A Christian Porn Addict…

So, in my last post I was detailing how exactly I went from a New Ager to a Christian.  I explained how God convinced me to take another look at the Bible and Jesus.  I explained the amazing things God has done in my life as a result.  But, I finished the post with these unanswered questions…  If God has been so amazing in my life, why am I struggling with a porn addiction?  How could God have been using me all that time when I was still having cycles of addiction in my life?

I wish I could say I have complete answers to those questions… Maybe you have some insight you’d like to offer.  I’ll do my best to try to explain what I think about them.

First, I should mention that for the first 5 years of my new Christian experience my lust was basically null and void and I had completely overcome porn–wasn’t even tempted by it.  I didn’t look at porn even once during that 5 year period.  But, then things changed.  I think it’s important to analyze what changed as it likely holds some answers…

During the 5 years I was working with a team and we were all very close.  We lived together, prayed together, ate together, worked together, etc.  It was a close fellowship.  After the 5 years, I went on to become a Pastor.  Now, I found myself feeling very alone.  I didn’t have my little group anymore.  Now, I had a bunch of church members who were in my circle, but it just didn’t seem the same.  In a lot of ways it seemed like the church members weren’t being very real with me–like they had walls up and only let me see what they wanted me to see.  As the Pastor, I was not allowed to be a real person.  I was held up on a pedestal and the expectation was that I was perfect and had it all together.  This made me different.  But, I wasn’t different.  I had struggles just like everyone else.  I suffered with depression and loneliness and anxiety and fear just like everyone else.  I had personal battles to face just like everyone else.  But, I had to be the guy everyone came to with all their problems.  I had no-one to go to.  So, I did my best but it started to wear on me.  By the end of my first year, I was secretly seeking porn to pacify all my inner turmoil.  It became my comfort blanket.

So, something I’ve been really thinking about is relationships and just how supremely important they are.  I’ve found several Bible references that show that we were created to have meaningful relationships and that isolation is a very bad idea.  I’ve never been real good at relationships.  I would say I’m a like-able person and everything, but I’m pretty introverted and get wore out when I’m around too many people.  I’m not really shy anymore, but for some reason I’m just not stimulated that much by people and so I don’t really put much effort into relationships.  It’s easier for me to isolate instead.  I think I find relationships to be consuming of time, energy, and personal privacy.  I’m most comfortable just having my nice little family all to myself and not having all the drama of other relationships.  But, that preference has come with a price, I believe.  I have raised walls around myself and then sit in my little box of pain and loneliness wondering why I’m hurting.  Well, it would seem pretty obvious, wouldn’t it?!  It’s easy to point it out and even mock it, but it’s a much more difficult thing to change it.  It’s very difficult for me to tear down those walls–I don’t really know how and I’m not completely convinced that I want to–I just don’t have the energy.  But, I know I really need to!

God has been amazing in my life as I mentioned.  It’s not God who is the problem, it’s me.  I am broken by sin.  I was born in iniquity and my character has been marred by both inherited and cultivated sin in my life.  That’s not God’s fault, it’s mine.  God stands beside me trying to help my brokenness.  That is His supreme interest.  The questions I posed above have a common lie mixed into them.  The thought is that God only helps those who help themselves–that He is only interested in those who can get themselves together and then offer themselves to Him.  How wrong is that!!  God came for the sick!

I have a disease (partly of my own making).  God doesn’t turn away from that, rather, He lovingly seeks in every way to bring me restoration–however I might be willing to let Him.  I have not turned from Him either.  All along the way, I’ve known I’m sick.  I’ve known that I need the Physician.  I have never condoned my sin or tried to rationalize it.  I accept that it is ugly and disgusting and shameful.  I accept that it breaks God’s heart to see me like this. I don’t want to have this problem.  Because I am sincere, I believe God has stuck with me.  He loves me so much.  I know that.  Every time I fail Him it breaks my heart, but I don’t yet completely know how to stop.

I believe that God uses even the struggling.  Have you ever known a perfect Christian who had everything together?  I haven’t–that is proof that he uses the struggling because everyone struggles.  Maybe it would be better if we were more open about it instead of trying to pretend we have it all together.

One more thought in closing.  It has crossed my mind that perhaps I have not found true Christianity and only think I have.  In John 3, Nicodemus comes to Jesus to discuss spiritual things.  Nicodemus felt that he was a good Christian.  He was the best of the best among the religious elite of his day.  But, Jesus essentially told him that he had no clue.  Jesus told him it wasn’t about how religious he was.  It was about being transformed by the power of the spirit of God.

I’ve found in my own experience that it’s very, very easy to get caught up in religion.  Churches I’ve been to seem much more concerned about their culture than they are about their connection.  I hear a lot of talk about church and getting people there and not so much talk about Jesus and getting people THERE.  I know very few Christians who have an emphasis in their day to day life on “abiding in Christ and His love”.  I have seen non-Christians living more spiritually than many Christians seem to.  It is easy for Christians to feel like they are “in” because they do all the right things.  But, Jesus was very clear that many who think they are in will not be in.  The Bible is clear that we must not neglect or take for granted what God has brought to us.  I’m afraid many Christians are doing just that.  And, it’s like leaven that seems to always be trying to spread into my life as well.  It’s a contagious disease like a cancer that we must watch for constantly.

In some ways, I think these insights express how I feel about the questions I posed.  I would be curious about whether you agree or disagree and also if you have any further insight to add.

This entry was posted in Christianity, Church, lust, Pornography Addiction, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Christian Porn Addict…

  1. torik89 says:

    I have just a few thoughts. I think self-analysis is a very good thing, but you are right. Relationships really are key.

    I am also a major introvert. It is not energizing for me to be around a large crowd of people or be in contact with people who require much from me. But I know it is too important for me to ignore it. Our microchurch, small group, whatever you want to name it is a place that I know I need to go. I need fellowship with other believers, and there are about five or six women there that are in my smaller group out of a group of 20-30 men and women. I am friendly with all of them, but only say everything that is going on in my life and go deep with those 5-6 women.

    For me, this group is like exercising. I really hate exercising, but I know I need to do it. Nearly every time before I decide to go work out I have a battle in my mind about whether or not I should go and how I don’t really want to, but every single time I do I never regret it. Because it is good for me and I always feel better about myself and more energized. People are the same way. I go through the same battle, but every time I feel better about my decision to go because God knows better than I do what I need.

    Hope that is encouraging. I am praying for you!

  2. samiam77 says:

    I really think you are putting a lot of thought and analysis in to your life and it is much needed. I hope it is bringing you some insight and peace. I am very happy to see you are continuing to blog everyday while your family is away. Does this mean that you have been able to restrain your self from lust? Are you still sober? I hope so either way keep trying and keep blogging!

    • Yes, it’s bringing me a lot of insight–the peace part, well, not so much. It’s been really, really hard. But, I think the key is to keep going (like you mentioned). This is the end of the first week–one more to go. At first, my freedom was not such a good thing. I really struggled and didn’t do so good. But, the second half of the week has been better. I’ve started to work it out with myself and make some rules. It’s been good because I have no one but myself to answer to and I’ve decided to be accountable anyway. That has helped me in some way to see that I want to get over this for not just others–but myself too. Thanks for touching base with me!

  3. really put a an usable information so i would like to say thanks

  4. Sigh, It is so sad when people put the pastor or church elders in a pedestal. I could somehow relate because I’ve been a missionary for two years now and although no one (or because no one) told me, I set very, very high standards for myself. So when I plummeted — and I think it was inevitable — I fell really hard. I have learned through this experience that I have been setting my standards based on wrong motives. Those standards were more to please people than to please God.
    During that time in my life I suddenly appreciated the Church, as in the body of believers who help each other and bestow grace upon you. Being Spiritual Leaders, it is important to have people who would pray for you, understand and lovingly rebuke you if need be.
    I pray that you, and all Christians would always experience the same kind of community. 🙂

  5. Pingback: From New Age to Christian… What happened!? | **Lost In Porn Blog** (Now Recovering)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s