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There are many reasons why pornography is harmful. It distorts our view of sex, it damages our relationships, it costs us time, it undermines God’s mission and our witness to Christ, it offers satisfaction but instead delivers enslavement.
There are many more reasons why pornography is harmful but I want to highlight another reason from Jesus’ sermon on the mount.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”
(Matthew 5:27-30 NIV11)
Now there’s plenty of things to say about this passage but what is clear is Jesus’ warning to his disciples to not fool about with sexual sin. Quite simply, if they continue to dabble in sin, they’ll end up in Hell.
So when it comes to pornography, failing to deal with pornography can cost you your soul. Jesus isn’t to be taken literally but he is requiring radical surgery for sin and I imagine this will be a lifelong struggle.
So in your struggle what can you do?
This may be the simplest but probably the most difficult thing to do, especially, when Satan bombards you with guilt and shame and tries to convince you to trust in your ability to abstain. What did Paul do when the Corinthians were sinning? He pointed them to Jesus.
“And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
(1 Corinthians 6:11 NIV11)
At the cross, Jesus sheds his blood to wash away our sins. He dies to make us holy and as a result of his resurrection we are declared not guilty as soon as we trust in Him.
Confess it to God. You are sinning against Him and that is serious. But having confessed to God, the next step is to confess it to a brother or sister in Christ (preferably of the same sex as you). Sin thrives in the dark, together we must bring it into the light. When we confess it to one another it can sometimes surprisingly give us strength and resolve to fight.
But what if I keep sinning? Keep repeating 1. and 2. but also add 3.
Blogger Tim Challies has a number of articles on pornography ranging from 7 Good reasons to Stop Looking at Porn Right Now to The Porn-Free Family Plan. There’s also book recommendations from him too.