Every time I hear someone’s story of porn addiction I can find at least one thing that I can relate to. Without fail. But this should not be a surprise to any of us who have ever struggled. Because there are several things that everyone who struggles with porn, believes.
First off, that they are the only one who goes through this.
That is probably the number one common feeling among all porn addicts.
Another is hopelessness. When you have spent years degrading women through porn and swearing to never look again each time, hopelessness is just a natural result. The high of feeling like you have this thing conquered to the low of shame and regret is the worst.
Or how about feelings of isolation. Since porn is mostly viewed on your own, away from being seen, it should come as no real surprise when we start to hide ourselves away from other people. When we come to believe that if everyone else found out what we did they would run a mile, we save ourselves hurt by getting in there before them and hiding.
And then there is the living like we are someone else. Leading worship in church on Sunday then viewing porn when we get on our own. The feelings of wanting so desperately to come clean with someone but simultaneously afraid of would happen if we could be free. Maybe even afraid that you won’t get to view porn again.
If you struggle you will know all about what I am talking about. You will be familiar with these feelings.
Which is great because it means that you are not alone.
So you are not the only one who knows what this feels like.
And if you think that there is no hope, what if the hope you need to beat this doesn’t come from you? There is no hope if we try and do it through our own power. In Mark 5 we read about a girl who had died. There was certainly no hope there. But Jesus brought her back. If Jesus can bring back the dead then he can bring you back to a life without porn.
Double lives suck. Pretending to be one person while acting like another. But when we live like that we have forgotten that God is deeply interested in the real you. Not the you that you think you need to be. He won’t stop loving you. He won’t neglect you. In fact when we are honest and intentional about it with God and others you will see something miraculous happen. You will see God come alive in your life. When you stop hiding and believe that there is a world out there that needs you to be part of it, God will transform you into who you were made to be.
All the things you feel when you struggle are real and difficult. But they don’t have to be final and they don’t have to be who you are for the rest of your life.
There is real hope. Just ask the people who have conquered porn. If you are just like everyone else and feel the same things when you struggle, then you are just like all of us who have been able to resist the temptations.
No matter what things you feel when you struggle there is one thing we all have in common.
We can beat it when we put our hope in Jesus.
And that does mean you.