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John’s Story: From Darkness to Light

Last Updated: August 17, 2023

The following is one of the winners of the 2023 Covenant Eyes scholarship. See here for more on the Covenant Eyes scholarships.

How can a young person live a life of integrity using today’s technology? This is a question I have asked myself thousands of times. Growing up, it was always my heart’s desire to live a life of purity, yet I was crippled with the inability to carry out this desire on my own. I had tried everything I could, from prayer and fasting to sheer will and determination. I was hopeless. Then one day I found the one thing I was missing: accountability. Accountability is the key to living a life of integrity. In this essay, I’ll discuss how accountability was the key to success in my journey to overcome porn addiction and walk in freedom. Before we dive into my story from darkness to light, let me define what this life of integrity looks like.

To live a life of integrity using today’s technology is to set no worthless things before your eyes, period, no exception. It’s choosing to dwell only on that which is true, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. It’s renouncing ungodliness and worldly passions and living self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age.

To live this way requires having godly accountability in your life and people that are willing to confront you and help you grow. It requires getting rid of every stumbling block that might lead you astray. It’s laying down your pride and picking up humility. It’s choosing to not fight alone in your own strength but instead surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who are going after the same thing as you. It’s trusting in God that you will have victory through Jesus Christ and getting back up no matter how many times you fall.

It requires a mindset on the things above. It’s pushing past the temporary pleasures of sin that this world has to offer and looking instead to the eternal pleasure that is in Christ. It requires you to trust in God and know that He wants what’s truly best for you. Still, it is our choice to either walk in the freedom He provides or to continue in bondage. Regretfully, I repeatedly chose the latter option for nearly nine years of my life.

7 Years of Darkness

When I was eleven years old, I chose to start walking in bondage by looking at inappropriate images in clothing magazines. This became a habit, and instead of fulfilling my desire, it simply created an appetite for more. I began looking at any form of soft porn I could find to fulfill my curiosity.

Doing this started weighing on my conscience, so I would try to stop. I would confess my sin to God and determine that I would never do it again. Then I would do it again, decide to stop for good, and then fall again. This awful cycle went on for seven years, while my conscience was becoming increasingly seared to the truth.

Then, when I was 18, I got a laptop for school. It had no accountability or filters of any source. I now had easy, instant, and unrestrained access to anything my flesh wanted to see. This was a setup for failure. I then spent nearly two years looking at pornography. My sin was slowly crushing my confidence and self-esteem. I was carrying around loads of guilt wherever I went. I lived in constant fear of being caught. I was miserable.

Meanwhile, on the outside, I was going to church, praising God, and being kind to all those around me. No one would have known the secret sin I was hiding or the inner turmoil I was facing, but God did, and He loved me too much to let me continue in my sin.

Victory Through Accountability

Finally, when all hope was nearly lost, I experienced the biggest victory of my life. I confessed my sin and got accountability. I still remember the night I confessed to my dad. I was feeling so overwhelmed by guilt and fear. I was so afraid he would be mad and disappointed. Instead, he was completely understanding, and rather than judging or mocking me, he helped me to find true freedom. That very night we installed Covenant Eyes on my laptop, and he has served as my accountability partner ever since. This was a life-changing decision!

I have not looked at pornography since the day we installed Covenant Eyes on my laptop! I now walk in so much more freedom. I can now look people in the eyes with confidence. I no longer carry overwhelming burdens of guilt. I am free to do whatever God has called me to do.

Covenant Eyes was a game-changer for me. Many times, in the process of freedom, I wanted to fall back and look at some form of porn on my laptop, but there was a 0% chance I would because I knew I would be discovered and held accountable. This created a holy fear in me that now, looking back, I can say was one of the most important steps in my process of finding freedom.

I used to think it made people stronger if they had easy access to temptation, but chose not to give in. Now I believe it just makes them dumber. The Bible says to “flee youthful passions.” This means to get as far away from them as possible. I have never been farther from temptation than when Covenant Eyes was installed on my laptop.

For that, I am very thankful. This thankfulness extends past me and reaches into the future. My future wife is thankful that she won’t have to hold her body image up to some ridiculous online standard or question where my love is placed. My future kids are thankful that they will have a dad who sets a godly example that they can look up to, and my future generations are thankful for the legacy of purity that I will have carried.

Walking in Freedom

This legacy of purity is not an easy task. The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:8 that “the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” It also says in Galatians 5:17 that our “flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit.” We are constantly bombarded from every side by sensual, worldly lures trying to get us to give in to our sinful flesh. The fight to stay pure in this day and age is truly a war. No one wise goes to war alone. In addition to God and his Word, I could not think of a better ally for this war than Covenant Eyes.

Covenant Eyes has forever changed my life, enabling me to walk in freedom like never before. I’m by no means perfect. I still fight temptation every day, but with Covenant Eyes, I have that extra edge over temptation. With the support of Covenant Eyes, I now know that I can live my whole life in freedom and that one day I will be able to walk into heaven and hear the treasured words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

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