Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary

24 Oct 2017

Letters To a Believer Struggling with Porn

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Brother or Sister in Christ,

Every one of us must find our righteousness in Jesus Christ and in Him alone. He lived perfectly (the way we couldn’t) and died sacrificially (in our place) and rose victoriously! He is our hope for being made right with God, overcoming sin and reaching glory. This confidence in Christ’s work compels us to turn from sin, for we want nothing to do with the actions, desires, and thoughts that will take us away from Jesus. The battle against sin is hard. But the battle must be waged, and if we do so by the power of the Spirit, we will win.

I would like to help you create a “battle plan.” We need to start by answering some questions. Can you please respond to each of the following questions in your reply? (I have included your Christian brother or sister in this email chain because I know you have been working together.) Don’t drift from relationships; sin wants you isolated! Please answer these questions based on what has happened so far, not what you think would be best.

  1. Where are you gaining access to immoral content (pornographic or sexually suggestive content)?
  2. What days of the week are you accessing immoral content most often?
  3. What time of the day are you accessing immoral content?
  4. What are some circumstances that often lead up to accessing immoral content? (A discouraging day? Long day at work? Stress with your family? Coworkers?)
  5. What actions usually lead to accessing immoral content? (watching videos online? surfing the web in your room? Skipping workouts? Staying isolated?)
  6. What actions usually lead to resisting temptation? (call/text a brother or sister in Christ? Prayer? Exercise? Reading your Bible? Going to a public place?)

Answering these questions will help us form a battle plan, so respond to this email with a few sentences per question.

We love you and we are in this battle together! Christ has accomplished our justification and He is working by His Spirit to work out our sanctification. Keep at it!

 

[A couple days later, after feedback has been received.]

 

Brother or Sister in Christ,

Thank you for taking the time to work through these answers. I think this will be very helpful information for forming a Plan for Obedience.

You said the main access to pornographic material is through your computer and usually you have these temptations on Friday evenings and Saturdays. You’re usually facing temptation toward immorality when you are discouraged, lonely, or bored/stranded.

I think we should set up some personal guidelines that address your circumstances of greatest struggle and form a plan of action for when you’re facing temptation.

First the Personal Guidelines:

Jesus said that we should gouge out our eyes or cut off our limbs if doing so helps us avoid sin (Matt 5:27–30). Obviously, Jesus is not telling us to hurt ourselves, but He is indicating that we need to take significant steps to stop our addictions. Are there simple ways for you to limit tempting sources and circumstances? What are two simple guidelines you can establish that would make the largest impact on your access to immoral content?

Here are some options to consider–

  • No computer.
  • No computer Friday and Saturday.
  • No movies on your computer/ no movies alone.
  • No Friday nights alone.

Next the Plan of Action:

What will you do when you face temptation? I recommend that you plan to embrace the means of grace (God’s Word, Prayer, and God’s People) and flee temptation.

  • Who will you call/text when you are tempted to view immoral content?  (3 names)
  • What Scripture will you memorize and recite to remind yourself of what is true, right and expected by God? (3 passages)
  • How will you embrace the power of the Holy Spirit through prayer? Will you walk to a private spot and pray aloud? Will you call a brother to pray? Will you take a prayer walk? Can you write out some prayers that can guide you during these times?
  • How will you flee temptation? You should not hang around your computer alone and idle in your residence when you’re feeling tempted.

o    Where will you go?

o    What activities will you do? Read? (Exercise?)

o    How will you minimize loneliness?

 

Please take time to fill this out and Please reply to this email with your plans. Your Christian brother or sister and I want to be a support to you in this. This is just a start, and it’s going to be uncomfortable and it’s going to take work but it is worth it! Immorality will drag you straight to Hell; it is poison seeking to destroy you and loosen your grip on Christ.

I recognize the challenges, and I don’t deny that It will be hard work, but you can and will, by the grace of God, overcome!

Philippians 2:12–13: “ Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” God is working in your working. Keep it up, brother!

Love you and praying for you! Christ is worth it!

 

–Pastor David

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