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I’m Free Not To Write This

by Levi on December 31st, 2014 in Men, Women, Students

I am free not to write this blogMy wife is out of town. She went to El Paso to watch my brother-in-law compete in a Crossfit competition. It is 1:22 in the morning.

It would be so easy to pull up porn right now.

Every now and then, the temptation arises, or at least the thought – go back. Just for a glimpse. Safari has a reset button. Chrome has stealth mode. Firefox has its privacy settings.

It would be so easy not to write this blog.

For whatever reason, though, I’m here, writing it, and praying that whoever reads it would be encouraged that the grace of God can truly deliver a person from the bondage of temptation. Don’t listen to the lie that being tempted is equivalent to giving in, so you may as well go through with it. Jesus was tempted, and yet without sin.

I don’t believe in a “once an addict, always an addict” mentality. Obviously, there are places where wisdom may call for a lifetime of discernment and restraint, but I believe that Jesus is more powerful than the sum of our seemingly overwhelming desires to forfeit obedience for gratification.

I often forget what I’ve been saved from, but here and there, I am reminded of the man I was and – without a doubt in my mind – would still be were it not for the saving grace of Christ.

I recently read a couple of blogs about internet pornography either ruining or saving a person’s life. The first was about a guy named Michael, whose pornography addiction led to voyeurism, an affair, the loss of his wife, estrangement from his children, and near-suicide. Now that he is “recovered,” he speaks at colleges about the dangers of pornography, but from a purely secular perspective regarding its potentially unseen consequences that can develop out of a young person’s “recreational hobby.”

He says, “I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it, I didn’t believe I was hurting anyone and yet eventually that lie would end up costing me a 15-year marriage, my two boys, and my career.

The other article [which we aren’t linking to for image-based reasons – Editor] talked about how erotica saved someone’s life because he started creating fake celebrity porn that people loved, and it made him feel like he was appreciated for the first time in his life.

I can’t help but doubt that either of these men are free.

Michael has no interest in censorship or porn-bans – only cold, hard facts – but now expresses, in his sobriety, what I consider to be such a profound understanding of human dignity that common grace would call it biblical. And yet no mention of a savior. No answer for freedom. No prescription for preventing his audience from the same fate he knew.

Meanwhile, the celebrity-porn master has gone from being completely enslaved by faked celebrity images to being completely enslaved by the men on internet forums’ opinions of his faux idols. The article mentioned a past marked by bullying, self-harm, and attempted suicide, and talked of addicted approval as though it were salvation. What happens if someone dislikes one of his heroines? What if he loses to a competitor’s imagery? What if one of his celebrities was less than flattered at his objectification?

I just wonder what kind of foundation these houses are built upon?

Every once in a while, I am tempted to return to those sandcastles. Pray for me. A friend once told me of a Christian pastor who had an affair. When asked about his infidelity, the conversation (paraphrased) went:

Friend: “How could you do that to your wife and children? To your church?
Pastor: “Do you believe in your depravity? That you are capable of any kind of evil?
Friend: “Yes.
Pastor: “I didn’t.

Let us never think that we are above a moment’s decision that could painfully alter the course of a lifetime for ourselves, and those around us. Let us humble ourselves before the Lord whose grace makes us who we are. Let us not treat his grace as though it were given in vain.

There is freedom to be had, and it is found in Jesus Christ. Not in moralistic boundaries. Not in the ever-enticing instant gratification of the flesh. Not in the approval of men and their forums.

Jesus, and the unchanging foundation of his approval.

It is always Jesus. (Tweet This!)


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  • Narrow Way

    Awesome article. I get concerned these days about the primary focus being steps and formulas over a thriving relationship with Jesus. I’m just now coming to realize that the way out IS Jesus; not nice thoughts about Him, not a rote knowledge of scripture, nothing but a close relationship with Him. I’ve often thought about the irony that I would never EVER do anything to hurt any one of my friends; heck I go out of my way to ensure my dog is always sure that I love her, but Jesus? How do I treat him? Would I do to my friends the things I do to Him? Sadly, the answer is no. There is something very wrong when we can sin under the excuse that God will forgive it; He will, but what does that say about our “relationship” when we use that as a reason to give in? It is easy to sin against a theology; it’s much harder to sin against someone whom you are in love with. For me, that is the key.

    • Thanks for the feedback. I almost thought your name was “Nathan” but then I saw it said “Narrow Way.” Haha. Glad I double checked. But yeah, the goal is that love would drive the type of obedience you’re talking about, for sure. Who you are fueling what you do. Indicatives and imperatives. Not “I must obey so that I am loved” but “I am loved, therefore I obey.”

  • Jim

    Great article! I have a different opinion on the always-an-addict issue…. For me, it’s the same as what the pastor said, and what you are saying…that we are always capable of any kind of evil. It reminds me that I am fallen and need to never believe that I have arrived and I cannot fall again. “Pride goes before a fall”. However, I do believe that “addict” should not be our label, Christ follower, beloved son, should be my identity.

  • Marcus

    The pastors conversation is exactly what I needed to read. As men seeking a relationship with Jesus we should never forget that temptation is near and can strike when we don’t expect it. It doesn’t mean we are evil for being tempted, but rather recognizing that you are being tempted is the most important. Its strange too because even though I know when I succumb to this temptation I will be upset; I still fall for it. I hate that brief moment of orgasm when I allow my mind to deceive me…I am sure the pastor is thinking the same thing.- thanks for writing this levi, you are an inspiration.

  • Cory

    Thank you Levi for this very inspirational article. I can see now how important it is to be able to identify what porn is to me. If we deny that whatever it is, even shark porn, has a hold on our mind then how can we expect to fight it. Jesus gives us the power to resist temptations just as He did but we have to admit that we’re being tempted. What the pastor said is very important to realize, at least for me, that no one is above the ability to do wrong. The fact that Jesus was tempted means that He could have sinned and had a real choice just like we do. None of us are perfect but we can still win against these temptations one battle at a time.

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