What do porn and sumo wrestling have in common?
Guest Article by Seth Austin
Like it or not, porn is everywhere! Whether you support or eschew the porn industry the fact stands it has changed the way the average american thinks, feels, and practices sex.
According to an article published by the Huffington post in 2012, every 39 seconds a pornographic video is produced in the United States. Americans alone spend more than 10 billion…you read it right! . . billion with a “B”…on adult entertainment each year. In 2012 around 12% of all websites were related to pornography and 30% of internet traffic was being used for porn. This next one has potential take the wind out of you so buckle up! 70% of all … thats right… ALL online porn is viewed between the hours of 9am and 5pm during workdays. During this “porn prime time” the most popular porn sites transfer over 100 gigabytes of data per second to its addicted users.
Lets face it, pornography has warped our behavior, compromised our values and has predominantly shaped our views on sex and self worth. As the church we would be lying to ourselves by stating things like “pornography no longer affects me brother”. My hope and prayer is to leave you with some things to reflect on as we consider the war being fought around us and in us.
It’s a problem
Real men have to make tough decisions when faced with this problem! I love what one author from CNBC said about porn “Whenever you find yourself wanting to watch porn or act on a sexual compulsion, run your hand across your face, feel the stubble of your beard, and realize that you’re no longer a kid with peach fuzz. YOU’RE A MAN, AND CAN START ACTING LIKE ONE.”
There is absolutely no doubt about it, pornography is causing problems in the world that we live in. The cost of porn in the workplace is far above what we are comfortable admitting. Statistics from Nielsen Online show that 1 in 4 people watch porn on their computers… AT WORK… 1 in 4!!
While this statistic definitely impacts the bottom line of your company, the harsh reality we often overlook is how it impacts our personal “bottom line”. Like any addiction, the more you feed it, the quicker everything else you cherish begins to take a back seat to those “uncontrollable” desires. The more we choose to submit to our impulses, the more ground we lose when it comes to the ownership of our own mind and our time … leaving us felling like a slave to the sin Christ ultimately saved us from!
Porn gives you a short lived false sense of manhood, without the responsibility that shapes true manhood! Pornography teaches a person to isolate himself from the rest of the world! It convinces you that this is something that you and you alone are dealing with! It feeds the voice inside of you that constantly tells you how worthless you really are. In conjunction with those feelings of worthlessness, the addictive side of porn is then there for you to provide the high you have been taught to crave. The instant gratification of feeling like a “real man” through fantasy. For 2 minutes you get to experience the euphoric feeling that you are wanted, you are needed, you are in control, you are respected, you are powerful… you are “the man”. After your 2 minute high you are then left to wallow in the pool of self doubt and worthlessness provided by your master.
Addiction to pornography is real! No matter where your political views or your financial standing is, PORN IS A PROBLEM! It is a problem that must be dealt with regardless how uncomfortable it makes us feel.
It’s a sin
I have yet to meet a person that is struggling with this issue that doesn’t know that it isn’t right. The goal of this article is not to convince people that porn equals sin, but the truth remains: for those of us who claim to be the children of God pornography, physically pursued or mental filed away in the recesses of your mind for you to pull up on a whim, IS SIN! No easy way around it and no way to make it sound better than it really is!
It is a sin against God as well as a sin against our spouse. We have cheapened what God made as a beautiful gift for a person to enjoy with their spouse. A cheap thrill has taken the place of a relationship that is built on trust. We have replaced beauty with something that can never truly fulfill.
Upon asking one of my friends for some thoughts on the subject he said: “Pornography is a cop out. It is like a bird who stands in front of a box fan to feel the breeze instead of going out and flying like he was meant to!! Such a waste!! We have gotten too good at doing things the easy way. We used to hunt, fish, provide, work to build an estate, and lead generations as a patriarch. Now people tend to lay down playing video games in the AC and making themselves feel good for immediate giggles. We play video games to get our adventure.” Let’s not cheapen that which God created as something amazing.
After reading most articles about this topic, a person struggling with the sin of pornography already knows that their addiction is a problem but they often find no real hope after finishing an article such as this one. Many articles on this subject even make a person feel worse. My goal is that you will find hope in this next point. This really was the only reason I was interested in writing about this topic in the first place.
It’s not you
One of the most powerful things that can be learned about porn is this: It is not who you are it is what you do! Most men fall into the trap of thinking incorrectly. Our natural instinct is to buy into the lie that “porn” is just who we are. “I can’t help it because I am wired that way”. This simply is not true!
Our definition as Christians of “who we are” does not and cannot come from what our culture or what the voice in our head tells us is true. To truly understand a masterpiece you must spend some time with the artist. Get a “behind the scenes” look at a movie with the director. You need to go to the Bible to truly understand who you are in Christ. Psalm 139:13–18 and 23–24 teaches us that we are created and known by God. He is the artist and can tell you who you really are. Ephesians 1:3–6 shows us that we are blessed, chosen, adopted and accepted. Romans 8:35–39 shows us that we are loved by God.
This is who I am. You have no right to try and give me my identity, my identity was given to me by my creator and the truth is that once we understand that, it then makes conquering this sin much more practical. We are loved by the creator of the universe and living in this truth is much more fulfilling than trying to live up to a standard given to me by others or even a standard that I have created for myself.
I am who God says I am and while my practice may differ from time to time it doesn’t change my position before an almighty God. The good news is this, changing what we do is much more feasible than changing who we are. I can definitely change what I do and I will see victory after victory as my habits change. I can do these things and not do others. I can through the power of God in my life change my habits and eliminate the destructive habit of porn. This habit definitely has consequences that will not be swept under the proverbial rug of your life but proclaiming THIS IS NOT WHO I AM is a great start in conquering this sin. While it might be difficult to reason with you about the ability to stop this habit, the truth is that if you have read this far down then we both know that you have what it takes to change as well.
Every time we think about our past actions can I encourage you to ask yourself to think about whether your thoughts are accusing you or whether they are counseling and comforting you? The Bible teaches us that Satan is an accuser and he is really good at it. The Holy Spirit deals with us as a counselor and a comforter. He is the father reaching out saying let me help you along in this journey. Learning to decipher the source of the voices that I hear is vital if we are to conquer this sin. Name these thoughts for what they are. Learn to name its source.
One of the most damaging things that I see when I am speaking to people about this problem is that they thought they could conquer it on their own. Can I beg you today to find someone you can speak with that can help you in your journey of overcoming this?
See pornography like it is, it is like a Sumo Wrestling match. The more you look at pornography the more you are feeding that monster. He does nothing more than get bigger and bigger and so he becomes stronger and stronger and has the ability to throw you around the ring with even more ease. Here is what I want you to understand YOU CANNOT DEFEAT HIM. You cannot snap your fingers and make everything be better, if you are single you won’t walk the aisle and exchange I do’s and everything change when it comes to this sin. Don’t trick yourself into thinking that you can make it stop.
The world we live in sets a stage that leads us into this lifestyle. It is hard to read a sports article without running into an advertisement that leads down this ever widening road. Be careful, take every step you can in protecting yourself from this enemy.
It would make me happy to say that in our churches this issue isn’t seen as much as it is for those outside the church but I would by lying if I said that. This struggle is real. I had a friend say to me: “Many Christian marriages are kept together simply because there has been a lack of opportunity to cheat not because of a strong marriage that is standing on the principles of the Word of God.”
May this not be said of us. Young people build a life of habits that will lead in the direction you are wanting to go. Married men and women invest in your marriage today and make it stronger. Live a life that is founded on the principles of the word of God. Let’s truly be a light to the world as we are commanded to do.