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NSFW

NSFW

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1 Peter 4:3,7 For the time that is past suffices for… living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties and lawless idolatry… therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded.

I believe this acronym (NSFW) stands for Not Safe For Work and is often used as a tagline for Internet links that are highly sexual in content. In this sense, it is appropriate for today’s blog. It could also mean Not Safe For Women, as today, I am writing about men. I write what I know and I know testosterone. Women, for the most part, remain a mystery, so this may or may not apply to you. Women, read on if you want, but consider yourself warned. This is for men and this may be uncomfortable.

On one of my first days in treatment, a fellow client came to me and asked if I engaged in sexual fantasies. He used much more colorful language but my mother reads this blog, so I will keep it tame. I thought he was nuts, but he went on to explain that God had convicted him that if he wanted sobriety, he was going to have to give up his highly promiscuous lifestyle. He went on to say that God had told him that he could no longer look at pornography or fantasize about women. God wanted all of him and this started with the secret thoughts of the mind that no one sees. In chemical dependency treatment, he had learned this profound truth. All destruction of the flesh nature starts in the little thoughts that we insist are harmless.

In our local jail, I regularly ask the repeat customers what brought them back. The story is invariably the same. It started with lustful thoughts/pornography, which led to destructive relationships, which led to a drink, which led to drugs, which led to jail. The road to destruction always starts in our minds, with a harmless thought.

I alone am responsible for what I spend my time thinking about. When I cannot focus on God and my spirit life, I have to ask myself what is distracting me. It is my responsibility to take that thought captive to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). The truth is, I cannot pursue God in me while fantasizing about destructive relationships.

I was spiritually paralyzed by my addiction to drugs. I could not pursue God while I was chained to those drugs. I think we now however, have churches full of men that are just as paralyzed by an addiction to pornography and lust. While we are in this state of addiction to our flesh nature, we are spiritually crippled.

I do not want to try and tell you I have life all figured out, but I absolutely will not look at pornography. I will not engage in sexual fantasies. I do not have to be in a sexual affair or dealing drugs for the enemy keep me from pursuing Jesus Christ. Looking at pornography or lusting after another woman is the spiritual equivalent of being unfaithful to my wife. The external consequences may not be the same, but I cannot pursue the spirit life if I am sowing the seeds of my own flesh, even if it is only in my mind.

So, how do we change? That is a question that you will have to work very hard to answer for yourself. For me, I do not allow myself access and I work hard at what I put in my mind. I had my wife put in the No Adult Content code on my phone and I spend little time alone in front of the TV or Internet. You too, may need to cut off your access. If you cannot stop looking at porn on your computer, you need to get rid of your computer. But I need my computer for work! I think I can safely say that God is more interested in your purity than your computer. Jesus insisted that I take radical, painful steps to rid myself of that which causes me to stumble (Matthew 5:30).

I have had to work on that which I put in my mind. Meditating on God’s word has completely revolutionized my thought life. By taking a bible passage daily and praying/meditating over it, I am learning the discipline of filling my imagination with God instead of the desires of my flesh. Filling my mind with God’s word sows the seeds of the spirit and as promised, those seeds have grown into life instead of death.

If I want to live the life in the Spirit, I will have to be willing to do whatever it takes to rid myself of that which enslaves me.

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