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I recently met Noah at a conference. His story of personal repentance left me asking this question: what if all of us took our own repentance as radically as he does? Here is Noah sharing a bit of his story… 

About five years ago, I became trapped in a near daily routine of looking at online porn or buying it from the store. I was fully involved in church ministry during this time. I knew it was wrong, but I felt captivated by it. The more I repeated this routine, the more I came to hate myself for it. I would sit there looking at the computer screen and say to myself, “I’m only gonna look at one more girl; then I will get offline.” Another hour and dozens of photos later, I couldn’t understand why I was still clicking away.

Porn poisoned my soul. I reached the point where it became impossible for me to talk to my sisters in Christ without thinking something perverted. My mind became utterly corrupt. This went on for about 3 years. Every time I looked at porn I would think about Romans 6:6-7, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” Jesus also said that we cannot serve two masters. I had to ask myself: “Why am I allowing porn to be my master in place of Christ?”

I felt like a total hypocrite. I would think to myself: “I’m supposed to be involved in ministry and that’s how people see me. I don’t even have anyone I can talk to about this!” The more I looked at porn, the more dry my daily Bible reading would become. Then, one day while looking at the computer, one small sentence from Luke 13:7 came to mind: “…cut it down! Why does it even use up the ground?” This was what a man said about a tree that was sucking up his resources but bearing no fruit. In that moment, I unplugged my laptop; smashed the screen; and took it outside to the dumpster. I smashed the screen to prevent myself from going back for it later.

That was the end of looking at online porn, but I was still buying it from the store. One day while inside a porn shop I had a very sobering thought. I had just watched a man in his late fifties check out a stack of DVDs. This man must have been taking weekly trips to the porn shop for most of his life: almost as if these pornography films are “what” he is married to. I had to ask myself: “Do I want to still be taking weekly trips to the porn shop 25 years from now? Do I really want to be married to this stuff or should I be trusting God to bring me a Godly woman as a wife one day?”

I am not married yet, but I still pray for my future wife. In a very real way, she is already special to me. If my future wife were to go and be in a porn film, I would be heart broken and crushed. Every single man and woman to ever do a sex film has made at least one person feel utter grief. Many who watch the films destroy their marriages. How can I ever go back to looking at porn and take pleasure in it knowing all of this?

Now having been away from pornography for some time, I feel a revived closeness to God. The scriptures feel more refined when I read them, and I am not burdened with the daily guilt anymore. Thankfully, I can now go to Bible studies and talk to my sisters in Christ without sexual thoughts even entering the mind. I am free to think of them in a Christlike way.

If I were to go back and even take another glimpse of porn, all kinds of feelings and temptations would come flooding back. Galatians 5:1 says, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”

If I feel tempted, I have trusted friends I call and ask to pray for me. I refuse to be married to porn. Satan will tell you “God is withholding something good from you” or “You’re missing out on something.” Those are lies that I will never believe again.

 

Disclosure: Noah borrowed a protected laptop to email me his story. He still does not own a computer or laptop. Whether you are 18, 58 or 98, it is never too late for radical repentance. From Noah’s story, we can see that it works. It seems to start with being in the bible, allowing scripture to penetrate our hearts to the point where we become desperately convicted by our sin. In other words, we cannot experience this kind of repentance in our own strength. We need to be changed by the power of God flowing through His Word. Otherwise, our temporary victories will collapse the next time temptation rises.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: What “masters” do I need to throw in the dumpster? How about you? To add your feedback on this or other subjects, simply use the comment form below. You may elect to comment as “Anonymous.” Share this article with others on Facebook, Twitter, Buzz or by email.

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