This week, a story in the news caught my eye about a man who was arrested (initially) for walking around his workplace in the nude.  That’s right – just when you think it’s another normal day at the office…

When I read the story, I had to wonder if that was actually this guy’s plan for the day.  Did he wake up that morning and think to himself, “Today, I’ll strut around the office in my birthday suit“?  Did he plan for it or have it marked on his calendar for that week?  I would think not.  When police questioned him as to why he did it, his excuse was that he was “hot.”

Uh huh.  Sure.

Granted, this did happen in Texas, so I’m sure it was plenty warm.  But oddly enough, none of his coworkers joined him in his little naked office party.  Of course, as you can read in the article, investigators eventually found that there were much deeper problems at the root of this action, including an addiction to pornography and, in this case, an involvement with child porn as well.

As we are all aware, things like this don’t just “happen.”  There is a process that takes place – a series of bad decisions that take an individual down a very dangerous path until it all unravels into a huge mess.  This guy was later arrested again for donning his birthday suit for a second time outside of his home in full view of the neighborhood.  He was sentenced to 18 years – for the porn and for indecent exposure.

So the follow-up question here is:  What could this guy have done to change his trajectory before he ended up on the nightly news?

Dr. Victor Cline, of the University of Utah, identifies four stages of viewing pornography following the initial exposure:

  • Addiction – The desire and need to keep coming back for pornographic images.
  • Escalation – The need for more explicit, rougher, and more deviant images for the same sexual effect.
  • Desensitization – Material once viewed as shocking or taboo is seen as acceptable or commonplace.
  • Acting out – The tendency to perform the behaviors viewed, including exhibitionism, sadistic/masochistic sex, rape, or sex with minor children.

Dr. Cline’s conclusion was that pornography can be a “gateway drug to sexual addiction.”  I think most of us understand this principle, whether we are consciously aware of the process or not:  porn will take you places that you do not want to go.  It may seem insignificant enough at first, but believe me, it’s not.  It will draw you in deeper and deeper.

So, before you start getting naked at your workplace, take a moment right now to honestly assess where you are with pornography.  Are you somewhere along those four stages?  Is where you are where want to be?  We would all do well to learn a lesson from “the naked man” in the article and make the necessary changes in our lives before it all unravels.

Change is possible, but you have to be willing to take the steps.  Maybe for you that step is finding someone to help keep you accountable.  Maybe it’s spending more time in prayer and reading God’s Word.  Maybe things have started to escalate, and it’s time to talk to a counselor.  Regardless of where you are, don’t wait.  Be honest with yourself about what you need to do to break the cycle, and take the first step today.

Oh, and if you start feeling “hot” this week at work, let’s keep the clothes on anyway.