A giant called porn

A giant called porn

"Have you ever watched porn? Tick either, yes, no, or I don't understand the question." This was part of a questionnaire we asked the guys in our youth group to fill out a few years ago. Interestingly, everyone ticked “yes”.

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Laurence James Davis

Laurence James Davis

Laurence is an inner-city minister at the Christian Centre in Nottingham. Holding down weekly meetings with hundreds of young people, he holds it all, in the knowledge that the Gospel preached, saves lives. Laurence has a desire to see people growing into maturity in their faith, whilst remembering the reality of the Holy Spirit's power throughout our journeys with Jesus. He has also been at the forefront of pioneering evangelistic meetings in a night club. Sick. 

Streams

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A giant called porn

"Have you ever watched porn? Tick either, yes, no, or I don't understand the question."

This was part of a questionnaire we asked the guys in our youth group to fill out a few years ago.

Interestingly, everyone ticked “yes” and not–so-surprisingly no-one ticked “I don't understand the question”!

I've been a youth pastor for nearly 10 years now. I've spent hours and hours over the years talking, praying, teaching and counselling young guys who struggle with porn addiction.

It's a subject that gets me angry.

I get angry at the industry: the exploitation of the women and men involved, many of whom were themselves abused in earlier life. I get angry at how easy it is to access. I get angry at how it is popularised through music videos. I get angry at the guilt and shame it produces in the young men I sit with who are seeking to live godly lives.

I get angry at the 'Goliath' it appears to be in this generation. Like Goliath who came out day after day taunting people and intimidating them, that's what porn does to so many people. It just seems too difficult to overcome. Impossible, even.

At least that's how it felt for me. I, like many have who have written on this topic, also struggled massively with porn and masturbation throughout my teenage years.

Fortunately for me, my biggest struggle came before the popular use of the internet. I dread to think what I would have been like being able to access non-stop porn through my mobile phone. I don't think I would have got anything else done!

The worst thing you can do if you are struggling with pornography is to not tell anyone. Yet, that's what exactly what I did. I lived many years feeling so bad about myself. I was convinced I was the only one who struggled in this area.

Left to myself I tried all the following (if you've struggled in this area maybe you can relate):

 - "I will really, really try harder this time…"

 - "I'll do it this once and then that is the last time..."

 - "I haven't done it for a while, I deserve it..."

 - "It's not that big a deal, at least I'm not having sex with someone…"

It was only when I did share, when I did become accountable to someone who I trusted, that I saw things start to change. Not straight away or overnight (I would have loved that to be the case), but gradually I began to walk out of addiction, into freedom.

It wasn't just being honest and accountable with someone else though. It was also being honest and accountable with myself.

One of my favourite scriptures in this area of pornography is 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."

I had to realise that simply because Jesus lived in me, I had a power to make the right choice. Through the Holy Spirit, I had the self-control to make the choices that Jesus wanted me to make.

I realised (and I still do) that God’s grace is not only there when we mess up, but God’s grace also empowers us not to mess up.

That was revolutionary for me. I thought I was the guy who could never change. I thought I was the guy who would never break free from the addiction. I never thought that I would be the guy helping other guys to walk in freedom from pornography.

If you're reading this and you are thinking, “that's fine for you, but that could never be me”, don't worry. That's just a lie. That's what the devil does: he distorts truth.

The apostle Paul had a similar dilemma:

“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”

Romans 7:24-25

His answer came in Jesus. As simple and as obvious as that sounds, the answer to pornography is the same: Jesus. His grace, His power, His strength.

As much as I hate the Goliath of porn, I've met someone way bigger. His name is Jesus and He makes teenage boys like David-who-desires take down good-looking-Goliaths when they turn to Him and trust His power.

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