians*, who will be tuning in. I mean "we" watch vampires on the regular, why not up the ante? I'm pretty sure that's what Satan is thinking. And I get it. Makes perfect sense.
And while I'm personally not the "vampire cheerleading" kind, it got me to thinking about my own former life that had its on signature of darkness on it: porn. How it started out with a girl and a guy and graduated to orgies for my own "viewing pleasure"; how it *promised* that every time I "visited", it would not "disappoint" in that way.
I also thought about the fact that while I was watching my "gradual shifts in lusts of choice", there were snippets around it that had all kinds of craziness. Hermaphodite porn. Violent rape porn. *Demons having sex with women* porn. And yet, as "close to throwing up" as I was over some of the porn that was going on outside of the porn that I was watching (and that looks crazy just typing it out, actually), I would still return (Proverbs 26:11) because if I had to see *that* to get what I wanted then I was willing to do it. (Kinda like the people who will ignore vampies, werewolves and an actual 666 because they enjoy those show's storylines.)
If I had to watch a hermaphodite be taken advantage of (because I actually know a couple of them personally; it's a hard way of life for a lot of them), then so be it. If I, *as a woman*, have to glance at women getting spit on, tied up and "other things on" while, whether they're acting or not, seeing them look totally horrified, that's what I'm willing to do. And if I notice demonic forces in the form of animation pillaging little cartoon girls...it's just pretend, right?
It's amazing what an addiction will have you do by ways of what you'll tell yourself. Especially when you're in denial about having one.
I thought about that even more as I read another article entitled, "I Left Facebook" last week. (I can relate. I left FB a couple of years ago). As the author went on to explain how hard it was to get out of what is so easy to join, I couldn't help but think about porn *again*:
Deleting my Facebook account was a four-day affair. It took me that long to disentangle myself from the service and to let others know how else they could find me. “Disentangling” entailed deleting my photos, “unliking” everything and disconnecting all of the third-party services that used Facebook Connect to log me in. You may have seen these around the web, with the option to “log in with your Facebook account.” The problem is that, to my knowledge, there’s no way to get a list of the sites you’ve accessed with Facebook Connect. The reason these have to be disconnected is because in order to delete your account, you have to be completely logged out for 14 days. If you log in via any means (including Facebook Connect) during that time, you will have to start the process over, and wait another 14 days.
That doggone FB. It only takes a few moments to "get on", oh but it takes weeks, sometimes even a couple of months, to *get out*. Indeed, what initially seems so "cool and convenient" at first, can be a really close equivalent to absolute hell to free yourself from. Whether it's FB, porn, money, power, people, pride, food, fame, sex, romance, worry, low self-esteem, substance abuse, pills, social media...you add...you pick.
And so, after thinking about a lot of the comments that come through here that find ways to attempt to use the Bible to justify sexual sin, and after thinking about some of the people that I counsel who swear that the things that they are doing (the ones that, ironically, have them meeting with me in the first place) may be "not the best things" but are certainly not *addictions*, I decided to revisit (and then share) what the signs of an addiction are via the article "7 Signs of Addiction" that I checked out. After reading through them, I encourage you to think about your own life, not just as it relates to sex and porn, but *addictions in general* to see if in some way you can relate.
After all, John 8:32 tells us that it's *truth* that sets us free...and no matter how much you say that truth is not truth, guess what? *It still is*. Oh, and after readiing them, if you realize that you have an addiction to perhaps something you never considered before, feel free to share. Confession brings about healing (James 4:16) and I Timothy 4:14-16(AMP) tells us that our testimonies save, not just us, but those around us too.
Heads up: The first sign is a real winner. It reminds me of something that my mother used to say: "When in doubt...*don't*."
1) Questioning. People who don't have an addiction problem don't wonder if they have a problem. It's simply not something they think about because they don't need to. The mind is funny in that way. If we're paying attention, the mind tells us what we need to know whether we want to hear it or not. If it is haunting you with questions such as "What am I doing," "Why do I keep doing it," and "Why can't I stop," take note. Your problem may have crossed that line into addiction.
2) Defensiveness. When others touch on the topic, do you feel your hackles rise, and do you instantly defend yourself with statements like: "It's not a problem for me, "If other people don't understand, it's their problem," "I can stop doing it anytime I want to," or "I'm not hurting anyone but myself?" But, in your inner core, do you know these things aren't true?
3) Blaming. Placing blame for your behavior on others or a situation is an old ploy of addicts that keeps them from taking responsibility for their choices. When others are out of the picture, and the situation is resolved and the behavior continues, it's a clear sign that there's a problem -- yours.
4) Secrets and lies. Often, addicts are the only ones who think their addiction is a secret. They believe the lies are hiding the secret, but those close to them have noticed they are drinking too much, abusing prescription drugs, gambling away necessary funds, overeating, purging, shopping. living in clutter, etc. If addicts know that others know, but they continue to tell lies, then the only ones they're fooling is themselves.
5) Time and effort. The time addicts put into the behavior, and into finding ways to stop doing it, takes away from other parts of their lives. The effort it takes to manipulate situations and other people so that they might indulge in the behavior take away from the effort they could be putting into building better relationships, getting an education or building a career, or simply living life free to choose what they will do.
6) Guilt and shame. How you feel about your behavior should be a clear indication about whether or not it's a problem. If you feel guilt and shame, but you can't seem to stop what you're doing, then the problem has become an addiction. No one wants to feel guilt and shame, so if you inflict it on yourself repeatedly, then that's something you should take a hard look at.
7) Isolation. Convincing yourself that no one loves you, others don't understand, or you don't fit into the world around you to justify your behavior may convince you that you are protecting yourself from more pain and disappointment, but it will leave you feeling alone and empty. Telling yourself you are different and can handle things that others are not able to handle will only prolong the problem and escalate the possibility of serious addiction.