Q: Hello. I found out about xxxchurch a few months ago and I am really excited about the ministry you guys are doing. I am a fairly new Christian (3 years now). I started looking at pornography when I was 12 and I am now 24. I am trying to stop, but I can’t. I am in school and I can’t afford the purity program or any counseling. I know that if I don’t break this it is going to tear apart my life and ministry. I know that you guys have a business to run, but I hope that you are in the position where you can help in some way.

A: Hey Cliff. My heart really goes out to you because you sound so earnest in your email. I think one of the things that gets to me the most when it comes to the emails that I receive is that people appear to be riddled with so much guilt. Remember, if you are indeed a Christ-follower, there is no reason to beat yourself up because the Word says that there is no condemnation in him (Romans 8:1).

I think what many of us tend to forget, or perhaps don’t even know, is that God does not expect you to get over an addiction in your own strength. The Bible says that the flesh and Spirit lust against each other “so you do not do the things that you wish.” (Galatians 5:17) This is why Christ told us that his strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9)

It’s a semi-radical approach, but why don’t you consider not focusing so much on the porn addiction for awhile and put your energies towards developing a more intimate relationship with God? I know when I was battling with my own porn addiction, I realized that I was trying to use the same thing that got me into it (self) to get me out. Self is flawed, selfish and unstable (more times than not). Not only that, but it is HIGHLY self-seeking and the Word tells us that in that place, confusion and every other evil thing are there (James 3:16). To me, self-seeking doesn’t only speak to our lusts, or in this case your porn addiction, but also in trying to free yourself from it ALONE. Alone, you will fail every time because your flesh will never want to get freed from something that satisfies it.

I don’t want you to think that I am dismissing your issue, but I have learned from personal experience that often what we concern/consume ourselves with is something symptomatic of a greater problem. If you have been battling with porn for twelve years, ask God to take you to what introduced you to it in the first place. For me, it was a guy that I was sexually active with. When I started journaling about the voids that porn filled, it was easier for me to find things that would directly address those empty places. Either way, Cliff, it didn’t take you a day to get in it and it won’t be an overnight experience to get out, but because you want to, God is pleased and he will honor that.

Oh, one more thing. You said that you didn’t want your porn addiction to ruin your life/ministry. That’s the Enemy in your head. Any time that comes to your mind, claim these two scriptures:

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”—Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

“How can we know what will happen to us when the Lord alone decides?”—Proverbs 20:24 (NCV)

The good news about being a believer is that you accept the revelation that this is not your battle to fight. All you have to do is surrender your will. God will do the rest.

Keep us posted, OK? We’ll be prayin’.