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Freedom from porn

Gjermund Øystese experienced God calling him out of addiction to pornography and into a life of grace.

True freedom is living life with God. We have a great need for affirmation and often we look for it in other places, apart from God. That isn’t good for us and it isn’t how God has meant us to be.

Gjermund works for the Norwegian Christian Student and School Association, and often holds seminars about taboo subjects like pornography. He has been part of creating the website heltfri.net (only in Norwegian) where people can find help to get free of porn. He realised that he was addicted to pornography when he was seventeen.

I wanted to be free of it, and asked for prayer on summer camps, but there were few people I dared to talk to about it. While on a Discipleship Training School (DTS) after senior high school, I understood that most of the guys had struggled with this. I started what we call a ‘fellowship of light’ with four others in Bergen the following year. We shared honestly with each other, were accountable to each other, and had God at the centre.

It’s normal to struggle

Gjermund thinks it’s crucial to focus on your relationship with Jesus when you want to stop watching porn. ‘It can’t be about you wanting to stop and managing to do it in your own power. It’s perhaps most of all about you being brutally honest, asking yourself if you trust God and what His will is for your life,’ he says.

A shameful addiction

Being hooked on pornography can steal the boldness you have in your life with Jesus, but Gjermund says clearly that grace is to be found: ‘Addiction is a shameful thing, I always tortured myself by keeping away from God for several days after I’d looked at porn. It was crucial for me to understand grace, that God is always reaching out His hand to me. Despite me falling into temptation, God always wants me to grasp His outstretched hand, to stand up again, brush off the shame and go on with God in full freedom.’

God has our best in mind

Gjermund is concerned that we become better at talking about sex in Christian circles.

‘We have to exalt it as the wonderful thing God has created it to be, and not the perverse, selfish thing the media and the pornography industry teaches us it is. God has our best in mind when He says that sex belongs in marriage,’ he says.

Gjermund’s tips for life

  • Get a mentor, an older person who you can talk with honestly about life.

  • Be accountable to someone and get help to avoid temptation, for example let a friend lock up your computer in the evening.

  • Don’t focus on stopping watching porn, rather focus on who you want to be and your life with Jesus.

 

Published with permission from iTro.no