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Summary: Some insight for defeating the temptation of pornography in your life.

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Practical Strategies For Conquering Porn:

1. You have to want to break free.

- This will not happen by accident or without a struggle.

- It will be a battle.

- You have to be willing to do the work to get free.

2. Staying away beats willpower.

- A strategy for failure is to continue to put yourself in situations where the temptation is right in front of you and then believe that you will consistently resist by sheer willpower. That’s just not going to work.

- A much more effective approach is to think ahead of time about how to work things so that you stay out of those high temptation situations. I’m talking about considering the environment that you put yourself in and trying to avoid the worst scenarios.

- Some thoughts:

a. One way to think about it is to use the idea of guardrails.

- On a road, guardrails are there to make sure you don’t go off and crash into the woods. What I’m talking about here is along the same lines – setting things up so that you’re not dancing on the edge of the Grand Canyon.

b. Be wary of gateway images.

- Sometimes the temptation jumps straight into porn. Sometimes, though, it starts slowly and then ramps up.

- Maybe you’re on social media. You see images that aren’t strictly pornographic, but they are suggestive. A few clicks there leads from suggestive to racy. It leads there from racy to explicit.

- Twitter, Instagram, and other social media allow varying degrees of racy stuff. Sadly, you don’t have to be looking for it to stumble into gateway images that move you in a bad direction.

c. There are apps that monitor online activity.

- Sometimes we have to fight technology with technology.

- One promising app is xBlock Porn Blocker. It’s expensive ($29.99) but worth it if it helps you overcome this temptation. There are multiple other companies out there, like xxxChurch and Covenant Eyes. The point is that there are tech resources available to fight back.

d. Yes, you might need to go to a nuclear option in some cases.

- What do I mean by nuclear option? I mean that if the temptation is an incredibly strong one but you’re committed to overcoming the sin, there may be some radical changes you might have to consider to break free.

- That might look like taking out your home cable.

- That might look like getting rid of your laptop computer.

- That might look like disabling Safari on your cellphone.

- That might look like getting a different job if you can’t handle being on the road by yourself.

- “Those are big inconveniences!” Yep – do you want free or not? “Those are big sacrifices!” Maybe – do you want free or not?

3. Get an accountability partner.

- James 5:16.

- One of the reasons that porn thrives as a temptation is that it lives in the dark. We don’t talk about the problem of pornography much or even acknowledge that it is a problem. As I said in the first sermon in this series, this is a substantial issue in our culture and we are almost entirely ignoring it.

- Because of all that, most people who struggle with porn and would like to defeat it in their lives have never told another person that they have the problem. One of the leaders of the anti-porn organization xxxChurch says that it’s a constant refrain when people email them for help that one of the lines in the email is, “You’re the first person I’ve ever told this to.”

- I want to acknowledge right now that this sounds incredibly scary to many of you who want to break free. “Tell someone else? No way. I want to do this on my own.”

- It’s worth quoting that same leader from xxxChurch who also said that he’s not known anyone who has overcome this problem without having someone beside them holding them accountable.

- Yes, it’s embarrassing, but that shouldn’t be a stop sign.

- I want you to consider that the response might not be, “I can’t believe you did that.” But instead, “Thanks for your honesty. I struggle too.” Or “I’m glad you want to break free. I love that you’re ready to break free.”

- John Ortberg story: “Never been so proud of you as right now.”

- It might seem to be a horrible moment, but it might actually be one of the most freeing moments you’ve had.

- This is actually a Biblical concept. In James 5:16, we are instructed to confess our sins one to another.

- Why? Because God knows that confession helps break the power of sin. In fact, the call to confess our sins to each other is part of the famous verse “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” Maybe there’s a reason that’s in there? Maybe part of being righteous is being willing to confess our sins?

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