Revealing my addiction to pornography was the start of my journey, and repentance was the next step. I didn’t realize it at the time, but as I confessed to God and repented of my sin, there was a change happening to me. Or maybe I should say happening inside of me. Having spent years directing many of my thoughts, and much of my time and energy toward porn, now there were new thoughts—thoughts that did not conform to the same pattern of the earlier part of my life. I was being made new again. I was being refreshed. I was being renewed.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” How does this happen? How is my mind renewed? The answer for me was found in God’s Word. Reading God’s Word gave me new thoughts that were different from the “pattern of this world.” I was no longer conforming; God began to transform me.
In the early days after my deliverance from porn, I was reading Psalm 37 and verse 4 came alive for me even though I had heard it many times, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I realized that the only way God would give me the desires of my heart was if my desires were His desires. And to know His desires, I had to know Him. This meant reading His Word not to know about Him, or just to know the stories, but to know the desires of His heart. Every page of Scripture revealed more of those desires to me.
Over the next two years, I read the book of Psalms three times. Every morning I got up and read a psalm and looked for the heart of God. He showed me His unfailing love for His people (including me). I read of His compassion in the midst of trouble and despair. His power was revealed in the recounting of His acts of creation. His mercy was revealed in His acts of redemption. The faithfulness of God was my confidence. The splendor of His majesty was my delight. His righteousness and holiness became my foundation.
Then I learned to praise Him. I praised Him for His unfailing kindness, the depth of His goodness, the protection of His wings, the justice of His judgment, and maybe above all, His unending, unchanging, everlasting, amazing grace. This brought about a renewing of my mind. I believe that there is no way to truly know the heart of God without being immersed, washed, and enlightened by the Word of God.
I don’t want to suggest a formula for overcoming a struggle with sexual sin because God, and God alone, can deliver. But I will recount what God has shown to me and calls me to do:
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2) If my mind dwells on the “…pattern of the world…the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life…” (1 John 2:16), then my actions will be a result of what I think about and where my mind lives. I learned to let my mind dwell on the character of God, rather than thoughts of porn.
Fill the void.
When I stopped looking at porn, there was a void. It was going to be filled with something. I wanted to take away the opportunity for the enemy to fill the void so I purposed to read God’s Word every day and to let His words, His promises, and His desires fill me. My desire was to leave no room for those things that did not honor Him.
Breathe the Word.
Not only did I read God’s Word every day, but I began to meditate on it and to memorize it. It became as necessary for me to have time in His Word each day as it was to breathe. It was my oxygen. I craved it, and I couldn’t do without it.
Be on guard.
Just because God delivered me from the addiction to porn did not mean I wouldn’t still be tempted. Temptation is still there (and I think it always will be), but temptation is not sin. I learned to look away. To get up and move. To change habits. To anticipate what might be coming and to avoid it.
Talk to God.
Conversing with God in prayer each day reminded me that He is the ultimate Savior—I could not save myself. One of my most consistent prayers has been, “Renew my mind, transform my heart, change my life.”
I was delivered from an addiction to porn. There are still countless others who desire to be rid of the bondage, the guilt, and the shame of all sorts of sexual addictions or struggles. God is forgiving if we confess our sin to Him. As we repent, we begin to turn to Him. In the Word of God, we find the transforming power that renews our mind. Please check back next week as I talk about the healing power of redemption.
By Greg Kerr
A note from TrueNorth’s founder:
Greg is my husband, and the bravest man I know. We are on a journey with God that has only grown sweeter as we have grown in honesty and transparency with each other and with God. If you missed Greg’s previous posts on confession and repentance, I hope you’ll go back and read them.
Our goal is to present grace-filled messages of hope for those who struggle with issues related to sexual sin or porn use, and for those who love them. At TrueNorth we share resources that can help you find true freedom in Christ. To subscribe to our newsletter and blog, click here. Thank you for reading, and we’d love to hear from you!
Founder and CEO of TrueNorth Freedom Project in Atlanta, Georgia
Photo credit: Ben White