There has to be a greater affection than your desire for sin, otherwise, you’ll keep going back to your deepest desires. The moment you begin desiring lust in your mind, long before you ever open up the videos or images, repent for even the desire to sin. Flee to Christ immediately.
The need is real—the battle is vicious. Pornography is rampant. 96% of adults and teens today are ambivalent at best about the use of pornography, with most either encouraging or accepting its use. And though the church fairs better than the world, the stats are still alarmingly high. 64% of Christian men view pornography at least once a month—and while Christian women are much lower in prevalence than believing men, they too are not unaffected by this ensnaring sin.
So what are we to do? How can the church be set free, and what helps are there in combating this idol of the heart and lust of the eyes? There are two primary means of response—and the one without the other will fail.
The first is radical accountability. Jesus, speaking on the topic of lust, says that we must be willing to gouge out our eye and cut off our hand in resisting sin (Matt 5:29-30). Far from advocating literal self-mutilation, our Savior is calling upon us to take drastic measures in ridding our lives of sin. He says “For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell” and on that point, he’s being dreadfully serious! Our Lord means for us to remove all means which are causing us to stumble. Here particularly speaking of what we view (the eye) and how we use the members of our body (our hand)—and understood in the context in which he was speaking, this is shockingly evocative language! The point is clear, whatever is in our lives which is a source of temptation to sexual sin—remove it! Is it the smart phone, the tablet, the computer, Netflix…whatever the case may be…rid one’s life of such temptations immediately.
A well known counseling professor of mine says the first question he asks young men who want to be free of pornography is “are you willing to get rid of your smartphone?” and if they don’t say yes, he effectively tells them: “come back to me when you’re ready to get serious about your sin.”