The One Question That Might Reveal Why You Haven’t Been Able to Stop Looking at Porn

“Someone help me stop looking at porn.”

 

In a moment of desperation, I reached for help and for answers. Someone had to know; someone had to be able to help me. The darkness of my room that had once ensured my secrecy now entrapped me in a feeling of helplessness. I realized for the first time that no matter how badly I wanted to stop looking at porn, I couldn’t.

 Power Of One

That frustrating feeling of helplessness didn’t stop there. Over the next few years, I would try time and time again only to relapse in the end. And every time was the last time, and every day was the last day. I would put my foot down and say, “This time is different, though! This time I’ll try harder!” But for some reason, I couldn’t seem to keep myself from giving in the next opportunity I had.

 

I know many of you resonate with my frustration. You’ve resolved to never look at porn again, and yet, despite all of your effort and all of your grit, you fall back in.

 

Why is it that despite all of our best intentions we can’t seem to get free and stay free?

 

For a long time, I didn’t understand. I would ask myself why, and of course, I immediately thought: “Oh, I didn’t put in enough effort! Oh, I didn’t have enough faith! Oh, I didn’t have enough resolve!” And while in the end victory requires effort, faith, and resolve, the answer didn’t sit well with me. I hated thinking that I just wasn’t doing enough because I was trying. My real problem was that I couldn’t seem to hold on to any of that in the face of temptation. It was like my mind got wiped from all of its good intentions the second it was confronted.

 

And then it dawned on me…

 

Imagine your last concert with me for a sec. Why don’t you just walk backstage at a concert? Sure, maybe there were bodyguards. But I don’t think that’s really what kept you from going back there. While I was on Warped Tour, there were times I walked back stage and didn’t have anyone ask to see my badge. So why didn’t anyone else sneak back there with me? And why don’t I walk backstage for any other concert I don’t have credentials for? I think it’s because we believe we don’t belong there. It requires a badge; I don’t have a badge; therefore, I don’t belong. And because you believe you don’t belong, you don’t walk in. You acted according to your belief. Your beliefs, your thoughts, your mind all guide your actions.

 

The problem we have with holding on to our grit in the face of temptation despite our best intentions is our mind! For a day, for a week, for a month, we might hold onto the belief that we totally can be porn-free. But after a while, our thoughts start to change. Once we experience some friction with temptation, we start to believe, “Uh oh….I don’t know about this…I…I CAN’T DO THIS!!” And once we adopt that belief as the truth, we fail because we act on what we believe is true.

 

So the most important question that will dictate the way you act, the way you hold your resolve, use your faith, and exert effort to stay porn-free is this: What do you think when you’re confronted with temptation?

 

Showing 5 comments
  • David
    Reply

    So true.I have to be honest,I feel exactly what you wrote down.Exactly the same.It’s really comforting to know I’m not alone in this.But to honestly answer the question at the end…I live in the loop of “next time”.When I’m heavily tempted,I say “oh well,I’ve got no one around me anyway to hold accountable,I can hide it,I won’t give in next time.I’ll go workout or get up and walk away.I’ll go listen to music or play my drums.I’ll go hang out with family and friends.”But it never works.I always find a reason “in my mind” to give in.You’re right bro.It’s tough to put energy into something new,when you think you can do it on your own,with your own energy and strength.The hard part is trusting God enough when we aren’t completely sure and convinced in our own minds that He is really there and that He really cares.
    I even started going to church to be around people who worship God and just to be around positive people.And still,to know avail,I give in when temptation becomes heavy.

  • Daryl Howard
    Reply

    Hey Nate, great to-the-point post. A friend and I just talked about this the other day. Both of us agreed that we must be aware of our triggers that cause us to fall into temptation. But for me, I have to remind myself that there is a way out. That God has made a way out of this temptation, and that it involves me knowingly having to seek God and that way out that He provides. There is also the forgiveness of guilt that frees me from a continual downhill spiral.

  • Cole
    Reply

    I just wanted to say thank you for this article, this has been a big issue for me, especially being in the college environment now for my 2nd year. Its so hard to build the strength, and I’ve gotten better at resisting, but it never gets easier. I always tell myself it’ll be okay after I do, and it never does. I now keep this question in my head on a daily basis, and it has helped me greatly. Its still a lasting war, but it has helped me fight. Thank you again, had me almost in tears reading this. There is always hope and love out there to keep fighting 🙂

  • jordan
    Reply

    what do i think when confronted with temptation? i dont think i do think. The interesting thing about my case is I’m very self-aware and analytical. When I’m being tempted with porn there are 2 things I’m vibrantly aware of: 1 is the pull toward that release, and 2 is the weird sort of rationalizations that pop in my head when the pull begins. I swear i could rationalize shooting kennedy in that moment. Its almost like autopilot… i just sort of give up and accept the smothering. I die… it’s terrifying as a young single male because afterwords i think: what the hell else could i rationalize away? If i get married am i always going to have to hide this from my wife? will i always be letting her down the way I’ve been letting myself down since i was a kid? How can i be used by God like this?… Im so damaged by it… I really just want this thing out of my life; it’s pure destruction.

  • Alfredo Jose Gil Gualda
    Reply

    i’ll try this, i’m fighting against porn since 15 years ago, and it’s pretty hard,

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