Pornography Addiction

You are not alone. Pornography addiction is an epidemic among all people. But it is also troubling among members of the clergy. Some estimates suggest that approximately 40% of pastors have viewed pornography in one form or another in the past month.

The problem with that statistic is that pastors are not inclined to report the full truth even on anonymous surveys. It wouldn’t surprise me to discover that among pastors, 50% or more view inappropriate material on at least a monthly basis.

You are definitely not alone.

What Is an Addiction?

An addiction of any type is something that actually changes the chemistry in the brain. When a person gets addicted, the brain responds by producing a type of euphoria when the act is performed.

Pornography addiction does the same thing. It makes a person feel better – at least for a while. You feel better because your brain is configured to release certain chemicals when you view pornography. It gives a sort of high – not unlike a drug addict or alcoholic.

Symptoms of Addiction

A person is probably addicted to pornography if most of the following are true.

  • You have a desire to view pornography when you are having a difficult day.
  • Your insides get excited when you are alone – your pulse increases, your stomach churns, when viewing pornography is possible.
  • You stay home or in the office when you should go elsewhere.
  • You succumb to temptation when you should be doing something else – like preparing a sermon.
  • You view pornography and then feel guilty immediately afterward.
  • You in some way justify viewing pornography.
  • You confess and commit to never doing it again, but then succumb to it again and again.

Overcoming Pornography Addiction

There is no easy way to overcome an addiction to pornography. I talked elsewhere about overcoming pornography. But I’d like to add a few thoughts here.

  • Draw a line in the sand. On this day, I start my recovery. Write the date down.
  • Don’t commit to long-term success. Make a commitment that you will not view pornography today.
  • Don’t let your recovery be driven by guilt. Long-term recovery can only be gained when looking at the positive benefits of overcoming pornography addiction. Recovery will increase your intimacy with God and with your spouse. It will reduce the depression of guilt in your life. It will give you more energy to do things that need to be done. It will add time to your schedule. You won’t need to worry about people finding out your secret. You will feel much better about your life and ministry.
  • Substitute scripture meditation for the passion to fall to temptation. However, don’t use verses that condemn lust. Use verses that inspire you toward godliness. When you are tempted, recite over and over the inspirational bible verses.
  • Walk away! When you are tempted, get up and walk away from the computer. Shut your computer down and go do something else. Instead of using a computer, use a pen and paper to prepare your sermon. Go to the library or coffee shop to work.
  • Success will not come easily. But you must do the hard work to overcome pornography addiction.

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