I'm a Christian Addicted to Porn

I'm a Christian Addicted to Porn

My battle with regret and guilt
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I knew this wasn't true. I knew I was a Christian. And I knew God saw me as perfect and loveable as he saw his very own Son. I knew all this. Grace. Love. Forgiveness.

But I didn't feel it. And I grew more and more depressed and frustrated with myself. I'd promise myself over and over that I wouldn't mess up again, only to repeat my mistakes.

Tyler wasn't any better. He eventually found it impossible to believe in a God who'd keep him from looking at porn. With God out of the picture, Tyler convinced himself porn was just about pleasure. And how could pleasure hurt anyone? Once he decided pornography wasn't evil, he embraced it. He subscribed to Playboy and bought their videos.

Seeing what happened to Tyler was a wake-up call. I knew I was headed down the same path. So I got help. One day, I was hanging out with a close friend who was a strong believer. Out of nowhere, I told him everything. My voice shaking, I confessed that if I could look at pornography for free, knowing I wouldn't be found out or feel guilty, I would. I asked him for help. We prayed together.

And then—to my surprise—my friend told me he had the same problem. Turns out most of my friends did. We went to an older Christian in our church and asked him to meet with us every week and help us. This man had no great wisdom we lacked, no secret to fighting the drawing power of naked women. But what he did was listen, give us wise advice and pray. He became a caring mentor to all of us. The first thing he showed us was that we weren't the only ones with these problems. We weren't freaks. We weren't alone anymore.

As I met with my new accountability group, I saw my life had to change. And a lot of those changes and lessons still apply to my life today. Lesson one: run away. "Flee!" our mentor often said. "Alcoholics shouldn't live across the street from a liquor store." To me, that means I can't walk alone into the magazine section of a store. Or use a computer alone without internet filters.

I have to limit the opportunities for temptation. I have to put space between me and porn. I can't have some catalogs in my house. I don't let myself watch TV alone. Even with filters on my internet service, I don't go online if no one else is home. These restrictions annoy me sometimes. But they help me flee.

The second thing I learned was to ask myself the question: How can I increase my desire for God and smother my desire to lust? Someone once told me that there are two dogs in my heart's backyard. One dog always craves pleasure, sin and selfishness. The other dog craves justice, mercy, peace and obedience to God. When I wake up every day, I choose which dog gets fed. The one I feed grows until the other dog can't even be seen.

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