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Current Page: Church & Ministries | Tuesday, March 22, 2016
DesiringGod Author: 7 Things to Do After You Look at Porn

DesiringGod Author: 7 Things to Do After You Look at Porn

(Screenshot: Housing and Student Living/YouTube)

Seventy-seven percent of Christian men ages 18-30 and 55 percent of married Christian men view pornography each month, according to a 2014 study by Barna Group. In a recent post to help individuals find grace after succumbing to this temptation, DesiringGod.org author Paul Maxwell offers these 7 things that both men and women should know.

1. Know Your Enemy

Maxwell says that individuals must know that Satan is out to steal their lives, and therefore should govern themselves accordingly — being mindful of their very thoughts after they indulge in viewing pornography. "Every experience you have — your thoughts, your hatreds, your impulses, your emotions, your plans, your ideas — must take into account that Satan is at work," he writes.

Therefore the author warns men and women against plunging themselves into self-hatred or self-avoidance after viewing pornography because that's exactly what the enemy wants. "Recognize that you have a powerful personal agent who is singularly focused on your destruction (Job 1:7; Ephesians 2:2; Jude 1:19)."

Forgetting that the devil is in action behind the scenes allows one to fall prey to his subtle and destructive lies, says Maxwell.

2. Fight Self-Hatred

The author warns men and women not to allow hatred for their sin to develop into a hatred for themselves.

"Be patient with yourself, because God is patient," Maxwell writes. "He is fighting for your life (Genesis 32:24; John 10:10). He has not forgotten you. He has not left you. Keep fighting with Him. Keep gasping for the air of divine life — the Life-Giving Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45)."

3. Fight the Haze

Maxwell explains that after indulging in porn a "haze" tends to settle over an individual causing them to feel isolated, numb, and deadened — avoiding God, man and even one's self. He calls it "a spiritual cataract."

In this situation, he advises to simply pray and wait it out. "There's usually nothing to be done, if we're honest, except ride the wave — the muddle, the daze. Keep praying (Ephesians 6:18). Keep gasping for air. Stay awake. Keep breathing. Morning mercies can be the emotional reset button we need when we spend our daily emotional cache on pornography (Lamentations 3:22–24)."

4. Guard Others

The author reminds readers that pornography trains an individual to use others for personal pleasure.

"Just be aware that you are now inclined to use people in close relationship the same way you use those in pornography — with selfish motive, with neglectful attitude, unrepentantly." Maxwell adds that porn puts "relational blinders" on people and hinders their ability to love others the way they should.

He explains that porn feeds its consumers a false narrative. " ... One person for pleasing, one person for being pleased; one person making sacrifices, another receiving sacrifices; one subhuman, one god," Maxwell writes. "It takes self-control to remember that pornography is a false story — to fight the false drama which pornography gives to us, we must actively think less of ourselves and more of others: to remember human dignity, the love of Christ for those around us, our not-God-ness."

Maxwell adds that Christ's Spirit works in an individual to keep the flesh from ruling them.

5. Confess to a Friend

The author recommends confessing one's issue with viewing pornography to a friend who will neither excuse the behavior, nor crush the individual's spirit.

"Find the friend that gives hope that heals when they hear confession," writes Maxwell. "The purpose of confession is 'that you may be healed' and 'pray for one another' (James 5:16)."

View Maxwell's full list here.

Follow me on Twitter: @kevindonporter

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