The Digital Invasion (Part 5) - Overcoming Pornography Addiction, SextingSubmitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, July 20, 2014.
8. How to avoid the temptation to view pornography. A. Keep your thought-life pure. i. Think on godly things (Phi 4:8). ii. You are what you think about (Pro 23:7). iii. Commit your works unto the Lord and your thoughts will be established (Pro 16:3). a. "Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not." (Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People, page 70) b. "Thus actions affect emotions. Voluntary behavioral alterations will lead to involuntary emotional changes. It is important to understand, therefore, that feelings flow from actions." (Jay Adams, Competent to Counsel, page 97) B. Read the Bible daily and hide it in your heart (Psa 119:9,11; Pro 7:1-3). C. This will keep you from whorish women who will tempt you to lust after them with your eyes (Pro 7:5; Pro 6:20-26). D. Practice controlling your eyes and thoughts daily as you see attractive members of the opposite sex. E. Avoid things and places which make provision to fulfill your lusts (alluring movies, magazines, TV shows, websites, bars or clubs, beaches, and swimming pools where women are especially immodestly dressed) (Pro 4:14-15; Rom 13:14; 1Pe 2:11). F. Flee fornication (physical or mental); don't try to fight it (1Co 6:18; Gen 39:12). G. Pray that God will help you keep your eyes (Psa 119:37). 9. How to deal with and overcome the sin of pornography addiction. A. The following are steps that are essential for dealing with and overcoming any sin, but will be specifically applied to pornography. B. These things will work if you do them. C. Acknowledge that you have sinned by looking at pornography. i. Admit to God you have done it and don't make excuses for it. ii. Don't try blame-shifting, generalizing, minimizing, or euphemizing your sin. iii. This is what David did when he committed adultery with Bathsheba (Psa 51:3). iv. Acknowledge v. - 1. To own the knowledge of; to confess; to recognize or admit as true. v. Don't try to hide it from God; admit it (Psa 32:5). D. Declare your sin to God and be sorry for it. i. Don't use generalities with God, but get specific and declare exactly what you have done (Psa 38:18). a. Declare v. - 1. trans. To make clear or plain (anything that is obscure or imperfectly understood); to clear up, explain, expound, interpret, elucidate. b. Don't just say, "Lord I've sinned." c. Make it clear and plain, "Lord I've looked at evil sexual images or videos and committed adultery or fornication in my heart by lusting after women." ii. Dwell for a while on the fact you have sinned against God and allow yourself to feel truly sorry and broken for it (Psa 38:18). a. Sorry adj. - 1. Pained at heart; distressed, sad; full of grief or sorrow. b. Let yourself feel the pain and sorrow for what you have done. iii. Godly sorrow works repentance from sin that won't be gone back to (2Co 7:10). iv. God has mercy on broken and contrite sinners (Psa 34:18). a. Contrite adj. - 1. lit. Bruised, crushed; worn or broken by rubbing. 2. fig. Crushed or broken in spirit by a sense of sin, and so brought to complete penitence. b. Allow yourself to be completely broken before God for your sin and God will have mercy on you. E. Confess your sin to God and ask Him to forgive it and He has promised He will (1Jo 1:9). i. Confess v. - 1. trans. To declare or disclose (something which one has kept or allowed to remain secret as being prejudicial or inconvenient to oneself); to acknowledge, own, or admit (a crime, charge, fault, weakness, or the like). ii. God WILL forgive you for your sin of looking at porn if you confess it; you just need to believe that He has done it after you have asked for forgiveness. iii. This was what David experienced (Psa 32:5). F. Once you have confessed your sin and asked for forgiveness, you need to forsake it (Pro 28:13). i. Forsake v. - 3. To give up, renounce. a. To give up, part with, surrender (esp. something dear or valued). Passing into sense 4. b. To break off from, renounce (an employment, design, esp. an evil practice or sin; also, a belief, doctrine). 4. To abandon, leave entirely, withdraw from; esp. to withdraw one's presence and help or companionship from; to desert. ii. You need to break off, abandon, leave entirely, withdraw from, and desert pornography. iii. You must go cold-turkey, not just try to wean yourself off of it. iv. It is not sufficient to confess your sins only; you must also forsake them. v. You must give up on your sin of porn and renounce it. vi. Renounce v. - I. 1. trans. To give up, to resign (†to another), to surrender; esp. to give up in a complete and formal manner. vii. You must formally and completely give up on pornography before God. viii. If you confess AND forsake this sin, you SHALL have mercy from God. G. Once you have confessed and forsaken your sin, then you must tell God with firm resolve, "I will do it no more." (Job 34:32). i. If you leave the door open to doing it again and say to yourself, "I will try to stay away from this stuff", you will go back to it again. ii. But if you declare to God "I WILL DO IT NO MORE", you are not leaving yourself the option to do it again. iii. This is crossing the Rubicon -- there's no going back. iv. The key is that you can't leave yourself an out. v. Purpose before God like David did that you will not do this sin again (Psa 17:3). a. Purpose v. - II. To set before oneself for accomplishment. 3. a. trans. To place before oneself as a thing to be done or attained; to form a purpose of doing (something); to design or resolve upon the performance of. b. You must resolve that you will not look at pornography again. vi. Now, what if you declare to God that you will do it no more and then you fail and do it again? a. Then you repeat the same steps again. b. If you fail, rise up and try again, "For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again..." (Pro 24:16). c. But don't go into this thinking that you will probably fail; go into it resolved by God's grace that you will not fail. H. Once you've confessed and forsaken your sin and resolved to do it no more; next, don't make provision for yourself to fulfill your lust (Rom 13:14). i. Stay far away from websites that have porn or anything even close to it on them. ii. Immediately destroy all pornographic magazines, pictures, videos, books, etc. iii. "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. 15) Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away." (Pro 4:14-15). iv. You may even need to get off the internet entirely for a while if it is too big of a temptation for you. v. Replace the sinful behavior with good behavior; it's not enough to just stop the sin, you must replace the sin with something good (Eph 4:22-29). vi. Spend time reading good books, cultivating real relationships, or doing an enjoyable hobby. I. Remember that this temptation is common to man and that God will not allow you to be tempted above that which you are able to bear (1Co 10:13). i. It may seem like it is too much to bear and that you can't resist. ii. Don't believe that! -- believe that God will not allow you to be tempted more than you are able and that He will make a way of escape for you to bear it. J. Remember that you can't do this by your own strength, but by God's grace YOU CAN (Phi 4:13). i. Remember what God told Paul, that His grace is sufficient (2Co 12:9). ii. Remember that Jesus was tempted with everything that we are tempted with and He knows what it feels like (Heb 4:15). iii. It is for this reason that we can go boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy from Christ (Heb 4:16). K. If you follow these steps and do what these above cited verses say to do, you will be guaranteed by the authority of God Himself that you will be forgiven and that you will overcome this sin. i. These things work. ii. Don't be afraid to declare to God that you will look at pornography no more for fear that you won't keep your promise. iii. Do it and trust God that He will give you the grace to overcome it and He will. iv. If you do it and fail, just keep going back to God and repeating the process, but don't allow that to be an excuse for you to break your word to God. XIII. Cyber-sex and cyber-affairs 1. This is another problem which the digital world facilitates. 2. It has never been easier for married people to have "affairs" (commit adultery) than it is today via the Internet. A. Scripture warns us to stay away from strange women and "come not nigh the door of her house" (Pro 5:8). B. It is now much easier to digitally "come to the door of her house" without being seen. 3. Adultery can be committed via the Internet without physically committing the act. A. Jesus taught that adultery can be committed in one's heart by looking upon a woman to lust after her (Mat 5:28; Pro 6:25). B. Job knew that the covenant that he made with his eyes forbade him to think upon another woman (Job 31:1). C. Eyes can be full of adultery (2Pe 2:14). D. The thought of foolishness is sin (Pro 24:9). 4. If you are found out to have been having an online "affair", you will be excluded from the church for adultery (1Co 6:9-10). 5. This kind of thing needs to be avoided at all costs (Pro 4:14-15). 6. If you play with fire, you WILL get burned (Pro 6:25-32). 7. Heed the warning (Pro 7:24-27). XIV. Sexting 1. Sexting is texting a naked, partially naked, or nearly naked picture of yourself to someone else. 2. Sexting an immodest picture to someone who isn't your spouse falls under the same scriptural censures as pornography (see Section XII,7). 3. This might qualify as the stupidest thing a person could ever do. 4. This is becoming popular among teenagers and young adults. A. "According to the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project, 4 percent of cell-phone-using teenagers aged twelve to seventeen say they have sent sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images or videos of themselves to someone else via text messaging. Fifteen percent say they have received such images of someone they know via a text message." (Dr. Archibald D. Hart, The Digital Invasion, page 118) B. According to an Associated Press-MTV 2009 poll, about one quarter of teenagers and one third of young adults have been involved in sexting. (ALARMING? One In Four Teens Admit Sexting Nude Photos, Survey Finds ,www.huffingtonpost.com, 12/3/2009) C. A new study has shown that it's even worse now. D. "Researchers from Drexel University surveyed college students, asking them if they had ever sent or received “sexually explicit text messages or images” when they were under age 18. Fifty-four percent said yes—almost all of it in the context of a romantic relationship or as a means of flirting. “We were shocked by the prevalence and the frequency of sexting among minors,” says David DeMatteo, an associate professor of psychology and law at Drexel and one of the study’s authors. He notes that previous studies have indicated the pervasiveness of sexting was much lower—around 20%. DeMatteo believes that participants in the study may have been more honest because they were allowed to remain anonymous and were reporting on past behavior. What’s more, while the authors defined sexting as sending or receiving “sexually explicit text messages with or without photographic images,” they allowed participants to define what “sexually explicit” meant to them....Participants acknowledged sexting as young as 13, but the vast majority were 16 and 17 when they sexted." (Study Finds Most Teens Sext Before They're 18, www.time.com, 7/3/2014) E. This has led to teen suicide. i. A 13 year-old girl in Florida committed suicide in 2009 because of the harassment of schoolmates after she sexted a partially nude picture of herself to her boyfriend and the picture went viral. (How a cell phone picture led to girl's suicide, www.cnn.com, 10/7/2010) ii. An 18 year-old girl in Ohio committed suicide in 2008 for the same reason after she sexted a nude picture of herself to her boyfriend who sent it to several others after they broke up. (Jessica Logan Suicide: Parents Of Dead Teen Sue School, Friends Over Sexting Harassment, www.huffingtonpost.com, 3/18/2010) F. This has also led to juveniles being charged with child pornography, which has the potential to cause them to be registered as a sex offenders for life and spend years in prison. G. Don't EVER give nude pictures of yourself to anyone who is not your spouse. i. This means single people should NEVER do this. ii. This especially means that teenagers should NEVER do this. 5. This also frequently happens with adults, even married ones. A. There is nothing wrong with taking a nude picture or video of yourself for your spouse, but be very cautious doing it. B. Whatever you do, DO NOT TEXT IT OR EMAIL IT to them. C. Anything you text or email is not private and is archived and is viewable by your cell phone or email service provider and by the NSA. D. Hackers can also get them. E. If you are going to take (or have taken) nude pictures of yourself for your spouse, make sure you keep them digitally (and physically) secure. i. Make sure your computer is password protected (this will keep kids (maybe) out of it, but not hackers, etc.). ii. Make sure your WiFi router is password protected (strong password). It's also a good idea to not broadcast your SSID (network name). iii. Do not store them on your phone. a. A teacher at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy resigned after a nude picture of her appeared on a revenge-porn site. b. She said her phone was stolen. (Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy teacher resigns after nude photo spread online, www.wcpo.com, 12/4/2013) c. It turns out she apparently lied and had sent the picture to someone other than her husband. (Court hearing for teacher who resigned over nude photo continued, www.journal-news.com, 3/4/2014) d. Be sure your sin will find you out (Num 32:23). iv. Always have a password on your phone. v. If you are going to store the pictures or videos on your computer, make sure it's on an encrypted drive. a. You can find free encryption software online, such as TrueCrypt (http://www.truecrypt.org) b. It is a good idea to store anything on your computer which you want to remain private (banking information, passwords, etc.) on an encrypted drive. vi. If you ever sell or throw away your computer, remove the hard drive and physically destroy and obliterate it (smash it into pieces with a sledge hammer). vii. If you put the pictures or videos on a CD, DVD, thumbdrive, or print them, make sure you store them in a safe where they can't be easily acquired by children or others. viii. Be prudent and foresee the evil and hide yourselves (Pro 27:12).
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