Abstinence from viewing porn often amplifies the desire to see more, while ‘accountability partners’ can sometimes use guilt and shame in an attempt to control ‘bad’ behavior. This approach to addiction is like trying to turn off the ‘check engine light’ instead of letting a mechanic take a look under the hood.
Some would have us believe that our behavior is what matters most to God. But when we define our self worth and value by our good behavior- instead of the simple (yet hard to believe) truth that we are loved by God because we are loved by God– we start looking for intimacy and connection in the strangest of places. Because being created in the likeness of God means that we are made to crave connection with God, creation, each other and ourselves.
And so a porn addiction is the ‘check engine light’ of the soul alerting us that we are feeling disconnected.
For this reason alone, we can say ‘thank God for porn’.
Because your addictions do not prevent you from experiencing God’s love- they invite you directly into it. Maybe your ‘check engine light’ isn’t porn- perhaps it’s an addiction to alcohol, drugs, sex, food, dieting, work, money, fame, success, people-pleasing or something else. Whatever they might be, your addictions can be a gift from God.
If you are struggling with the guilt and shame of an addiction, consider that those feelings are not coming from the God of the universe who made you. They are coming from a god you have created in your mind- a god that you have made in your own image, instead of the other way around. To be caught up in the notion of a righteous, pure and holy god that is unwilling to expose himself to immorality, impurity or evil, is to deny the very truth that through Jesus Christ that is exactly what God has already done and is doing here and now ‘on earth as it is in Heaven’.
If it is possible that God might be more accepting, more loving, and more forgiving than we can imagine- then I want to be a part of that. To paint a picture of a god that wants to save us but can’t, or a god that requires we feel guilty and apologize for our inability to save ourselves is the most ‘non-good news’ gospel I can imagine. It makes me think of a father rushing to the aid of his child that has just been struck by a car- but as he leans over, he gently whispers to the child ‘that’s what you get for playing in the street’ and then he gets up and leaves.
So even if right now you find yourself in a darkened room with your pants around your ankles staring at a computer screen of porn- know that you are God’s beloved child. The God of the universe sees you in this very moment as you frantically try to turn off your ‘check engine light’- and He couldn’t possibly love you any more or any less than He does right now. He loves you. He accepts you. He approves of you.
Just the way you are.
God loves you and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it. You don’t have to feel ashamed or guilty about your addiction because your addiction is the direct result of you not knowing how much you are already loved by God. The more unloved you feel, the more you will act out in your addiction. And the more you act out in your addiction, the more unloved you will feel- and so this downward spiral will continue.
I would like to welcome you into the art collection I have been working on for over a year. The REHUMANIZE collection is inspired by the God who loves us in the midst of our addictions– instead of requiring that we resist, hide or overcome them in order to impress him or earn his love.
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Header image: REHUMANIZEcollection.org