Porn (Part 4) – Four Ways to Break a Habit (and form a new one)

It’s amazing that you can change the physicality of your brain by repeating an action over and over again. This sort of thing is what a habit is, it is something that is so ingrained in your brain that you do it without even thinking. Lot’s of us try and do this sort of thing around January 1! Now, you can change these habits (that’s the good news), but it takes work, because not only do you have to carve a new path, but you have to leave the other one alone so that it grows over again and is no longer an option. This is not an easy thing to do, but let me give you four ways that you can break a habit and form a new one, especially when it comes to the area of addiction:

1 Replace a bad habit with a good one

You will find that if you simply try to stop doing something it is kind of like opening up your computer and ripping components out without replacing them with anything else. Eventually the computer won’t work at all. If you simply try to stop something without replacing it with anything else what will happen is, because there is nothing else to do, your brain will take the path of least resistance and that will most likely be your old habit. So some examples that you might use to replace a bad habit would be exercise, reading, learning a new skill like playing the piano or painting. Make sure that it it something you can engage in when you are tempted to go back to that old habit.

2 Go to the source of the problem

Often you will find that, as well as being the root cause of a whole lot of issues, porn use is also the symptom of something deeper. Maybe it was some trauma that happened when you were a little child, or something that has happened recently. But, if you can, get the help that you need to deal with the root cause, the low self esteem, or the avoidance of pain, whatever it is that you are using porn as a medication for (that’s what most addiction is – self medication). Deal with it, get the help that you need – this may mean going to a counsellor to talk it through – and make sure that you pursue that healing with all that you have.

3 Get accountability

This is a big one! Psychologist Al Cooper said that there were three things that contribute to heavy use of online pornography, anonymity, accessability and affordability. The easiest one of these to remove is the anonymity factor. If you get yourself an accountability partner or partners to whom you can be accountable then it becomes much more difficult when you know that someone will be checking in on your online actions. There are lots of great software out there which can help:

triple x church
covenant eyes
K9 web protection

there are all sorts, and many of them are available for free, so get signed up and get someone to whom you can be accountable. This will give you some speed when it comes to breaking this habit and forming a new one. Make sure that you don’t just tell them that you want to stop doing this, but also let them know the habit that you would like to pursue instead.

4 Pray!

Often as Christians we forget that one of the most powerful things that we can do for ourselves and others is to pray. Prayer is like the hotline to the pentagon, it’s like the red phone to call in the nuclear attack, the presidential hotline! So make sure that you use it. Pray EVERY DAY, get people to pray for you, pray with your accountability partner. This is one of the parts of the armour of God, the way that we are supposed to fight the enemy, the one who wants to drag us away from God. Pray without ceasing!

5 Just do it! (Bonus!)

When it came to writing down this series I had one of my friends in my ear saying the same thing – Flee temptation! Flee sexual immorality, Flee idolatry, flee youthful passions, resist the Devil and HE will flee! You just have to do it! You have to put your desire into motion, you have to simply make sure that you put one foot in front of the other and put your faith in God. This is great advice, you have to start somewhere and some time, so what not here and now.

I want to close with one final thought, and this is something that often gets levelled against the Church – God wants to take your fun away! He wants you to be bored and not enjoy life! Why would you follow him if he does that?

Here is a quote from C.S. Lewis and his book The Screwtape Letters, which are letters written from one demon to another, talking about God they say:

“He’s a hedonist at heart. All those fasts and vigils and stakes and crosses are only a facade. Or only like foam on the seashore. Out at sea, out in His sea, there is pleasure, and more pleasure. He makes no secret of it; at His right hand are “pleasure for evermore.”
C. S. Lewis

God does not want to rob you of pleasure in ANY WAY. He wants to instead, give you the greatest pleasure that you can experience. Freedom and joy to pursue Him, to know Him, and to be filled by Him. Don’t let something like porn get in the way of that – you will sell yourself short!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s