Deep Waters

Mentoring Ministry‚Äč

Whether it's looking at porn or some other unwanted behavior, how many times have you given in, and immediately after told yourself it was the last time, only to give in again a few weeks, days, hours, or minutes later? I fell into this pattern for years, and each failure increased my hopelessness of ever getting porn out of my life for good.

Why does this happen? It's almost like we're two different people. A part of us truly wants to quit looking a porn. Our lack of self-control disgusts us. And yet, we keep coming back to the thing we hate. Here's how Paul describes the situation in Romans 7:15-17.

Romans 7:15-17 '15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.'

For the moment, let's focus on Paul's acknowledgement that it is the sin living in him causing him to sin. Is Paul making excuses for himself? Is he abdicating his responsibility to fight sin and pursue holiness? To put it in Paul terms, 'By no means!' He knew that he was still responsible to fight against his sin, as are we. He was simply acknowledging a truth that we all too often forget: We have an enemy living within us that wants to destroy us.

While its ultimate power over us is broken (if we have accepted Jesus), there is still sin in us, and it will strike when the right opportunity presents itself.

Here's the point: Sometimes, we will be in our right minds when it comes to resisting the temptation to look at porn, but other times, because of sin, we won't. And when we aren't in our right minds, if given the opportunity to sin, we will be unable to say no.

We can leverage this knowledge by choosing to take preventative, proactive measures when we are in our right minds (when we aren't feeling tempted) to set up barriers to prevent us from giving in when we are tempted.

It's almost like the man who turns into a werewolf during a full moon. He chains himself up BEFORE the full moon appears because once he turns into the wolf, he knows he won't be in control of his actions any longer. He must make the decision to chain himself up BEFORE the wolf nature takes over and overpowers the good, human part of him.  I finally realized that if I had the ability to look at porn, at some point, whether it was because I was lonely, tired, hungry, upset, bored, or just because I felt really tempted to, I would.

So what what did I do?

In light of this insight, I installed covenant eyes on my computer so that I could never get online and browse the internet by myself. Someone else would receive a report of every website I went to. I made a decision to remove the ability to give into the temptation to look at porn while I was in my right mind, because I knew that at some point, I would no longer be in my right mind, and if given the opportunity, I would give in.

Don't be lulled into a false sense of security because your will power is strong right now, or because you've had a decent streak of not looking at porn. If you have looked at porn within the last month, and aren't doing anything differently to prevent yourself from looking again, unfortunately, it's likely just a matter of time. Take proactive measures now, while you are in your right mind, to prevent yourself from looking at porn when you aren't in your right mind.

With Self-Control, Timing is Everything 

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