There are a lot of reasons to give up porn and lust. Some of them are positive reasons and some are negative. I’m thinking today about a negative reason that has provided me with motivation for change. It comes from a book that I have read several times called Patriarchs and Prophets by E. G. White. In it, she makes the following statement about lust:
“Sensual indulgence weakens the mind and debases the soul. The moral and intellectual powers are benumbed and paralyzed by the gratification of the animal propensities; and it is impossible for the slave of passion to realize the sacred obligation of the law of God, to appreciate the atonement, or to place a right value upon the soul. Goodness, purity, and truth, reverence for God, and love for sacred things–all those holy affections and noble desires that link men with the heavenly world–are consumed in the fires of lust. The soul becomes a blackened and desolate waste, the habitation of the evil spirits, and the “cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” Beings formed in the image of God are dragged down to a level with the brutes.”
I have found there to be a lot of truth in that. The first thing she mentions is that the mind and moral powers are weakened, benumbed, and even paralyzed. In essence, I found that during my times of bingeing, I just couldn’t think straight. My mind would be scattered and harnessed by guilt, shame, and avoidance. It was intellectual craziness. But even worse, in my mind, is how it effects your spirituality. And that’s what I really want to focus on for a minute.
It is hard to be spiritually paralyzed. Much of the world already is and doesn’t even know it. They live their lives with no thought of their spiritual life. But, we are all made up of soul, mind, and body. So, those who live without spiritual concern are shutting away 1/3 of their very nature. They only focus on mind and physical body. So self-crippling!
But, I found myself crippling myself as well. Even though I have been a spiritual person for a very long time. I found that porn addiction and lust was completely crippling me. At the time, I didn’t realize just how deeply I was being effected. But now, it’s becoming more and more clear.
All throughout my ten years of struggle with lust and porn, I was involved very deeply in ministry, religion, and spirituality. My life was completely immersed in it. But, I was having some really severe struggles in my own spiritual life. I felt hopeless even though I believed in a God of supreme power. It was very difficult for me to sort out why I wasn’t finding victory in MY life. This made it impossible for me to share a personal testimony of the power of God’s grace–because although I believed it to be true in my mind, I wasn’t finding it to be true in my experience.
I also struggled with the commandment about loving others as yourself. I found myself very skeptical of others, critical of others, and actually somewhat hateful of others. I didn’t really love mankind. Looking back now, I realize I was skeptical of myself, critical of myself, and somewhat hateful of myself and I didn’t really love myself. So, I guess you could say I WAS loving others as myself but I didn’t really love myself very much. So, I couldn’t really love others as God wants us to love them. In the above statement, she says that it is impossible for the slave of passion to realize the sacred obligation of the law of God, to appreciate the atonement, or to place a right value upon the soul. That was absolutely true in my case. I loved God and wanted to obey Him, but I was finding it impossible to obey Him according to the sacred obligation of His law because I was being so tainted by my lust. My love for the sacred truly was being extinguished by the fires of lust. I was locked in the cage of darkness she describes!
It has only been since stepping out of that cage that I have really started to realize what I was missing. I’m beginning to develop a genuine love for people again. I’m beginning to develop a new love for God and a new confidence in Him. I’m so thankful for the testimony that is building in my life of God’s grace and power to deliver. My spiritual life had developed a tarnish and decay, but it is now being polished and restored.
It’s somewhat hard to really express what I mean in this post. I’m trying my best. But, it seems like all I can say is that when you are in the midst of addiction to porn and lust, you just don’t realize how effected spiritually you are. You may be very active in religion and even ministry, but it’s not until you begin genuine recovery that you actually start to realize just how spiritually broken and paralyzed you really were throughout that time.