Addiction

Here's Why You're Looking at Porn

Jonathon M. Seidl

April 15, 2021 | 4 minute read

I’ve always vowed to get real and honest with you. This post is no exception. 

Let me start by asking you a question. Have you ever struggled with doing something that you absolutely don’t want to do, but no matter what you do you just can’t seem to stop? (If so, you’re in good company. One of the most popular writers of the Bible, a guy named Paul, struggled with it. Read about that here.)

Maybe for some that’s alcohol or drugs, for others it might be sex, and still others it could be a social media addiction. 

For me that was porn.

If you’re reading this, you are probably one of those people because you saw the headline and clicked. So I want to offer you a couple of truths. One, you’re not alone, and two, there’s a bigger reason as to why you’re looking at porn. 

First, you’re not alone. Over 75% of just Christian men regularly look at porn, while women account for one-third of all pornography viewed. In other words, it's not just a “man’s problem;” a lot of people struggle with it and there’s a lot of it out there. In fact, with over 2.3 billion porn webpages, it would take you over 11,180 years to look at all the pages available. I was reminded of all of that when I watched Chaz Smith’s latest White Chair Film

“I became addicted to pornography for years,” Chaz explains. Chaz is a hilarious comedian that you’ve seen all over social media. And yet his story is similar to so many. It started as a teenager and grew, and grew, and grew until it consumed him. 

Sound familiar? 

Ok, so you’re not alone. But now what? What’s the secret to why you struggle? Well, I’ll let Chaz tell you

“A pornography addiction is a symptom of a deeper issue,” he says. Read that again. 

Friend, that’s what you came to this page for. That’s the ticket. That’s the secret. The reason you’re struggling so hard with porn and can’t seem to stop is because there is something deeper going on inside of you. 

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that you’re never going to be truly successful at battling something if you don’t get to the heart of the problem — if you don’t work to uncover the “why.” Chaz’s “why” is that he never felt good enough, he didn’t understand his value as a child of God, which is actually a symptom of an even deeper problem. 

That problem? He wasn’t truly filling himself up with what he needed most.

I realized that earlier this week while listening to a pastor talk about an old preacher from the 1600’s. This preacher’s name is John Flavel, an Oxford-educated Englishman. And while these days we tend to overlook and dismiss anything old, Flavel’s words still have power. (The pastor I was listening to affectionately called him “Flavel Flave,” and now you’re welcome.)

In one of his books, Flavel talks about how our souls yearn for and crave a spiritual delight and satisfaction that can only be found in God. When we ignore that is when we run into problems:

We were not meant to live without spiritual exhilaration and the Christian who goes for a long time without the experience of heart-warming will soon find himself tempted to have his emotions satisfied from earthly things and not, as he ought, from the Spirit of God.

The soul is so constituted that it craves fulfilment from things outside itself and will embrace earthly joys for satisfaction when it cannot reach spiritual ones. The believer is in spiritual danger if he allows himself to go for any length of time without tasting the love of Christ and savouring the felt comforts of a Saviour’s presence.

When Christ ceases to fill the heart with satisfaction, our souls will go in silent search of other lovers. By the enjoyment of the love of Christ in the heart of a believer, we mean an experience of the “love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.” [Emphasis added.]

TL;DR version from the pastor who introduced me to Flavel: “The reason so many people in the church are addicted to porn is because they do not have spiritual joy. So they go searching for earthly happiness.”

That’s it. That’s why you’re struggling with porn. That’s why I’ve struggled with porn. That’s why Chaz struggled with porn. He began looking for momentary pleasure to fulfill an eternal desire.

Now listen, you may be saying, “Jon, I know Jesus. I want Jesus. But I still struggle.” To which I would say, “You’re right.” I can’t promise you that you will never struggle with porn again in your life after reading this article and even understanding what’s at the heart of it. Sometimes God allows us to go through things so that we understand how desperately we need him.

But I can promise you this: There’s always room for more Jesus. If I’m honest with myself, I’ve never gotten to a point where I can say, “I’m just nailing this whole Jesus thing perfectly.” There’s always more I can learn. There’s always some way I’m getting in the way. There’s always a step I can take that moves me closer to him. 

And the closer you move to him, the more your struggle will not be yours alone to bear. The more you trust in him and find the deeper truths he offers — like that he loves you, that he is faithful, and that there’s nothing you can do to ever measure up and be perfect — the more your affections and desires come in line with where you actually want them to be. That may be hard to see now, but I can tell you it’s true.

So whatever step you need to take to move closer to Jesus, please take it. Maybe that’s turning to him for the first time or the thousandth time. Whatever it is, I guarantee you it will not be for nothing. The process may be a little painful but the result is beautiful because in the end it’s what your soul craves. It’s what you were created for. And as another really old guy said, “our souls are restless until they find rest in [God].” 

I dare you to try it and see what happens.


If you’re also looking for some practical tools to help you find freedom from a pornography addiction, check out these resources: 

 
Jonathon M. Seidl

Jonathon M. Seidl

Jonathon M. (Jon) Seidl is a writer, speaker, and digital media strategist. He’s the author of a forthcoming book on anxiety, OCD, and mental health that will be published in fall 2021.

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