An open letter to Christians who are using porn

 
Tim Thornborough | January 18th 2018

My dear brother or sister.

You are finding it a struggle to even start reading this—because you are already a ball of conflicting emotions. 

You oscillate between thinking it’s not a big deal and knowing that you feel guilty and ashamed—and that your habit is consuming your soul.

You are fearful of admitting it, or being found out. And terrified of the disgust and sense of betrayal your friends, your spouse, your family will experience. To own up will change the way others see you. You imagine your reputation at church will be in ruins.

You’ve tried to stop—perhaps many times—but late at night, you flick to those channels or pick up that book  or tap in that web address and all your resolve has gone. You feel powerless to resist, and all alone. Fantasies come unbidden into your mind. The momentary thrills you receive are fleeting—the shame and sense of slavery are a constant backdrop to everyday life.

And you have tried to do the right things. You’ve prayed. Desperately. But nothing has changed. Or you have been too frightened to pray; fearing to come before God so dirty, broken and useless.

Sister. Brother. I want to tell you that, even if you feel there is none, there is hope. 

Our God is the God of hope. Jesus died for helpless slaves like you and me. And when you became a believer, you were born again into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Remember the truth that, because of Christ, your heavenly Father is the lover of your soul, not the judge of your failure and weakness. 

Remember the promise of Jesus that he will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle, but says: "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls". (Matthew 11 v 28-29)

Remember you were never called to walk with Christ alone. And you will need the help and support of your friends, family, yes, even your spouse, to get free from the grip of this silent sickness. 

Even if you feel there is none, there is hope. 

So can I urge you to do one small thing.

Tell someone.

Ask if you can talk in confidence to a trusted friend, or a leader in your church. And simply tell them that you have become trapped by the sin that is crouching at all of our doors. Ask for help to get your thinking straight about the goodness of our God-given sexuality and sexual desires. Ask for help to see how our fallen-ness has brought chaos and failure into our loves. Ask for help to see how all encompassing the grace of God is towards you in Jesus. Ask for help to see how God’s Holy Spirit can change you deep down.

Ask your friend to preach the love and grace of God to your wounded helpless heart.

And ask for practical help to see how you can change and grow.

Dear brother and sister. Please do not suffer in silence, or give up hope. Look for hope in the right place: the love the Father has for you, and the fellowship of friends he has given you to walk this painful path in the world.

 

To find out more about escaping the grip of porn, get hold of a copy of Vaughan Roberts' new book, The Porn Problem

Tim Thornborough

Tim Thornborough is the Creative Director at The Good Book Company. He is series editor of Explore Bible-reading notes, and has contributed to many books published by the Good Book Company and others. He is married to Kathy and has three teenage daughters and a boy.

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