Overcoming Porn Addiction Today

Overcoming Porn Addiction
Overcoming Porn Addiction
©Jamieson Murphy 2017

It is late at night and you are alone. If you live with someone else or family, chances are they are sleeping. You get that overwhelming urge once again and you find yourself logging on to an adult website. Your heart begins to beat as you get more and more excited and begin to watch an inappropriate video. You know that porn is not something for you to be watching but you do it anyway. The fact that it is considered forbidden is part of the excitement and adventure. For the next few minutes, your attention is glued to the screen and you finally receive the self-gratification you wanted. But something doesn’t feel right. All the excitement and pleasure is all of a sudden replaced with an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame. You know what you did was wrong but you feel like you can’t help yourself. You want to quit but you feel like you can’t stop and you’ll never be able to do it.  So you do it another night. And another. Again and again, until it becomes a regular habit.

What I have just described is an addiction to pornography that I suffered with for many years in secret. A secret that I hid successfully from my parents. If you or someone you know or love is struggling with porn, I am here to tell you that you are not alone. It is not hopeless and freedom is possible. If you are someone that doesn’t think porn is a big deal or a problem, I can also tell you that it most certainly is. Porn is dangerous to the mind, the body and the spirit and can have profound effects on your life. I know this because I have experienced those dangers first hand. My freedom and cure from porn-addiction would not be possible without the love, help, and mercy from my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Only in Him can you find true freedom.

My exposure to porn began the moment I gained access to the internet. I was at that age when hormones were going crazy and you begin to get curious. I knew porn was considered bad but I never knew why and to top it off, I had backslid in my Christian life. We had no church, I was distracted from the huge work load in college life and barely even prayed. As a result, I suffered from a spiritual drought that made indulgence into porn easier and quicker.

Another factor was my low self-esteem. I’ve never had a girlfriend in my life and am still a virgin who never had any girls show any interest in me since my youth. I’ve had minor weight issues for much of my life that compounded my low view of myself. As my hormones and desires grew, porn became the perfect outlet. In no time it grew into an addiction that took many years to realize that it was a problem. Until that happened, I indulged when I was stressed or felt that sexual desire and didn’t think it was too much of a problem. I failed to see any negative effects on my personal, educational, family or Christian life for quite a long time. At times I would hear or read things about porn that would make feel bad but I quickly shrugged it off. I rationalized my indulgence with phrases like “I can’t help it”, “I have needs!”, “I’m only human”, “I can’t help myself!”, “What’s the harm?” and “It’s only natural”. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

The time eventually came where I hit rock bottom where I finally realized that I had a problem and that my Christian life was in need of repair. It was after my college years were over and I finally went to God in prayer. I confessed to God that I knew I had a problem and wanted to stop but my problems didn’t end there. I still struggled to understand why I continued to be drawn to porn, why I couldn’t stop. At times I still rationalized until I knew they were just excuses. Repairing my spiritual and Christian life had begun at the same time as well. I began to read my Bible daily and praying constantly to God. Despite my efforts, I still struggled with porn. I still kept it a secret from my folks but I knew that God was the only one I couldn’t hide from. I was still scared of what my parents would do if they discovered my dark secret. I didn’t want to hurt them or anger them. I felt that they wouldn’t understand. Instead of seeking help somehow, I kept praying to God and laying my heart out to Him. Telling Him all my confusion, frustrations and desperation. I felt that God was my only hope to quit porn. I soon discovered that I had an addiction through internet research. For such a long time, I felt that I would never know a life free from porn. I was so desperate to stop but I never gave up. I wanted to do what was right. So I never stopped praying. One thing I knew, that God was with me each time I cried out to Him. His presence was always a comfort.

About three months ago, God finally came to my aid! God led us to a church (the first time in over a decade) and the first day, I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to talk to the pastor. I did and I spent about an hour confessing my sin and explaining everything to him. I told him my hearts desire to live a life of total obedience to God but I needed help. He helped me understand what was going on. The pastor laid a hand on me and prayed for me and when I went home, I confessed my sin to my parents. I was pleasantly surprised to see them react in a loving way to my secret. It turned out that they loved me just the same.

From that day on to today, I have not indulged in a single piece of pornography or visited an adult website. God has truly set me free! My life has never been the same since. I am truly at peace in my life and I am closer to God than I have ever been before. My life feels as though it has been renewed. Glory be to God! Since my freedom, I have grown in my faith and Christian life. I now realize what was wrong and believe with a passion that porn is very dangerous.

As Christians, we all carry around with us a full armor of God (Ephesians 6: 10-17) and that we are to be soldiers for Christ if we are to be victorious over sin and the Devil. If you backslide, as I did, it is no different than if you put on a piece of rusty, old and dented piece of armor. You won’t be protected and will be completely vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. You will more than likely fall into temptation and sin. This is what happened to me.

During my addiction, there was an ongoing battle between the Spirit and the carnal flesh. I wanted to do what was right but my addiction and the flesh came into conflict with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit indwells in each believer and He will not tolerate any impure or ungodly behavior. As a result, I experienced much spiritual turmoil and anxiety.

I also suffered from periods of doubt and condemnation. I would feel like a terrible person and that maybe I was never saved, to begin with. Feeling like I disappointed God and that He was ashamed of me for my sin. These feelings were nothing but Satanic attacks aimed to destroy me and my relationship with God. The enemy does this at times to every believer when we struggle with sin and hardship. It all comes down to a battle of the mind and behavior. If you don’t win the battle of the mind, you will lose the battle of your behavior. What the mind thinks, governs everything.

Every area of thought was affected by my porn-addiction. Nothing was safe. All the filth that I absorbed into my mind corrupted my thinking process and I could not unsee all the pornographic imagery. It occupied my thoughts all the time, every day no matter what I was doing. I looked at women differently and my mind was filled with sexual thoughts. It even negatively affected my body for quite some time. Thank God it didn’t last. To put it bluntly, porn became toxic and polluted my very mind and body. It became like a drug to me even though I’ve never used tobacco, alcohol or illegal substances in my life. Its effect on me was no different.

Our culture has this attitude of “if it feels good, looks good and sounds good; it’s okay”. That is the attitude toward porn and that is not true. Relationships and marriages have been destroyed from pornography and is an act of adultery. Young men are even getting erectile dysfunction from their porn usage too early in life. A Google search will tell you that the effects of porn on the brain is indeed no different than the effects of an illegal drug. In my view, I think the medical community should come out against porn because of its negative and detrimental effects on the mind and body.

Fellow Christians, porn has become an epidemic with many believers across the nation. Some research of your own online will verify my statement. I have visited myself, online forums that discuss the topic and have read numerous responses from Christians who use porn. What I have found is that they are struggling just I did with so many feeling hopeless and rationalizing their indulgence. If you are struggling with porn in your life, take my testimony to heart and know that you can quit. You must realize that you are sinning against God but He loves you. He knows that you are struggling. Pray constantly to God to free you from porn’s grasp. Whatever you do, don’t do what I did and keep it a secret from family or friends. Secrecy only feeds your addiction and makes it even harder to stop. Seek help from family, friends and most importantly, talk your pastor. If you don’t have one, find a Bible believing church asap. You don’t have to struggle alone. Never ever give up. God can and will set you free from porn if you let Him and trust Him. I can promise you that once you are free, your life will never be the same and you will have a newfound sense of peace. Freedom may not happen right away. I had to wait a long time before God freed me. But remember this, God’s will and timing is just and perfect. He will free you but you must keep praying, lean on Him and place your faith and trust in the Lord.

If you are a believer that thinks it’s not a problem, dangerous, a sin or that anything I have discussed can happen to you think again. You are sowing a seed from your sin and indulgence in porn. There may be no negative impact from porn now or for quite a while, but you will eventually. And the full harvest from your seed of sin will bring consequences. You will not get away with sinning against God without consequences. So I implore you, think again. Do some research, search your heart and pray.

My hope and prayer is that my message will make a difference to those who read it and help anyone afflicted from pornography. I’ve been there and weathered the storm. I felt overwhelmed by the wind and the waves feeling as though I may never make it out. But the time came when the hand of Christ reached down and grabbed mine, pulling me out of the water. He took my hand and lead me out of the storm to the other side. To freedom. May God bless you.

Been a born-again Christian since I was six years old in June of 1996. Currently working as a caregiver for my aging parents. I strive everyday to live in obedience to God and submit to Him so Jesus can live His life through me.

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