Recently I have decided I want to be more wise. I have even attempted to grow a beard. But unfortunately that does not make you wise because if it did I would at least be heading in the right direction. Instead I think wisdom comes from good choices, from experience and from learning from others who have made the same mistakes you have but are learning from them.
I think I made a fairly good start at being wise when I started to get accountable. I struggled with lust and porn and getting a couple of my friends to ask me how I was doing, to challenge me on my habits was a good choice.
A bad choice is sitting on your computer at midnight when you know that you get tempted the most at these times. A good choice is planning your day so that you won’t have times when you are vulnerable. A bad choice is not being totally honest with your accountability partner. A good choice is texting your accountability partner when you start to feel urges to sin. I have done all these and more.
Another good choice I made was to start reading Proverbs and trying to learn from this book and digesting it and putting its practical help into place.
And it is full of practical help. In Proverbs 1 it talks about people who do not make good choices. People who “set an ambush for themselves” who “booby trap their own lives”.
I have done this. I have made it easy for temptation by walking right by it. I love the imagery in Proverbs because I realise when I sit on my own with the computer I am being as foolish as someone who walks blindfolded by a cliff. It’s just stupid. I would never do that. But yet I have in the past.
Thankfully I started to make more good choices than bad. Thankfully I put real things in place to make sure I didn’t make the same mistakes over and over. I want to be like the bird in Proverbs who sees a trap and avoids it. And I am doing that.
The longer I go without looking at porn the more I have realised that making the right decisions is so important. One small decision can have huge implications. It’s like an iceberg. We only see a small proportion of everything that porn can produce. If we choose to click on a link we know will lead us to porn, what was just one small decision can lead to spending hours searching for more extreme images and feelings of shame and disgust at ourselves. It can lead to the break up of relationships, increased isolation from our friends and more and more dangerous viewing.
In the moment we probably didn’t forsee everything it would eventually lead to.
Thankfully on the other hand, one small good decision can lead to amazing things.
One simple decision to turn off the computer when we are alone can lead to more concrete habits being formed to avoid porn. It can lead to better self esteem. It can lead to having more fulfilling relationships that give us the most amazing joy. It can lead us to knowing God better and having integrity in our lives. It can lead to spending your time better. It can lead us to feeling more alive than we have ever done before.
Decisions can change our lives. For the good and the bad.
Porn doesn’t have to control you. It doesn’t need to ruin you. You can take steps to beat it.
It just means starting with the right choice.