There is one good saying in Amharic. It goes something like this: Just because you have two legs doesn’t mean that you can climb two trees. (I know, some of you may translate it better but I guess this is the best I can do).
A similar one in English would be: You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
You can have your cake and keep it in the fridge or you can eat your cake and you won’t have cake to keep in the fridge. Both these situations cannot be true at the same time. You have to choose one.
Young people usually come to me and say, “I really want to stop watching porn but I can’t.”
My first question for him is: “Why do you want to stop watching porn?” Because his motivation to stop matters a big deal!
When the answer is something like, “I am a follower of Jesus Christ and I know porn is sinful,” my antenna goes up and I pose another question: “Good! So, how far are you willing to go with Jesus Christ?”
They usually look at me with an inquisitive look. So, I immediately say, “Well, Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24) So, are you ready to do that?”
They smile and say, “I mean, I don’t want to be a monk if you are asking me to be one.”
I smile back and say, “Never! I am asking you if you want to be a real and genuine follower of Jesus Christ. You know what I mean, like a real Christian?”
At this point, they laugh loud and say, “Are you saying, real Christians don’t struggle with porn?”
“No, I am not saying that!” And, I continue with a firm voice, “To stop porn, you need to start something.”
You need to start living like a Christian. You need to fight against sin every waking hour of your life. Deny your wants and desires and replace them by praying and reading/studying/meditating on the word of God and fellowshipping with likeminded people instead of sitting on social media and checking out the latest funny but full of obscene languages and scenes.
With a big sigh, they say, “I tried that!”
No, I am not asking you to try. I am asking you to change your lifestyle completely for the rest of your life.
“Are you kidding me?”
No, I am not! I mean, I thought you wanted to break free from this addiction. Maybe I am wrong. I thought you said that.
“No! I mean, yes, I do want to, but how can I enjoy my life by changing my life?”
I am trying to show you the best way to enjoy your life. You wouldn’t come to me if you were enjoying your life. Am I right?
“I mean, I enjoy my life. It’s just this one thing that is bothering me.”
There is no “isolated” and separated segment of your life unless you are into this false teaching that says something like: Soul, spirit and body are separated. What you do on your body doesn’t affect your soul and spirit,” kind of teaching.
“No, I don’t follow that teaching.”
Good for you!
“Okay, for how long do I need to try this so I can be free from this addiction?”
Again, I am not giving you a prescription here. I am telling you a biblical way of following Jesus Christ throughout your life.
“And those who follow Christ by prayer, reading/studying the Bible won’t struggle with porn?”
No, I did not say that. When you know how to live in the Spirit, you know how to fight in the Spirit. And relapses can happen. You fall but you quickly pick yourself up and keep on keeping on.
Until Christ returns or you go to Christ!
“Are you kidding me?”
Were you kidding me when you asked me how to be free from porn addiction?
“No, I was not!”
I am not kidding either. ///
Do you know how often I have this kind of conversation with young people? Countless times!
Do you know what they are actually asking?
They are asking me to show them the way to live in both worlds, in a Christian world and in this dying-sinful-dark and soon-to-be burning into hell world. They are asking if there is a way to have their cake and eat it too.
No pointing fingers here! Basically, we all are the same! We always search for ways to have one of our feet in the world and the other one in the church.
You know what the Bible calls us when we do that?
“So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” Revelation 3:16 NASB
Hot means, you are a real deal! Cold means, you are 100% in the world. Lukewarm means you are trying to be cold and hot at the same time.
There is hope for the cold person, just like you and me. We were dead, living in this dark world. Then God by His mercy and grace quickened our spirit and brought us back to life. So, this cold person has some hope from God.
The hot one lives in the mercy, grace and peace of God for they belong to Jesus Christ.
So, my friend, what do you wanna be? Hot or cold?
There is more hope for the dead than for lukewarm.
“Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Proverbs 26:12 NASB ///