Day 58: The Lies of Pornography
THE TRUTH SETS US FREE
Lies are truly insidious, making us prisoners deluded into believing and behaving in falsity. They are a poison that chokes the life out of us, slowly corrupting our entire being. The worst part is that when we believe the lies, we go about our business without any kind of awareness that we are slaves. It takes the powerful work of truth to set us free and bring us back to our senses. Interestingly, the movie "The Matrix" has some powerful parallels with our struggle against darkness and lies:
Think on this for a moment, we were once in darkness, slaves to sin. There was no hope for freedom - no hope of escape. Then, as a rushing wind, God came into our world and rescued us from that darkness. Without Him we were doomed, eternally trapped in sin. We were made to respond to this heroic act by allowing the light of truth to expose the trap that ensnared us:
"If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; You will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." - John 8:31-32
It takes a tremendous amount of courage to closely examine our lives in order to uncover where we have been duped into believing lies. In the light of truth, we come face-to-face with our story, our past, and oftentimes our cowardice. Although this pill can be bitter to swallow, it is absolutely integral to breaking the power that held us captive in the first place.
If you have taken your sins to Jesus by now, then you have indeed been reconciled to God and cleansed in his sight. You are a son or daughter of the Most High - do not forget that; your salvation has been solidified. What happens next is not about our identity or our salvation, but it does contribute to our healing. The One who bore the wounds of the cross for us dares to enter into the wounds of our heart, destroying the infectious presence of the enemy and subsequently giving us more of Himself to mend our broken heart.
EXPOSING THE LIES
"Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light..." - John 3:20-21
Let me ask you the same question that a dear friend once posed to me: What lies has your struggle with sexual sin led you to believe?
As I thought back into my past I realized that when I was young, girls would spread rumors and lies about me, and my girlfriends held the power in the relationship to end it. This caused me to act timid and fearful in the presence of females. So, what was the lie I believed? Women had the power to determine my worth as a man. Subsequently, pornography was "common" in the culture I found myself in. In fact, it was so expected that if you didn't look lustfully at women you were either considered ignorant or gay. What was the lie? It was that pornography was "safe" and that women were mere sex objects.
Combine these two lies and you get a result where women hold the power to either affirm your masculinity or emasculate you, and that pornography is a way for you to take the power back. The ultimate lie here is that you are in control.
YOU WERE MADE FOR MORE
Sexual sin is our selfish response when we want to maintain control of our lives. We feel the urges and give in because we don’t have a proper perspective of our identity in Christ and what we were made for. We are terrified that if we were to be ourselves, we would be exposed to not have what it takes, or find that the other has all the power. The truth is that as a Christian the object of your sexual desire has lost the ability to determine your identity. These lies and others you may face were all an illusion - a world pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth. We are indeed slaves if we are under the power of sin:
They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You will become free '?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. - John 8:33-34
When the lies are all on the table, the work of the evil one being exposed, how are we to heal since the lies also revealed our cowardice and shame? We must understand that our hurt pride has everything to do with the work of Christ. Henri Nouwen, the author of "The Wounded Healer" writes that “Jesus was a revolutionary, who did not become an extremist, since he did not offer an ideology, but Himself.”
If Christ would have offered a step-by-step guide to conquering evil, he would not be worthy to know our brokenness. He would have no right to touch our cuts and bruises if he himself were not cut nor bruised. He is truly the only one who knows the cost of the truth, as he took upon himself the public humiliation that we were due. Our enemy is described as the accuser, and his mission is to bury us in guilt and shame. Luckily, Christ took the full weight of that guilt and shame for us, and it is nailed to the cross with Him. We are free to live in the shadow of he who became a covering for us by himself becoming exposed.
You were bought a a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. -1 Corinthians 6:20
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. -Romans 8:37
Day 58 Application
Because of lust and/or pornography what lies were you led to believe? In respect to each lie, what is the truth?
Consider for a moment the energy you would expend in your former way of life to cover up your sinful acts. Imagine if all the deceit and your actions were exposed. How would you have felt? As a Christian, all the shame that was rightfully due to you has been cancelled. The Creator of the Universe, the One who made you, the Holy Son of God who is perfect, chose to take upon himself the weight of your shame by being crucified naked as his enemies verbally abused him and those who professed to love him abandoned him. He has purchased the power for you to know the truth without being utterly destroyed by its piercing light.
Why can truth hurt? Has this kept you from being honest with God? How can you deepen your trust of him so that you can be vulnerable with him?
What "paths of escape" has God provided so that you can maintain your sexual purity? What causes us to be impure?