“History Deleted? More like History Repeated: 5 Practical Steps to Overcome Pornography Temptation”
The title might have drawn you in, but the reality is that you or “a friend” is struggling with Porn.
That was a blunt statement, wasn’t it? Well, before I give you a few practical ways to deal with it, the very first thing, even before step one, is accepting that we need to deal with it. That we need to fight back. If you are ready to transform your life and live freely, keep reading.
The battle with porn is one that thousands of people around the world are currently fighting. You and I are not alone in this fight and surely, we are not the only ones at “The Voice” or at “church” dealing with it.
Side note: No gender is safe!
With my personal experience fighting this temptation, I can truly tell you that it was important for me to realize that I had an issue that I WANTED to change. One, it was a problem that was introduced in my life at a very young age and one that had gotten out of hand over the years due to a deeply rooted issue I did not know how to address. Scripture promises us in Philippians 4:13 that we can do ALL things through Christ because He will strengthen us to do so. We must constantly set this verse as a default when fighting this or any temptation. It will fuel us and give us the endurace we need to continue fighting.
Behind each temptation we face there is some deeply rooted issue that is actually the problem. People do not just look at porn, simply to look at it. We view it to satisfy a deeper feeling. Perhaps, a feeling connected to your personal view and relationship with God.
So let’s get real for a minute…
See, there is a motive to each and every one of your actions. For example: We pour water into a cup, because we are thirsty. We invite a friend to the movies, because we don’t want to go alone. We buy our “The Voice Conference” admission early, because we don’t want to pay more at the door! ( Shameless Plug)
Every ACTION, has a REASON and a DESIRED OUTCOME.
Let’s examine some of my personal temptations and the reason why I did them.
- Every time I downloaded a dating app, I did it because I wanted to find a date, and maybe “bae”.
- Every time I went to a club, I did it because I wanted to dance with friends and listen to good music.
- Every time I looked at porn… Wait I never look at it. Check my history! NOTHING! *CUE HOLY SOUNDS IN THE BACKGROUND!*
LIES! These are the real reasons I did those things…
- Every time I downloaded a dating app, I did it because I wanted someone to TELL me I was beautiful. I didn’t feel beautiful.
- Every time I went to a club, I did it because I wanted someone to make me FEEL wanted. I didn’t think I was wanted.
- Every time I looked at porn, I wanted to be LOVED like they were loved. I didn’t think I was loved.
There is something powerful in accepting that we are in a MESS because we don’t really feel right inside. There are a few of us that haven’t really had “perfect” upbringings and the “perfect” parental guides to show us the ropes. So, we fell into dark areas in which NOW, as adults we are faced to deal with them; sometimes even alone. I am glad you are reading this blog. Why? Because that means that God has such a great purpose with your now, and with your future. He will turn your past into a beautiful story that will give him the glory and you will get to reap the benefits. A story that will help transform many lives.
Before I give you the five easy steps, let’s make it clear that you…
I am loved and God knows me personally, He made me with with purpose, for a creator would not create without a purpose. I am wanted. And God cares for ALL of me, He cares for my mind, my body and the state of my soul. I never leave His sight and He always listens to me. He also made me capable of overcoming anything! I can fight back! He gives me the strength to overcome. Amen!
Now that it is clear, let’s FINALLY talk about those five steps I been talking about…
Step One: Let it Go!
1st Corinthians 10:23 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. It says
“Someone may say, “I’m allowed to do anything,” but not everything is helpful. I’m allowed to do anything, but not everything encourages growth.”
What this verse is saying is that you can do WHATEVER you want, BUT not everything you WANT to do is helpful for you. Not all the things we want to do make us “better”. Which is the meaning of that word “edify” which means to instruct or improve (someone) morally or intellectually. So if we know this to be truth, then we can safely say that like Elsa in Frozen; it’s time to Let it Go! According to Fight the New Drug, “repeated consumption of porn causes the brain to literally rewire itself. It triggers the brain to pump out chemicals and form new nerve pathways, leading to profound and lasting changes in the brain.” Pornography alters the way we think and it can cause an individual to become dependant of it. Not to mention it dehumanizes people in your life and your relationships.
Step Two: Humanize
Step two is important to point out. Because we are all created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) we need to rewire our brains to understand that even the people behind the screen are equally broken individuals who deserve the same opportunity you are actually fighting for. Think about this. The people behind the screen might be strangers to you, but they are in reality someone’s daughter, someone’s best friend, and someone’s brother. They are also God’s sons and daughters and when we look at them to satisfy ourselves, we are actually, in our minds using them. And like you, these people deserve better than that. If anything we should be praying for them rather than looking at them perish.
Repeat this: God help me to see people with your eyes. I am deeply sorry for what I did, and for what I have seen. I know my actions have hurt you and now I realize this. Clean my mind and help me replace those memories with your promises. I pray for anyone in this industry, I pray you bring them home and that the Holy Spirit may strengthen them to make the hard decisions. May they have people around them that pull them back to you. And may their families and church be ready to love them unconditionally as I will from now on. Amen!
Step Three: Accountability
This step is key to your success in fighting the battle and winning. Accountability in my life has transformed the way I live. Literally. And it’s simple. Remember this : “If it leads you to an open door, where you know, that you KNOW once open it leads you to sin, then you bounce!” You don’t even come close to the door! In my life I have a few close friends who I trust with every detail of my life. No secrets, no hidden sin. I tend to do life with these close friends and they reach out constantly to see how I’m doing.
Let’s do something, like right now. Follow these steps:
- Open your notes
- Type 3 names of people whom you trust
- Give them a call or text that you want them to be your accountability friends.
- Don’t know what to text? Copy and Paste:
“Hey you! I was asking God to put on my heart a few accountability partners and you came to mind. I’m only asking because I trust you with the good details in my life and I need to get real with the dirty ones too. I want to fight back and I can’t do it alone. Would you be able to help?”
- Then, keep praying for them that God may help them help you. Tell them when you struggle the most or when you find yourself the most tempted. A good friend will contact you and reach out to you during those times to help you break out of a bad habit.
- Once you have a partner, ask him or her to put all the restriction needed on your phone, tablet or computer. You might think this is juvenile but it truly works. Trust me I don’t even have the YouTube App. But I know myself well enough to understand that I can’t do or watch certain things.
Repeat this: “God help me speak honestly to the 3 friends who can help me battle this. I have chosen Friend One, Friend Two, and Friend Three to be my accountability squad. You said that a rope of three strands is not easily broken. I want to fight this and win, and I know I can do this by being honest with myself, my friends, and with you. I pray they are prepared and willing to help me. Bless them and help us become more and more like you in all the areas in our lives.”
Step Four: Rest and Meditate
Rest is so important when fighting temptation. It has been proven that exercise and rest give you the mental and physical strength you need to move away from temptation. So schedule a time to go to the gym, read scripture and take a nap. Trust me, you will thank me later! In addition to rest, schedule time to walk with God. Read scripture and meditate on verses. There are multiple ways you can do that at The Voice. We have tons of awesome bible studies and leaders that can help you grow; not to mention we have an awesome app you could download to keep up with the latest series. Already heard the sermon? Hear it again, maybe you missed something.
Repeat this: “God help me rest! Help me schedule some times to work on getting better physically, mentally and also spiritually. I want to have the strength to fight this temptation and even in this, I need you to help me out. Holy Spirit open my mind and make me capable of retaining and understanding all you want me to know from scripture. Thank you for all you do in my life and thank you for helping me fight this temptation.
Step Five: Don’t Quit
Well… It’s that simple, DON’T QUIT!