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Freedom from porn: Part II

In my last article, I explained why Jesus' words were true when he taught that we have to destroy lustful thoughts before they destroy us. Pornography is at epidemic levels in our society, and it causes so much hurt and sadness. But the truth will set you free! (John 8:32) As a young man, I found freedom in my thought life. And I've had the joy of walking with other young men as they fought and discovered the beauty of a pure mind and heart.

How to get free:

• Take it seriously. Unless you really come to believe that porn destroys, you won't have the will to stop it. Go to fightthenewdrug.org for the science behind the hurt. Also, stop excusing and justifying yourself. Porn is wrong and it hurts you and those you love. Only God can justify you and help you — and he will when you cry out to him in prayer. (1 John 1:7-9)

• Get radical. Figure out where your on-ramp to porn is (smart phone, tablet, PC, certain places or people), and completely cut those out of your life. Accountability software from X3watch or Covenant Eyes can help you block porn on your device. But the tech savvy can even find ways around those, and have finally had to severely limit or chuck their devices. Yes, this is hard, but freedom isn't free, right?! I have a friend who smashed his smartphone with a hammer for the sake of freedom.

• Find help. Talk regularly and openly with a mature, trusted person of the same gender. You need someone who understands the struggle and will both challenge and encourage you. In any battle, soldiers that fight alone are in serious trouble. This can be the hardest step to take, but it's important that we aren't alone in this fight.

• Seek Pleasure. If you're viewing porn, you're not seeking the real pleasures that you were meant for, you're chasing after shadows of the real thing. Humans were made for pleasure, but often look for it in all the wrong places. Realize that there is more and lasting pleasure in loving God and the people in your life than there is in lust (which focuses on a selfish fantasy-world). We all can focus on good things, good people, and a great God.

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

— Galatians 5:13

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