Life Change. It’s a fact. None of us ever stays the same. We are either moving forward or backward. Either progressing in our move toward being more like Christ, or regressing. Either walking away from porn, or toward it.
The Bible sets it up very simply for us in Romans 12:2. Paul says, “And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (NASB).
The word “conformed” means to be “squeezed into a mold.” As we live in this world, there is constant pressure all around to make us look and act more and more like the world. The verse tells us that we are not to allow that to happen. Instead, it says we are to “be transformed.” Both “do not be conformed” and “be transformed” are in the imperative mode in the original language. These are commands. This is the will of the Heavenly Father for us.
The $64,000 question is how? How are we transformed? Especially when it comes to a behavior like watching porn. The verse tells us that we are to be transformed by the “renewing of the mind.” It’s simple really. Simple, but not easy. Renewing of the mind is a daily process, and it must continue all our lives because every day the world is trying to squeeze us into its mold.
The world squeezes us into its mold in the same way Christ wants to transform us. Through our mind. How we think. What we believe. Ultimately, we act out of our belief system. Any attempt to change behavior without changing beliefs ends in defeat and despair. Any fruitful discussion of getting porn out of our lives must begin with understanding this truth. The Life Change workbook is designed with the necessity of transformation of the mind as its focus.
Having the Right Tools
The Life Change workbook is like a toolbox; it’s filled with tools. If we carry the tools with us and know how they are designed to be used, we are ready to fight the daily fight for transformation of the mind. A toolbox does me no good if I don’t have it with me when I need it. If I have it with me but don’t know how to use the tools inside, it still does me no good. I must both have it with me and know how to use its tools for it to be of any benefit to me.
There are three specific questions that should be addressed when it comes to overcoming any destructive behavior such as porn.
Do you have 100% commitment?
When it comes to overcoming porn, nothing less than 100% commitment is necessary. It has been said that 90% commitment results in 100% failure. If the goal is to be completely free of porn, then that 10% lack of commitment will always eventually lead you to failure. This is why it often takes utter and total devastation for someone to finally become 100% committed. Sometimes we must lose everything that is precious and valuable to us to come to this 100% commitment. That is a sad reality. For that reason, a blessed individual comes to that total commitment before they come to total loss.
In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, the authors state, “Half-measures availed us nothing.” That is an honest admission that anything less than 100% commitment to getting sober had repeatedly led to failure for them. Each time they eventually went back to the bottle.
Anyone desiring to get free from porn in our pornified culture will always find that same conclusion. This is difficult. This is strenuous. This is a war. This is not possible with a casual commitment.
Have you found your community?
There is a reason why all addiction recovery programs do their work in community with other people. We can’t do this alone. Isolation leads to failure. Involvement with others is the key to long-term success in getting free from the plague of porn.
There is a long list of reasons why this is true. One is revealed in the old saying, “There is strength in numbers.” If we choose to battle by ourselves, we better be Superman. If we join in that battle with others, none of us must be Superman. Collectively, our strength is multiplied to levels we could never achieve alone. So, when one is weak or struggling, there are others to lift him/her up.
The Biblical Principle
The book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament teaches us this principle about the power of community with others.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, ESV).
In farming, we are better together. In falling we are better together. In fatigue, we are better together. In fighting, we are better together. It is an eternal principle.
But there is another reason.
Do you know how to escape from shame?
With porn comes shame. These two walk hand in hand. We often seek to win the battle on our own, in isolation, because of shame. Shame keeps us from wanting to do the very thing that is necessary to get free! That very thing is sharing our secret. We believe that if we can just beat this on our own, nobody will ever know. Shame tells that others should never know! So, shame keeps us from doing the very thing we must do to overcome porn. Share with others. Open ourselves up to others. Invite others into our secret. Granted, those must be people who can be trusted with our secret. Typically, that is others who have the same struggle.
Confusion and Lies
You see, shame is a liar! Shame lies to us about everything. Shame causes confusion over what is true and what is false about ourselves, God, and others. Shame says, “If you let others into your secret, they will reject you. They will condemn you. They will shame you.” So, to escape shame, we listen to the lies of shame and continue to live in our shame.
Defuse the Confusion
When we finally open ourselves up to others and let them know our secret and our struggle, we discover the real truth about sharing. “Every time we share our story, we strip it of some of its shame.” Wow! We thought sharing our secret would increase our shame. That’s the lie shame has convinced us to believe. But, when we share, we discover the real truth. Sharing our story and struggle with others is the only way to be released from shame.
The Next Step
The workbook, Life Change, A Biblical Journey to Freedom, is now available through Covenant Eyes. It’s designed to give you the opportunity to fight your fight against porn through community. In that community with others, you will find that your commitment to be free of porn grows as you hear their stories. You will find that your strength to fight this battle increases as you join in it with them. You will also find that the grip shame has had on you all these years will begin to lose its grip step by step as you share your story and struggle with others.
What an opportunity! What a gift! Do it! I know you will be happy you did!