Will I Ever Stop?
“I can’t stop … I can’t stop … How will I ever stop?”
These are the words that ran through my head on a consistent basis before I found freedom.
I would try, try, and try some more only to fall again, and again, and again. It was awful and so incredibly defeating.
I constantly begged God to deliver me from my pornographic dependence yet despite many pleas my struggle continued day after day, week after week, year after year.
I wanted freedom … but in the end it seemed like just a dream.
Thankfully, that dream finally became a reality for me, but I had to realize a few things.
I know this is something we constantly harp on but only because it is so crucial. Anybody wishing to escape a porn dependent existence must instill healthy accountability in his or her life.
For most of my struggle I never had reliable or healthy accountability, and it cost me freedom.
However, once I found a solid accountability partner everything changed.
I finally had a true partner … someone who cheered me on in victory, encouraged me in the face of defeat, and forced me to answer tough questions along the way.
Accountability changed the game for me and set the stage for a tremendous breakthrough.
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Don’t get me wrong, God is the only reason I found freedom, but He wasn’t going to fight my battles for me.
Every time I threw up my arms and said “God deliver me … I’m too weak” I was really saying “God do it for me because I’m not willing to do the hard work myself.”
There is a fine line between thinking you can do it yourself and expecting God to do it for you.
Yes, God’s willing and able to change you, but you need to truly desire and work for change even if it means uncomfortable and difficult decisions.
In the end, we have to work like it depends on us, but believe and recognize that it entirely depends on him.
When I was tempted it was always a matter of short-term pain vs. short-term pleasure.
I would basically approach every opportunity to view porn as a simple math equation.
The question I would ask is, “If I act out, is the pleasure I’m going to get worth the shame and guilt I’m going to feel?”
Unfortunately because I was always dealing with short-term variables the math never stayed consistent. Some days it was worth it and other days it wasn’t.
It wasn’t until I realized that my choices today altered my calling and purpose for tomorrow that I fully recognized the long-term impact porn had on my life.
Suddenly the equation had changed because the variables had as well.
It was no longer short-term pleasure vs. short-term pain; it was now short-term pleasure vs. the rest of my life.
A few hours of guilt and shame I could occasionally live with … putting my entire life on hold was something entirely different.
Consequently, when I started approaching my daily decisions with a long-term mindset I found it easier to say “no” to my cravings.
There certainly were other things that played into my recovery but it wasn’t until I found accountability, started doing the hard work, and approached my decision-making with a long-term mindset that breakthrough finally happened.
If it feels like your struggle will never go away, you are not alone.
However, this does not have to be your lot in life.
Freedom is possible. But ask yourself…
– Are you pursuing accountability?
– Are you willing to do some work even if it means getting your hands dirty?
– Are you approaching your sexual decisions with a long-term perspective?
If not, I encourage you to start doing so today.
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