My name is _____,
I was addicted to pornography for roughly three years during my teens. For the longest time I had absolutely no idea how I got to that point. It was only after and during my recovery that I pieced together the gradual progression sin had taken me through. As early as grade four my excitement towards finding and reading a Cosmopolitan magazine, my well known sense of “dirty humour” in junior high, or my part time afterschool Nip/Tuck watching ritual with a close friend in high school were all small events that further strengthened the stronghold Satan had in my life. I remember once walking home from school in grade 7, I saw two boys, two years older looking at what I understood to be pornographic images. I had no idea what got into me, but I started running towards them, band instrument in hand, and I grabbed the magazine and tossed it over a railing onto a busy road below. I knew from a very young age what was right and what was wrong, I grew up in a Christian household, where my mom and dad regularly read from the Bible, and always engaged us and prompted us to think deeply about scripture. I never could have predicted the ensnarement I’d be in a short few years down the road.
I can easily say that my three years involved in this addiction were my most lonely, tumultuous, and desolate times. I had plenty of friends, and family surrounding me, church members, and mentors, yet I was never truly happy, and rarely did I sense true “peace that transcends all understanding.” I read my Bible selfishly, seeking out of it only truths that I would easily understand, digest, or relate to. I never dug deep, tearing through pages and pages, flipping back and forth, breathing in the Word or even grazing the essence of His magnificence.
I think the most astute feeling I can recall surrounding this addiction is one of guilt. Only now can I say how thankful I am that that guilt existed. Had it not, as some days it disappeared, I knew I had ventured too far into unknown territory, I would be lost. Satan wants us to be numb to the quiet promptings of the Lord. Guilt is not that quiet prompting, however it is the loud protest that something inherently is not right within us, something does not align with our Maker. I wish this topic was more avidly discussed within church communities or even in online Christian forums, however I can say that this is one topic that is tainted with multiple world views that hinder the personal growth of each individual seeking truth. I would always, upon feeling the indescribable burden of guilt, search up the topic on Christian websites. However as many of you will agree, most of the answers either don’t sit right, or are simply not black and white enough! Self gratification and how it isn’t mentioned in the Bible deem to be good excuses for continuing behaviour, while other websites would simply discuss the topic without providing solid answers. If you have yet to read a solid answer on this topic, here’s one. Pornography IS a sin, sexual immorality IS a sin, masturbation and self gratification IS a sin.
Do you feel relieved now that you have an answer? The Bible clearly states this, and depending on how far away you are from Jesus and His teachings, you can twist the verses stating the obvious in whatever direction your sinful little heart desires. Justification was one of my downfalls in overcoming this. I found the online Purity course by the website Setting Captives Free in 2009, it took me a long time to wake up and finally commit to doing the course. I can only say that since finding freedom in this area in my life I AM CHANGED. My life IS different. I am at peace, I am in communion with the Holy Spirit, I truly love the Lord. What ended up happening was that come December 2009, I would be going away to a missions conference called Urbana. I didn’t want this to be like another fake spiritual high without true meaning, so I decided I wanted to prepare both mentally and spiritually. It was at Urbana09 that only by HIS grace I was able to repent of a sin that had taken root in my life for three years. I had been free of the sin for two months prior to the conference and halfway through I felt this passiveness in my worship. I was standing in a stadium filled with over 10, 000 Christians praising Jesus, but my brain was singing the lyrics lifelessly, as much as I wanted them to have meaning. On the final night, I found the prayer room. Randomly, a woman went up on stage and read a passage from the Bible, basically calling everyone in the room to quietly repent before God, saying the sin they had in their life out loud to themselves. As I was praying, she read through a series of interjected words into the passage of scripture. I confessed it (at this point wondering why God would want me to confess a sin I knew I was done with two months earlier). For the first time in 3 years I FELT God’s love, and I felt His peace. When I describe this to people I relate it to the innocent child I once was, it was exactly how I felt. GOD’S LOVE WAS REAL, and it was SURROUNDING ME. I just cried for a while, all tears of joy at how a blameless and pure God could reach out and grab me from the pit of despair, wiping off the mud and tightly wrapping His arms around me. That’s my Jesus. It brings new meaning to the song, “Jesus loves me this I know.” The concept doesn’t mean much if we’re young and “free” of worldly sin. It’s only if you’ve experienced the reconciliation from the filth and defeat of an addiction that you begin to value what His love truly means.
This is just a shortened story of my experiences but if you WANT to be victorious through Him, I urge you to go look at this website: www.settingcaptivesfree.com You will receive an online mentor who speaks with you daily and is available for guidance, as well as a course that is so loaded with scripture and as well as a support team that has utmost belief in your purity.
Written in much love,