2 Keys to Breaking Free from Porn Addiction

A friend from church recently sent me the following question after I had shared in a sermon about a multi-year journey of breaking free from pornography addiction in my latter teen years:

breaking freeHey nick, I wanted to ask you something about your message this morning. When you got freed from pornography, what would you say was the ultimate key to your success or failure? As in, is there anything specific that you think is huge in whether someone will be able to change? And did you notice a change in your relationship with Christ?

I sent my friend this response:

The tide-turners that God used in my life to set me free were #1-telling others, and #2-Scripture memory.

#1-Telling Others:

After first stumbling upon pornographic magazines at age 11, and then descending into full-blown addiction in the years that followed, I hid it in shame and told no one for 6-7 years. Meanwhile the problem festered and grew in the darkness no matter how hard I tried on my own to break free.

A definite change came the day I confessed my addiction to a few trusted friends and mentors who did not judge me, but committed to pray for me and provide loving accountability for me. Victory certainly did not come overnight, but the tide of defeat had definitely turned…

#2-Scripture Memory:

By age 17, I was cooperating with the Holy Spirit’s cleansing work in my heart and mind, and I had shared my struggle with a couple of close, trusted friends.  These steps were working to remove the bad from my life, but removing the bad without replacing it with good creates a vacuum into which even worse things can be drawn…

There is a story in Matthew 12:43-45 where Jesus explains the state of a man who has been delivered from a demon. When the man does nothing to fill the vacancy left by the demon but tidy up his life a bit, the demon returns with seven of its friends, and the man is worse off in the end than when he was first delivered.

I was a senior in high school when I first confessed my struggle to a few godly friends. They listened, did not judge or condemn me, and they committed to pray for and with me.

breaking freeOne of them went a step further: he encouraged me to memorize every Scripture I could find about having pure thoughts, eyes, and hands. I began aggressively memorizing Scripture, with which I was ready to fight temptations the same way Jesus did when He was tempted by the devil in the wilderness in Matthew 4:1-11 – by quoting Scripture.

20+ years later, I still face temptation. Mental purity is still a battle. But I have victory, and I have been set free! Still, I cannot let my guard down – I must remain vigilant, relying on the Lord’s strength, and continuing to employ the two resources He provided to bring me freedom: #1-keeping the issue in the light by telling others, and #2-continuing to review my Scripture memory verses on the subject of purity and self-control.

Follow-up Question: “What Scripture verses did you memorize?”

  • Job 31:1
  • 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
  • Matthew 5:27-28
  • Psalm 119:9-11
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4
  • Hebrews 13:4
  • Ephesians 5:3-5
  • Colossians 3:5
  • James 5:13-16
  • 1 John 1:9
  • Psalm 119:37
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13

2 responses to “2 Keys to Breaking Free from Porn Addiction

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