21 October 2013

Interrupting the Cycle of Titillation

For many years, pornography was a struggle for me. I found myself gripped by it. I hated looking at it, but I kept looking anyway, loathing myself afterward. I would seem to escape from its grip for a time and then would plunge back in. Over the years, I began to recognize a cycle that would occur. The cycle would often begin with seemingly innocent things, but would progress to much more explicit material.

By God's grace, I can recognize this pattern earlier now than I used to and put the brakes on, seeking the Spirit's deliverance. Just the other day, I was reading the news. There were a variety of stories--some about politics, some about good Samaritan acts, some about sports. But what I found was that when I would come across stories with a "titillating" title, the desire to read the story would be much stronger. I knew, in my heart, that I was not interested in these stories to be informed. Rather, material in these stories can provide fodder to begin the cycle of lust for me. Even very popular, and seemingly innocent, websites (for example, one where people can pin pictures) can prove titillating and so I find it best not to look at them at all.

For now, God uses these experiences to draw me to Him. When I sense these seeds being planted, I turn to Him and pray for whomever was the subject of the story. We are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.

I guess in some ways, sexual addiction remains a struggle for me. Not that I look, but that I know the temptation and how it affects me. I know that if I were to walk into an adult bookstore, it would be like playing with matches in a gunpowder factory. The result wouldn't be good. But God goes with me in the struggle and now helps me to see His Spirit at work much earlier.

Ephesians 5:3-4 reads, "But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving." 

Be careful little eyes what you see.  Become aware of your triggers. Seek God and thank Him for His grace.

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