During anti-porn week, we identified from secular research what viewing porn does to a person. This week presents practical advice of how to stay away from the influence of porn.
In other words, we keep in step with the Spirit by keeping in step with one another. We must live lifestyles of encouragement and accountability.
Nothing slays the power of sin like confession. James writes, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16). In confessing our sins to God we are promised forgiveness. In confessing sin to others we are made whole.
Sin must be habitually exposed to the light of confession. This is called accountability: being honest with another trusted believer about our temptations, sins, and the state of our heart. Like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, after eating of the forbidden fruit, our knee-jerk reaction is to hide—to hide from God and from one another. Accountability is the willingness to habitually and regularly allow others access to your heart, your motives, your secret desires, your dark thoughts, and, of course, your sinful actions.
How does this relate to pornography? The late psychologist, Dr. Al Cooper, believed three main factors draw people into online sexual activity:
1. Accessibility (porn is accessible easily from any Internet connection)
2. Affordability (millions of free or very cheap images are available online)
3. Anonymity (home computers and Smartphones have made it very easy to be secretive)
He dubbed this the “Triple-A Engine” of Internet porn.
These three factors work like three legs on a stool: remove just one of the legs and the stool will fall (or at least make it awkward to sit on).
The easiest leg to remove is the leg of anonymity, or secrecy. We do this by becoming accountable to others about the time we spend online, taking away the option to hide our Internet activity.
One way to do this is through the use of Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability. This software program monitors your home computer, work computer, or smartphone and then sends a detailed report of your Internet activity to a trusted friend, spouse, or mentor. Covenant Eyes, which pioneered this concept, also rates websites for mature content, flagging specific web searches and sites.
Confession of sin is not the only goal of Christian community. In the face of each other’s weaknesses, we need to encourage one another to fight sin. The author of Hebrews says, “let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Heb. 10:24-25).
This can be called “responsive accountability.” When we give an account of our sins to someone else, in return, they should listen and then give an account of God’s gospel promises to us.
In this text, God calls us to “stir up” one another—that is, to urge, to spur on, to provoke, to motivate each other—to love and good deeds. Each time we meet together we should be contemplating and praying, “God, show me how I can really motivate my friend to resist temptation and instead love You and others wholeheartedly.” We are to have a hardcore intentionality and thoughtfulness in our friendships.
Like the embers of a red-hot fire, we stir up the fire not by adding heat to it, but rather by exposing the glowing embers to the air, helping to bring out of the embers the energy that is in them already. If the Spirit of God is in us, He has already planted His holy desires into our hearts. He has etched his law on our hearts (Jer. 31:33-34; Ez. 36:25-27). But He has also placed us in the family of the church, among trusted friends who are also filled with His Spirit, in order that we might stir up in each other what God has already put in us.
This post is taken from the booklet, YOUR BRAIN ON PORN by Luke Gilkerson. The booklet can be found at: http://www.covenanteyes.com/brain-ebook/
BE A MAN.