Hands raised if you have ever had this thought:
“God, I keep asking you to take this away, and You don’t. Why aren’t you listening to me?”
An e-mail I received recently echoed that sentiment. It seems to be fairly common among Christians who struggle. My hand is up too.
While I understand the logic, it is also a flawed logic.
Pornography is not cancer
When we utter those words, “God please take this away” we are acting as if we are victims of a third party. We put ourselves in the position of unfortunate bystanders, caught in the crossfire of life, stuck with this wretched condition of ‘porn addict.’ All we need is God to work a miracle here and poof, we will be porn-free, as if pornography (or lust, or masturbation) has somehow embedded itself deep within our bodies, and is outside of our control.
Pornography is not cancer. Your addiction is not the result of some outside event or influence. This is a point I have to stress a lot, because young women will try and trace back the roots of their pornography addiction. They’ll tap back into absent fathers, or molestations, and abuse. They will search for a cause, much like researchers fervently search for a cause of cancer. Where there’s a cause, there’s a cure. This is not the case with pornography.
Pornography is more like candy
Pornography is sin. Sin doesn’t happen to us; we choose it. I know that statement completely offends some of you. I had one woman get irate with me because I told her that her choice to sleep with multiple men was just that- her choice. I’m not sure whose choice she thought it was. It certainly wasn’t God’s, or her dad’s, or her ex-boyfriend’s, or the man who raped her.
It has to be someone’s choice. Your family may have raised you on sugar. Your friends may indulge in sugar, but your choice to eat sugar is your choice.
Bottom line: when you open that internet screen, when you close that bedroom door, when you call that man on the phone, when you drive to the hotel- whenever sin gets you, it’s because you walked toward it. You chose it.
Is it addictive? Yes. Pornography and masturbation especially, carry with them chemically addictive properties. They can rewire your brain to make you believe you must have them in order to handle life. That’s a lie, of course, but it’s a very real feeling. Stopping can even result in physical symptoms of withdrawal (speaking from experience). It’s hard to stop, but that choice to stop is yours.
He Already Took It Away
HUGE truth you need to understand, right here:
Through the work of Calvary, God has already released sin’s hold on you.
That is the entire point of Calvary. Accepting Christ’s redemptive work of the cross frees us from our slavery to sin. In Romans 6-8, it states that we are dead to sin. It has no control over us. It has no say in our lives. To quote five year olds around the world: “You’re not the boss of me.”
But also, throughout those chapters, the truth is hammered home over and over again, that it is our choice. We are told to yield ourselves to Christ. He’s not going to force us, and we need to stop praying that He does.
That’s what we’re doing when we throw up our hands and ask Him to take it away. He’s not going to take away our ability to choose it. That is our freedom. We are free to choose, and we are choosing captivity.
When you pray for God to please pretty please take it away, He’s looking at Calvary saying, “I already did!”