When you struggle with an addiction like porn it will start to eat away at you and it will tear away at your relationships and your life. You will feel like you don’t remember the person you used to be. That depresses you. You start to question God. You will want to give up. You will want to hide. You may even wish you were dead. Those are enough negative feelings to do anyone and you would think that they alone would be enough for you to never want to look at porn again.
But you probably know well enough that porn doesn’t work like that. You know that no matter how many times you feel terrible for what porn does to you; you still come back looking for more eventually. And if you are a Christian that makes it worse; because not only are you letting yourself down, you are letting God down. You know that if people knew the truth they would be disgusted by you. You know that Christians are supposed to be different. You know that God is ashamed of you. At least that is how you see it. But it’s not true. It’s just another lie that porn tells you.
I’ve been reading the Sermon on the Mount recently and the one thing that I have learned is that God doesn’t want us to simply have a sin management type of faith. What I mean is, God isn’t just interested in us not sinning or messing up. He is interested in going further. He is interested in our heart.
Matt5:20 “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (NIV)
The Pharisees had changed the Law to something that God never intended. They had made it a tool to control people. To control and set a legalistic way of ensuring they could keep a hold over people. But then Jesus came along and told them that they had got it wrong. Jesus came announcing that he was here to set people free from the Pharisees version of the Law. Jesus understood that you could follow the commands of the Law all day long but unless your heart was right then it was a dead end.
Matt 5 v 27,28 27″ You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (NIV)
Jesus is saying here that not committing adultery isn’t enough. You may not actually sleep with someone else but if you even think about it you are doing it. I think this is what happens when we look at porn. We may not be sleeping with the women we search for on the internet but our heart is way out of tune.
We spend so much time and effort trying to not look at porn. We think if we pray more, or read our Bible more or put filters on our computer we will stop looking. And all those things are important. But we are working backwards instead of forwards. We focus on our actions and hope that our hearts will change as a result.
Jesus says that when we focus on our hearts we will find that our lives will display a new peace. A new way of living; it will be natural. When our hearts our filled with Jesus and his love it will spread.
Today maybe you need to have a look at your heart. Maybe you have been stuck in this rut for years and you just can’t seem to lift yourself up out.
I know that recently I have had to really stop and think about how I tackle porn. I have realized that it is not enough for me to just not look at porn. I still have thoughts I shouldn’t. I still have the desire to look. But in those times when I let Jesus work in my heart from inside out, I notice a difference.
I don’t have to please God, I want to.
I don’t have to not look at porn, I just don’t want to.
I don’t have to be faithful to my fiancée, I want to.
I don’t have to love others, I want to.