fighting for free hearts

Beat Porn. Be More Passionate.

Yes, you read that headline correctly.

However counterintuitive it is, that’s what it says. And it’s not a gimmick.

Passion is actually a lost treasure and we need to recover it. i scratched the surface of this thought when i wrote the post Passion: It’s Way Bigger Than Sex.

You’ll most likely never see much traction in your life in your fight for freedom from the snare of pornography until you become more passionate. Again, that probably seems like a recipe for disaster rather than a path to healing and freedom, but the answer to your pornography problem, all that compulsive sexual behavior, is not to kill desire.

The more you try to lock down passion, the more out of control your sexual acting out will become.

C.S. Lewis put it this way in The Weight of Glory:

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

This quote is a bit surprising, and — i think — rather refreshing; but what does it really mean? As popular as this quote is in porn addiction recovery circles, i am not sure how well we understand what C.S. Lewis is actually saying.

My concern is that as this quote gets tossed around, we run the serious risk of turning it into a cliche through overuse, and we miss the power, the life, and the freedom that could be ours if we took our time to get inside it and consider it carefully.

That is exactly what happened in my life years ago when i worked in ministry.  i tossed around a line from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe which sounded very astute and spiritual. i even thought i knew what i was talking about.

It was the line in which Beaver tells Lucy that Aslan — the God-figure in the story — is “not safe, but good.” Many pastors and ministry leaders have used that line from C.S. Lewis to describe God; to illustrate that He is always concerned for our best, but He may be unpredictable or even — dare we say — Dangerous.

i was guilty of using that line, but not having any clue what it meant.

So, back to The Weight of Glory. The first line, “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak,” must be acknowledged as the direct opposite of what most Christian churches have taught.

The primary message has been that our desires are bad, they are too strong; especially our sexual desires.

And our experiences, particularly for those of us with compulsive sexual behavioral tendencies, have reinforced the notion that our desires are too strong.

But let’s think about Passion in a non-sexual context for a moment.

It is Jesus who rightly defines Passion. During his arrest, beating and death, He demonstrated extreme and compelling emotion and drive which were motivated by love to redeem humanity through his suffering. The intense and unyielding Passion of Jesus took Him all the way to the cross.

It was that same Passion which was on display in Chapter 2 of the Book of John, in which Jesus used a whip to clear the temple of merchants. He knew how to be fierce for all the best reasons, and in the right circumstances.

Many people consider themselves passionate and use the word of themselves in a self-descriptive manner when a better word would be: emotional. Much of what we call Passion is nothing more than strong emotion. Jesus’ Passion caused Him to suffer for the sake of others. Self-denial and perseverance were integral to His Passion.

How does this help us beat porn?

Well, if we come alive to Passion; if we get our hearts connected to the genuine article, our souls will be hungry for real love, real beauty, and real intimacy because those things emanate from the very heart of God. The more our hearts become aligned with the heart of Jesus, the more we will want all that is good and right and true.

The false intimacy of pornography will not be able to compare with real love, real beauty, and real intimacy. Pornography will no longer satisfy our souls. In fact, it already is not satisfying us, because it never has been able to, but we require an awakening to authentic beauty for our hearts to be able to see the counterfeit for what it is.

In fact, we require an ongoing awakening to authentic beauty, and that awakening can only happen if we embrace Passion.

So, yes, in order to beat pornography, we must become more passionate.

2 Responses to “Beat Porn. Be More Passionate.”

  1. Christopher Mars

    Thanks for the post, James. Indeed, passion is more than strong emotion. A deep, resolute, even stubborn conviction about something, eh?

    Reply
    • james tarring cordrey

      Thanks for reading, Chris. one of the working definitions i have for Passion is based on that verse in scripture where it describes Jesus as “setting His face like flint” with regard to His journey to the cross. Deep and resolute indeed. i also think about Passion in terms of wholeheartedness. And for that, countless images and stories spring to my mind, whether in scripture or elsewhere.

      Reply

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