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Five steps to freedom from porn

How can you stop looking at porn?

 

1) Admit that you have a problem

A lot of people use porn without admitting that they have a problem, so they don’t do anything active to stop using it. Some people won’t admit to having a problem until they’re so addicted that it affects many other areas of their lives. The first step on the road to freedom is to admit that your use of porn is a problem.

2) Confess that porn is sin

Use of porn isn’t just a problem for us, it destroys us and our relationship to other people. This is why the use of porn is sin. The good news is that Jesus died first and foremost for our sin, not for our problems. He also died for the sense of guilt that you get when you look at porn. The Bible says that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

Jesus also died for the use of porn. He died for us so we can live in freedom. God is faithful and just. When we confess our sin He will forgive us and cleanse us. When we confess our sin He sees us as though we had never sinned, regardless how many times we have fallen into sin or how serious the sin is. What can really set us free is seeing that Jesus took our sense of guilt on Himself when He died on the cross.

But it can often be hard to receive God's forgiveness, especially if we’ve prayed the same prayer lots of times before, and then repeated the same sin. If this is the case, it will help to talk to a Christian you trust, such as a leader, pastor, priest or counsellor. When we confess our sins to someone else, they can also pray for us so we get healed on the inside. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16).

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3) Get an accountability partner

When you’ve confessed your sin, then you’re totally clean in the eyes of God. You can start all over again as if you’d never done anything wrong. Using porn is very addictive, and it can be difficult to break old habits even though God has forgiven you. When you know that no one will find out, the temptation gets even stronger.

That’s why you need to get together with a person you trust, someone who doesn’t use porn and who will hold you accountable and ask you how you’re doing. It’s not quite so tempting to look at porn if you know that the person might call you next week to ask how you’re doing. A lot of people have been helped to stop using porn by installing a web browser that blocks porn websites, and also sends an email to your accountability partner if you try to access a porn site. X3watch is a web browser that can do this. You can install it on PCs, Macs and smartphones.

4) Trash the porn and break bad habits

Be radical like the new Christians at Ephesus when they repented of black magic. They burnt books worth 50,000 silver coins (a silver coin was worth about a day’s wage) so that God’s Word advanced and God’s good will could be done (Acts 19:19–20). Remove all porn from your computers, tablets, mobile phones and memory cards. Burn any porn magazines or DVDs you might have, don’t give yourself the opportunity to fall in a weak moment.

Think about the situations you've been in when you’ve given in to the temptation to use porn. A lot of people experience that it can be extra difficult to stand against temptation when they are tired, lonely, angry or hungry. Be alert in case there are certain times of day or night that you are especially weak. Lots of people have been helped by avoiding the internet or TV late in the evening. Maybe you even need to have a screen-free bedroom? It can be a sacrifice to set limits for yourself, but if this is what’s needed for you to be free, then it’s worth it.

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5) Get some new, better habits

When you stop doing something there can be a sense of emptiness, especially if you’ve used porn to fill an emptiness in your life. This is why it’s really important to find new habits. Make sure you get enough sleep, make spending time with good friends a priority, and find a good church community. Sex touches something very deep in us, and we can be tempted to use porn because we actually long for relationship with other people and with God. Set apart time to read the Bible, listen to good Christian teaching, and spend time with God in prayer. He can fill the emptiness in our lives in a way no one else can.

God bless you!