Here are four helpful tips for the Christian who is addicted to pornography.
Surrender to God
I have a close friend who battled an addiction to pornography for decades. He felt like he wasn’t saved because this recurring sin kept him in bondage. He felt hopeless to overcome it, and he was–until finally one day he surrendered. Amazingly, God took that desire away, and he is pornography free today. He was freed from this powerful stronghold by surrendering because, ironically, victory is only possible by surrender: surrendering to God. God promised to give us a new heart and new desires, writing through the prophet Ezekiel, “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezek. 36:26). My friend needed heart surgery, just as I did before I was saved, and God will do just that, giving us a new heart with new desires, a desire to obey Him.
The Body of Christ needs one another, and one example is a friend of mine who needed to be held accountable for his addiction to pornography, so I volunteered to become his accountability partner. I wanted him to call me every few days to report how his week was going. He would have to tell me if he had been into pornography again or if he had remained free from this sin during the week. If he was into pornography and then he lied to me about it, he’d heap more guilt upon himself by adding lying to me. Having someone to reach out and be accountable to can help. I wanted him to call me when he was being tempted so we could pray together for him to flee from this temptation.
Pray It Out
In the Scriptures where Jesus taught the disciples how to pray, He included in this prayer, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matt. 6:13). So we can pray for deliverance from the sin of pornography. Jesus saw lusting in the heart as being like adultery (Matt. 5:28), and pornography is certainly lusting in the heart. We need to fall on our knees before God for His Spirit to strengthen our resolve to resist this temptation and deliver us from the evil one, who would love nothing more than to keep us in this pigpen of sin so that our faith would be shaken and we’d lose our testimony for Christ.
Pluck Out the Eye
This sounds harsh, but when Jesus said “if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire” (Matt. 18:8), He was speaking in hyperbolic language or using extreme exaggeration to make a point. His point is to take extreme measures to get rid of the source of the sin, so if you get your source of pornography on the Internet, get rid of it, or at least find someone you trust to help you set up an Internet filter that’s password protected.
Every one of us is still sin (1 John 1:8, 10), but every one of us can confess our sins and be cleansed from all of our unrighteousness, including pornography (1 John 1:9). God doesn’t want us to wallow in our sins but to struggle and overcome them. The good news is that if someone is battling an addiction to pornography and they hate it, that gives clear evidence of the Holy Spirit’s working in them, and it’s good to be in a battle over it because this shows their heart’s desire is to live a holy, pure life before God.