Defeat Lust & Pornography
Defeat Lust & Pornography 5 minute read

Repenting of Porn Addiction (Part 2)

Last Updated: April 13, 2015

In my last post I gave a description of “repentance.”

In summary, when we look at 2 Corinthians 7:10-11, we can see the heartbeat of real repentance. Real repentance flows from a deeply felt grief that we’ve broken the heart of God, that we have offended Him. Real repentance produces:

  • an earnestness and diligence to move away from sin,
  • an eagerness to make amends and get to the root of the problem,
  • an indignation and hatred of the sin,
  • a fear and awe of the Lord that shakes us at our very core,
  • a longing and a thirst for God,
  • and a zeal and godly jealousy for worship of God alone, and to lay down our sexual and selfish idols.

My last point was that real repentance also involves changing the way we think about our submission to Christian community, the church. This last part of repentance is so important and so often misunderstood.

– – – –

Christian Community

People often have had bad experiences in the Christian community. Perhaps they have been a part of a church where discipline took a bad turn: people in power took advantage of their position to spread gossip, slander or lies. Sometimes Christian community can be a place of condemnation or legalism.

If this is you, I am sorry.

Christian community was meant to be a foretaste of heaven, not the backwash of hell. Imperfect as Christians are, the church was meant to be a place where broken and repentant Christ-followers come together to share their one common experience: the new life they have all found in Jesus. These renewed people together are meant to foster a new family of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience; a family of men and women who bear each other’s burdens in the midst of the painful process of transformation; a place where forgiveness is status quo for all relationships. Above all, the church is mean to bear the marks of love, peace, and deep gratitude. It is to be a place where the family of God can cherish the teachings of Christ together: a place where His words fill their daily conversations, their songs, and their prayers (Colossians 3:12-17).

Again, if that is not your experience, I am sorry. You are meant for this kind of church.

But if we are to have real repentance, we must look and pray for a church family that is striving to be like this, and then we must submit ourselves to that community. Let me outline the reasons why:

– – – –

1. One of the roots of porn addiction is an unhealthy independence, self-centeredness, and pride.

I believe that when we peal back the layers of our heart, we will eventually find a root of pride that drives our focus on porn. This pride can lead us not only to the selfish pursuit of pleasures in pornography, but also can make us haughty, self-protective, and unapproachable—one who is not submissive to others, unable to be vulnerable with others, thus unable to love as Christ did.

I’m a newly married man, but one of the many things I have learned in a short time is that marriage is a yoking of one’s self to another in love, which will bring about a death to self. To be true to my call as a husband, to love my wife as Christ loved the church, I must lay aside my defensiveness and my selfishness, and serve my wife.

The same is true as we yoke ourselves to the community of the church. As we rub shoulders with others in the church, as we give them access to our lives, this brings about a process of death to our pride and self-centeredness.

Healing of our pride often begins with the first step of giving a few trusted people in the church access to our lives, giving them the right to rebuke us when they see a sinful pattern developing in us. Those who ignore wise correction are not on the path of true life (Proverbs 10:17); but if we submit ourselves to the teaching, correction, and rebuke of wise men and women in the church, we will gain understanding (15:32) and become wise (13:20).

– – – –

2. God promises healing to those who confess their sins to one another and pray for one another.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). The church is meant to be a place of mutual confession and powerful, face-to-face intercession, yet today too few people can say they are in a Christian fellowship such as this. We need to dare to confess our darkest sins. We need to dare to hear the sins of others. This is real accountability. Certainly, we must choose who we confess to and how we confess, with discernment and wisdom, but we need not fear vulnerability. Our churches need to strive towards righteousness which brings about dynamic prayer and a power that will deliver each other from the grip of sin.

If your problem with pornography is the Internet, use accountability software and find one or two trusted people who will talk to you regularly about what you see online. For more information about accountability software, go to CovenantEyes.com

– – – –

3. Close Christian community is one of the best tools God has given to expose the “deeper sins.”

I’ve been in a lot of Bible studies and small groups. These experiences have definitely had their place instructing me in the ways I should go. But there have been a precious few groups that have chosen to go deeper than merely teaching. The individuals in these groups chose to really know one another.

Hebrews 3:13 says, “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” There is a level of interaction the church is called to have that few have really experienced. We are called to interact with one another in such a way that we can give honest and helpful feedback to one another, feedback that helps one another see how sin is operating at the heart level. It is easy to point out obvious sins to each other. But our call “every day” is to engage with each other and try to understand the deeper issues.

For an excellent treatment of how to do this, I will refer the reader to Dr. Larry Crabb’s, Inside Out. This book is, without a doubt, one of the best books I’ve read on the subject of deep change that can take place in the heart.

– – – –

4. The church is where God gives us spiritual fathers and mothers, mentors who can be used of God to shape our lives.

“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. . . . Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:1-2). Consider what hope this passage brings to the young man or woman fighting with pornography temptations. We need those whom Paul called the ‘spiritual’ to take on the ministry of restoration. In Paul’s day, this term “restore” (katartizo) was a medical term for setting a broken bone. In our sinful, fractured selves, the work of a truly spiritual person is to set right another’s broken thoughts and beliefs with the tenderness and wisdom of a spiritual doctor.

And who are the spiritual people with this task? They are those who have a track record of walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25), who have the lasting fruit of a Christ-like character (5:22-23), who have eagerly waited on the Lord for righteousness to bloom in their lives and have found Him faithful (5:5). They are spiritual leaders who hear God regularly, obey His voice, and effectively model intimacy with God. They are the true elders and leaders who are experienced in healing the hurts caused by sin (James 5:13-16). They may not hold the status of “elder” at a church (many do not), but they are a true mentor in the faith.

With the porn epidemic on the rise, we are in a critical hour for spiritual leaders to arise and gather the flock, to restore them in gentleness.

  1. Brian

    Brian,
    I am 17 years old, I was first introduced to Porn in my 15’s. At first I didn’t really recognize it as a big deal since the day I turned to Christ. It has been the worst nightmare. For some months now I have been struggling with it trying to get out of it. But every time I think I am out I fall and slide back into it. Something happened today and I found myself back into it. When I realised what I had done I felt worthless and got the fear to even approach God in Prayer. It is then that I found this website while I was trying to look for help. Your post is quite encouraging. In my case I had announced it to an elder youth brother but he didn’t pursuit me. I am really longing to grow up spiritually but this has been my barrier. It’s a burden that ain’t letting me go. I would ask you all to support me in prayers. I am planning to dedicate a fasting session to my problem and thereafter go and open it to my Pastor. I really wan’t this off my life. God bless you all and I do pray that there will be a breakthrough for all of you.

    • Chris McKenna

      Hello Brian, the struggle is very real, but victory is possible. The cross of Christ is for YOU! Would you read one more post? It’s simple, but I think it will help. The reality is that you, alone, will not be able to defeat this. Take a read and let me know what you think:

      https://www.covenanteyes.com/2010/05/13/3-biblical-strategies-for-fighting-lust/

      -Chris
      Covenant Eyes

  2. Hi, thank you for allowing God to use you Luke. I’m struggling with porn addiction and would love God to deliver me, most of all i want to know Him, love Him, honor Him by serving Him faithfully with all my being through the help of the Holy Spirit. I’m going to testify soon, i really thank God for this article.

    • Glad I could be of help!

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