Question:

Hi,

I'm 20. You are the first to know what I'm about to say here:

When I was in high school, I used to be teased for being very naive. This was because I often didn't understand those dirty jokes my friends were talking about, sexual terms, etc. So one day I decided to Google those terms, words and phrases. Then later, I got curious and started viewing images and then videos. I remember watching one really short video of this naked couple and instantaneously I was aroused and felt such pleasure as they (on the screen) were in the midst of sexual intercourse. I suddenly just snapped out of that arousing moment and felt so scared of the computer and just sat there and cried. I felt so guilty and condemned.

I made a vow to God that I will not do such a thing ever again. But now I have fallen back into this disgusting addiction that is killing me inside. I feel so guilty, emotionless and just dirty. I've not been praying because I feel so dirty and always tell myself that even if I pray and ask God to forgive me, I'm going to be doing it again and again.

Surprisingly, I am a worship leader. Every time I stand there to lead, I feel so guilty and just miserable.

Sorry for the long essay, but here's my question: Is it possible to be free of this bondage by myself? Many people say it's best to talk to someone. But I CAN'T! I JUST CAN'T! How do I stop this completely? I need to stop! I hate myself for desiring something extremely disgusting! I need help.


Answer:

Notice that you want to stop your sin on your own, something you've had ample opportunity to do so, if it were possible, and yet you've not made any progress. You are so consumed by the sorrow for your sins that you've even stopped praying to God, who is the only one able to forgive your sin. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). This is one reason James tells us, "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16).

The core problem is that you sorrow, but you haven't reached the point of repentance. "Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:9-11). Instead of being spurred to change, you've given up. You have to move beyond sorrow. You have to change both your mind and your behavior, so radically that people in the future would never guess that you once had a problem in this area.

I would like you to read: The Problem of Private Lust and A Look at Pornography. This should give you a better idea of both why it is wrong and how you are being manipulated. Is it possible to be free? It should be obviously, "yes." People have done so; I know a number personally. But for you to be among that number you need to understand better what is driving your temptation and discuss strategies with someone for gaining control over your behavior.

Hello,

I just wanted to thank you for your kind and straightforward advice. I read the links and started to work on getting my mind renewed day by day. I downloaded e-Sword and all the daily devotions that come with it have helped me! Though I get reminded of what I've seen and watched, I instantly reject it! I'm gradually improving and I've asked God to help me overcome temptations and unwanted thoughts that may come my way! This new year, I have re-dedicated my life, mind and thoughts back to Jesus! I've repented and I choose to live without guilt. I still am being haunted by a huge amount of guilt, but I'm learning to overcome it!

I want to thank you so much for replying to my e-mail and helping me out! Thank you so very much! Jesus bless you abundantly! Blessed new year!