Porn effects us in lots of ways.
It can lower your self esteem. It can make you hate yourself. It can cause distance between your boy or girlfriend, wife or husband and most of all it creates distance between you and God.
And because it is a lie it also lies to us about why there is distance between you and God. It tells us it is because God doesn’t love you or that he doesn’t care. It creates hopelessness about God. So we don’t go to God. We usually go to more porn instead.
But really the reason it makes us wonder where God is, is because we feel shame and we feel guilt.
We look at porn and we know we shouldn’t. But we just can’t help ourselves. So we think God is angry. So we don’t go near him. But the shame eats away at us even more and so we look to more porn. Which creates more space.
But it’s not because God doesn’t love us. It’s because we are frightened of God. We can’t bear to face him. Porn won’t get angry. Porn will welcome us back with open arms. Ready to comfort us. God won’t.
Which is what we believe.
But what if what we believed about porn and God were reversed. What if it’s not porn that will welcome us back but God? What if it’s God who cares and not porn? What if we can cut the shame and guilt right in its tracks by coming back to God?
What if right after viewing porn God is ready to love on us?
A favourite verse of mine at the moment is one in Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:While we were still sinners Christ died for us.
The reason I love it so much is because it transcends time. We have so much guilt weighing us down about porn that we forget that it is sorted before we even turn our computer on. And if that is true then there is no need to feel guilt. We’re saved from porn. But not just after we view it. But before also.
What if we viewed our sin in this light. The light where God knows we’re going to mess up so he has already done something about it.
The question then becomes whether we choose to believe this or not. To believe every time that we think about viewing porn, God has already dealt with it or whether we believe that we are in a hopeless situation.
Do we just go on and look at porn then, safe in the knowledge that we don’t need to feel guilty?
Well really that’s up to you. But when we do that are we really free from guilt? Or are we just really heading in the same circle. Only worse. This time it’s not because we are driven to porn because of shame but because we can get away with it.
I wonder if the Prodigal son had the chance to take his inheritance and leave home again, would he do it? He might, and his Father would be there again waiting for him. He was loved when he left and he was loved when he returned. But what if he started to realise that what he had with his Father, this love which never wanes and was so ready to welcome him home wasn’t something new?
What if it was always there and he just didn’t see it before? What if he went to the party and suddenly realised just how good he had it?
Would he leave again and go through all his crap, just so he could have another party thrown for him? Or would he stay because he starts to see that there is a party everyday if he wants it?
It was true for the Prodigal Son and it’s true for us too. We can keep going back to porn and we can keep feeling crap and maybe we can come back to God eventually. And He WILL be there for us. But we don’t need to miss out on the stuff that is already true and available to us by going to porn first.
The prodigal Son was scared his Father would disown him. The same is true when we look at porn. We’re scared God won’t care. If we only stayed at the party we would see He does. There would be no doubt about that.
Next time you’re tempted think about the Prodigal Son. Do you want to be like him, never sure if your Father loves you or stay at the party and always be sure He does.
Anyway, nobody likes being late to a party.