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5 Steps to Breaking Free from Porn (Joe Dallas)

STEP 4

5 STEPS TO BREAKING FREE FROM PORN by Joe Dallas.001.png

STEP 4 - AMENDS

Take Responsibility; Show Humility
With Quotes from Joe Dallas’ 5 Steps

You've hurt god

When you used porn, you deliberately jumped over your God-given conscience and gave yourself permission to surrender to something you knew God abhorred. Then you introduced into His holy place, into your body and mind, images created for so vile a purpose they used to be illegal and still can’t be shown in most public places. You brought the profane into a place of the divine. In so doing, you introduced sexual degradation into the temple of the God who can’t tolerate the sight of sin. “[ LORD,] You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness” (Habakkuk 1: 13). Paul wrote, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4: 30). How awful to think of grieving the only One who so perfectly and eternally loves you! You were created, redeemed, and cared for by a heavenly Father who will never leave you nor forsake you—and you’ve hurt Him. You should be aware of that.

King David committed adultery with Bathsheba and then had her husband Uriah "accidentally" killed on the front line. Why then did King David conclude, Against you, God and you only, have I sinned (Psalm 51)? What about Uriah? What about Bathsheba? What about the people of Israel? Didn't King David sin against them too? Why does David claim that he ultimately sinned against God? What does that say about whom we have sinned against and whom we need to repent to? Have you?

YOU'VE HURT HER

If you’re married, you entered into a covenant with a woman who believed you when you said you were forsaking all others. Little did she know that she, not the others, would be forsaken. To pledge yourself to monogamy is to promise your sexual energy will be reserved for your partner and not shared with strangers in one-sided fantasy episodes. When you invested your energy into those images, you betrayed your spouse in an unusually cruel way. Ask almost any wife who’s caught her husband using porn, and she’ll be only too glad to tell you how rejected, humiliated, and unimportant her man’s use of pornography has made her feel. Beyond the obviously immoral content of the porn, there’s also the terrible statement a wife so often feels is being made about her: “You’re not enough. This is what I really want.”
 
That thought may or may not be accurate from your point of view, but you can hardly blame her for assuming it is. That leaves her crippled with self-doubt. “Am I not attractive to him anymore? Was he ever satisfied with me? Am I supposed to compete with the women I’ve seen him looking at? Do I have anything to offer him anymore?” Porn defiles the man who uses it, but it also wounds the woman who loves him. You need to know this too.

We know that pornography hurts those we love (our wives, our girlfriends, maybe our parents). Dr. Ted was insistent that we wait for about 6 months of sexual sobriety before telling them about our struggle with pornography and now our new victories over it. For some, however, these loved ones already know so waiting the 6 months isn't an option. How is your relationship right now with them? What's your next step in making amends with them?

YOU'VE HURT THE CHURCH

What's the story of Achan from Joshua 7 & 8? How did his sin affect the Israelite nation?

Your strength or weakness as a member of the body of Christ does, for better or worse, affect the entire body as a whole. When you allow yourself to continue compromising your spiritual health and vitality, you weaken the body itself. You can’t simply check out from the rest of us when you’re not doing well. Rather, your condition is our condition, and your ups and downs affect us. We’re attached as members of the same entity. When you hurt yourself through sin, you hurt us as well.

How does knowing that your sin isn't just personal, but impacts the whole church, motivate you to stay pure?

GOD'S GRACE FOR OUR IDOLATRY

Joe ends Week 4 with this prayer.

Lord, of all the sins I’ve committed against You and others, the most obvious is the sin of making myself a god. I did this by choosing to put my cravings above everyone else’s needs and desires, including Yours. Ultimately my sin wasn't lust but idolatry. I’ve made a deity out of my pleasure, my urges and myself. 

Kaboom! Pornography isn't just idolatry because we have turned women into idols, but because we have turned ourselves into an idol, into god. Why is the worship of the true God the ultimate means to freedom from our addiction (any addiction).

Thinking about all the hurt we have caused to others (God, our loved ones, the church) can be a very painful thing. And it should be. But we need to end with God's grace. What's the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 11? Here's the amazing scene when he came home after coming to his senses:

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

If you have repented of your sin to God the Father, that's a picture of you and Him. He loves you. He has forgiven you. You are His son. How does knowing our true identities as forgiven and beloved sons of God help us live lives of gratitude and purity? Consider these two quotes:

By Neil Anderson
 
No one can consistently behave in a way that’s inconsistent with the way they perceive themselves. You must see yourself as a child of God in order to live like a child of God (from Victory Over Darkness).
 
By the Apostle Paul
 
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord - live as children of light (Ephesians 5:8).

Why does identity proceed behavior? How does knowing that you already are light and a son of the Father impact your ability to fight porn and choose what is right and pure?

ACCOUNTABILITY

How were you tempted to act out sexually this week? How did the battle go? How can the group help you win the battle? How can today's teaching help you find greater freedom?

Karl House