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Porn is Like Potato Chips: Stop Before You Eat the Whole Bag

Porn is like potato chips.  Seriously.  Let me explain.

Remember the old Pringles commercials?  “Once you pop, you just can’t stop.”

Or the slogan for Lays potato chips:

Bet you can’t eat just one.

Maybe you are watching what you eat but walk by a friend with a handful of chips.  Just one, you think.  Pretty soon, you’ve gone to the store and bought an entire bag.  Self control went out the window the second that first crunchy, greasy, salty bite landed on your tongue.

I have now drawn the conclusion that porn is like potato chips- cheap, greasy, of no benefit whatsoever, and addictive.

Perhaps you’ve stumbled across a pornographic video online, completely unintentionally.  Maybe it was a pop up ad, or a rogue video on YouTube.  Perhaps it was a nasty joke a friend shared or a discussion among married women that went a little too far.  Whatever it is, it’s like that first bite of that first chip, and now you want more.

Your hormones start pumping.  You feel switches being thrown and the engine revving.  Dark, quiet recesses of your life are now buzzing to life.  Try as you may, getting everything to calm back down is borderline impossible.  This is the beginning of a chain reaction that often leads to failure.  

We take a second bite– a nibble.  Just one more taste.  Something soft.  Something easy.  Maybe some sex games, a chat room, some erotica, or some lesbian porn (after all, we’ve seen those parts before).  We’ll even be really careful to make sure we don’t look at the ads on the side.  Just enough to turn everything all the way up and then off.  Then, we’ll be fine.  It will be over.

Has that ever actually worked for you?  Yeah, it never worked for me either.

It’s just like a bag of potato chips.  Pretty soon, you’ll click into autopilot, mindlessly consuming hours of pornography until you run out of time or finally snap back to your senses.  The bag of chips will be empty, and you’ll be left feeling guilty, gross, and greatly in need of signing up at the local gym.

How do we stop that?  Can we bit on the brakes mid-fall?  Is there some kind of spiritual parachute we can deploy to slow our fall?

To answer that, we have to understand the lie behind our fall.

The reasoning the devil uses more often than not is, “Well, you’ve already seen it, so might as well go all the way.”

Stop and think about that for a second.  In many other cases, if we start to make a mistake, we stop.  Once we realize we are in error, we try to correct that error.

Not so with porn.  With porn, we try to excuse our error.  We begin this debate with ourselves that excuses what we know we are about to do.  Eventually we say, “Well, I will just start over again tomorrow.  After all, God’s mercies are new in the morning.  I might as well go all the way, get it over with now and then repent in the morning.”

This is precisely the attitude that Paul was addressing in Romans 6.  Do we just keep on sinning so we can have more grace?  Of course not!  Still, we sometimes find ourselves caught in that cycle.   Here are some thoughts to keep yourself from “eating the whole bag.”

1.  Don’t swallow the first bite.  It’s that first bite that kills us.  It’s the first bite that ignites our desires and makes us crave more.  Once we’ve taken that bite, it gets harder to say no, and much easier to say ‘just one more.’  Install filters if you need to.  Ad blocking software is a great idea.  Do something to “keep the chips out of the house.”

2.  Set up some roadblocks.  I’ve addressed the importance of making sin inconvenient.  If you have five open bags of potato chips in your house good luck not eating one of them.  It’s a lot easier to avoid if they aren’t even there!

3.  Accountability is key.  I know, I keep harping on this (because it is important!).  If you don’t have someone in your life who cares if you are ‘eating potato chips’ or not, then you can eat till your heart’s content.  That’s a bad thing, though. You need to have someone who knows your struggle and can help you stop and think.

4.  Shut up.  I mean that in the most loving way possible.  Stop trying to reason your way through this.  The moment you start debating with your flesh, you lose.  In the battle of logic over sex drive, sex drive wins out every time.  Your logic is shoddy.  Your past is an indication that you don’t always make the best decisions, so stop trying to reason your way through this.

Most important, call on the Spirit.  In moments of temptation, we buy into this line of thinking that God removes Himself from the picture to see if we’ll make it.  We think that in the moments we need His power the most God steps back and leaves us on our own.

Reality check:  God is not a sadist.  He doesn’t get a kick out of watching you struggle.  You are not a lab rat.  You are a beloved child of the King.  He wants to help you, so stop believing that your self-control is your ticket to freedom.

That is where porn and potato chips are different (obviously, not the only way they are different).  You can talk yourself out of eating another chip, but when it comes to winning the battle with lust, your self-control will not be enough.  You need to tap into the power of God Himself and the victory already won for you.  You need Him, and He’s there, willing to help you, right now.

One comment

  1. Oh boy I’ve been there!
    What helps me is changing what I’m thinking about. If my body is charging, my brain is full of thoughts that are racing or driving me to give in,
    I’ve found listening to a preaching podcast helps me.
    This is particularly good when I’m trying to go to sleep. It’s a struggle the first few minutes but then I either get into what is being said, or I’m out cold, sin free, guilt free, happy!