The cycle of fighting — or not really fighting — porn addiction is pretty basic: you get fired up, make promises and resolutions, try really hard, fail, get depressed, feel defeated, curse the situation in anger, decide it cannot be conquered, convince yourself that it’s not that important (you are, after all a man who is attracted to sexually alluring women — isn’t that natural?) and then make a compromise and tell yourself that since you can’t really live in purity and freedom you will just make sure your porn use doesn’t get “out of control.” From there you crash and burn again, or hear a sermon, or have some sort of experience in which you realize you can’t be so nonchalant about your porn use, and the cycle starts again.
Sound familiar? It should. Or at least, a variation of it should resonate with you.
i spent more than a decade caught in this cycle. The cycle wore me out almost as much as the porn use did. The cycle will eat you alive also.
There is an expression among carpenters and builders which goes like this: “If all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.” In the years that i was caught in the cycle, and for many men i know, that hammer and nail thing looks like this: a resolution to simply try harder.
We need the right tools to fight with. We need a sharp axe to bring down this enormous tree of addiction.
The right tools include:
- a heart that has truly reached the point of godly sorrow regarding the sin of porn addiction (2 Corinthians 7:10-11).
- a heart that is not “gung-ho,” but is genuinely committed to change at all costs.
- a heart that will engage in spiritual battle against the Enemy.
More fleshly, human effort will get you more fleshly, human results. That’s why simply trying harder fails.
The actions and movements of a heart that has been touched by the convicting work of God will always be markedly different from the “i’ll-try-harder approach.”
First and foremost we must recognize that the battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers (Ephesians 6:10-18). And we must pick up the Sword and fight.
That’s using the right tool.