Commenting on one of the opening passages in Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth, Horatius Bonar shares ten benefits to Christians who will cling to God during times of suffering.
“The meaning and use of trial:
The Porn Circuit is a great book to make you aware of the dangers of pornography. You can read my full book review of this free downloadable book here, and check out the first set of quotes I shared by clicking here.
Here are some additional quotes specifically to help you break free from the hold pornography has on your life.
Your #1 strategy … LEARN TO HATE PORN!
Hate what it does to you, to your relationships, and to those involved in sex trafficking because of the porn industry.
#2 … Create some positive activities you can do when you’re tempted to look at porn.
“The prefrontal cortex is the decision-making logical part of the brain, and each time that a person resists temptation and each time a positive habit is reinforced, the prefrontal cortex gets stronger. That means a person’s willpower grows and the cues and cravings for porn use grow weaker.”
“This approach (of introducing positive habits) makes plastic sense because it grows a new brain circuit that gives pleasure and triggers dopamine release which, as we have seen, rewards the new activity and consolidates and grows new neural connections. This new circuit can eventually compete with the older one, and according to use it or lose it, the pathological networks will weaken. With this treatment we don’t so much ‘break’ bad habits as replace bad behaviors with better ones.” —Dr. Norman Doidge
“Whatever rewarding activity is pursued, it needs to be an activity that is reoccurring. Building new rewarding neural pathways requires time and ongoing repetition:
#3 … Start using the 3-second rule.
“When watching TV, walking through the mall, or driving past billboards, temptation can strike when least expected. Many therapists recommend using the 3-Second Rule, which involves three steps:
#4 … Don’t forget to watch out for H.A.L.T. times.
“Physical care is vital to vigilance. HALT is the acronym often used by therapists to remind people of when they can be most vulnerable it stands for: hungry, angry, lonely, tired. Simply going to bed on a regular schedule to get a good night’s rest can help one’s brain be more focused on positive habits and more alert to fight temptations. Not only eating but also eating well can improve mood and feelings of well-being. Regular exercise keeps the mind more focused, the body feeling great, and improve sleep.”
You see, I love my day to be highly organized. I like to get to all my meetings on time, and then have them run smoothly and efficiently. I like to setup my To Do list, and then methodically check off each item as I go through my day. I like to be in charge of my day.
I am an atheist.
I’m the one calling the shots. I set my agenda. I determine my day. I decide who to see and what project to accept.
There was a guy that Jesus talked about who did the exact same thing. This guy thought to himself and talked to himself all about his plans. Seriously, in just three verses he says me/I/my a dozen times (Luke 12:17-19)!
But God said, “You fool!” The word for fool means without mind. He didn’t mind his mind. He thought the thoughts he wanted to think, without ever consulting anyone else. Not even God.
Jesus made prayer a priority every day (Mark 1:35). What do you think He prayed? Do you think He said, “Here’s what I’m going to do today, and I want You to bless it, Father”? No way!
When Jesus taught us to pray He said, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done” (Matthew 6:9-13). Not only did Jesus pray this way, He lived this way too. He didn’t do a single thing unless His Father directed Him to do it (John 6:38), and He didn’t say a single word unless His Father directed Him to say it (John 12:49).
The problem is not going into my prayer closet to meet with God in the morning, the problem is thinking I can leave God in the closet as I go about my day! That is atheism!
The Apostle James gave us this sound counsel: Instead of making my plans all on my own, I should say, “If the Lord wills, this is what I will do today” (James 4:13-17). And wise King Solomon said I shouldn’t lean on my own thoughts when planning my days, but lean onto God, and then watch to see how He will direct my life in the right way (Proverbs 3:5-6).
I’ve begun writing I.T.L.W. on the top of my daily calendar. It’s my reminder to say, “If The Lord Wills” this is what I will do today. And if something else comes up, I quickly acknowledge that God is directing my path where He needs me to go.
Your Kingdom come means my kingdom has to go. Your will be done means my agenda takes a distant second.
If you’re feeling stressed about your schedule, that should be your reminder to pray: “God, what do you want to have done here.” Silence the atheistic thoughts that sound like, “I have to get my list done.” Stop and pray right there on the spot.
Here’s the full video of my message on this topic—
We will be continuing our series called Practical Prayer this Sunday. If you don’t have a home church in Cedar Springs, please come be our guest. Or you can tune into our live broadcast via Periscope.
The Porn Circuit is a marvelous ebook (and it’s a free download!) which shows the biological, emotional, and relational dangers of pornography. This is a great book to help protect you from the entanglements of porn, and it’s also a great help for those who want to break a porn addiction. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are some of the quotes that caught my eye.
“Between 14,500 and 17,500 sex slaves are trafficked into the US each year. Another 300,000 American children are at risk for trafficking each year.”
“Our biggest sexual organ rests between our ears. The brain is where we truly experience intimacy, pleasure, love, and satisfaction. But it is also where we create negative feelings, bad habits, destructive compulsions, and addictions.”
“People, unlike any other animal, were designed to have sex with their spirit, soul, and body, says sex addiction therapist Dr. Doug Weiss…. Porn not only leaves out the spirit and soul, but also the tenderness and love expressed through a spouse’s body, their words, their giving, and on and on. Unlike real intimacy, there are multiple parts missing from the pornography puzzle.”
“It should be no surprise that pornography use is correlated with a 318% increase in infidelity.”
“Though not true for everyone, many porn users find they need a greater amount or more intense porn to activate a state of arousal. The brain has decided after multiple porn excursions that this amount of dopamine is excessive. So it has reduced the amount of dopamine in response to porn, and it has reduced the number of dopamine receptors for the neural circuits associated with porn use. To escape this desensitization, people, and men especially, expand their pornographic tastes to more novel stimuli. What was once considered hard core…is now considered mundane.”
“Like a path is created in the woods with each successive hiker, so do the neural paths set the course for the next time an erotic image is viewed. Over time these neural paths become wider as they are repeatedly traveled with each exposure to pornography. They become the automatic pathway through which interactions with women are routed. The neural circuitry anchors this process solidly in the brain. … All women become potential porn stars in the minds of these men. They have unknowingly created a neurological circuit that imprisons their ability to see women rightly.” —Dr. Williams Struthers
“Pornographers promise healthy pleasure and relief from sexual tension, but what they often deliver is an addiction, tolerance, and an eventual decrease in pleasure. Paradoxically, the male patients I worked with often craved pornography but didn’t like it.” —Dr. Norman Doidge
“Dr. Dolf Zillmann reports when young people are repeatedly exposed to pornography, it can have a long-lasting impact on their beliefs and behaviors. Frequently, men who habitually view pornography develop cynical attitudes about love and the need for affection between partners. They began to view the institution of marriage as sexually confining. Often, men develop a ‘tolerance’ for sexually explicit material, leading them to seek out more novel or bazaar material to achieve the same level of arousal.”
“You will never destroy an enemy you embrace.” —Dr. Doug Weiss
Coming soon: some quotes from The Porn Circuit to help you break free from pornography’s hold on your life.
January is Sanctity Of Human Life Month. I hope you are thinking about how you can support life-affirming causes this month. There are several great things you can do: financially support a pregnancy resource center (PRC), volunteer your time at a PRC, be aware of how your elected officials are voting.
Prayer is the most powerful life-affirming activity we have at our disposal, because we pray to our Life-sustaining God! The Colson Center has put together a 21-day prayer for life guide. I encourage you to download this guide and then pray for life.
Download your free 21-day prayer for life guide here → 21 days of prayer for life
Here are some other resources for you:
There is scientific data, as well as anecdotal data, from researchers and therapists that pornography is an unfulfilling, relationship-destroying, life-controlling habit. Porn is NOT, as some people try to lead us to believe, harmless fun nor is it a victimless indulgence. The data about porn’s destructive potential, and the good news on how to break free from its stranglehold, is the subject Sam Black covers in an easy-to-read ebook called The Porn Circuit.
Don’t let the mention of scientific data keep you from downloading this book. You don’t need a biology or chemistry background, because Sam Black explains the brain science of pornography in a way that anyone can grasp. The bottom line: porn is fooling your brain into false pleasure, and creating an addiction that can destroy your life just as easily as an addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or any other life-controlling substance.
But the good news is you can break the hold of porn on your life! After Sam lays out the case of how destructive pornography can be for your life and relationships, he then shares some solid strategies for getting the help you need to break free.
Don’t let pornography ruin your life. Get help to get free.