Pornography continues to claim the minds of students, adults, and even ministers around the world. I must admit, I have had my fair share of pornography struggles over the years. For many years I attempted to overcome this addiction on my own only to find myself constantly feeling defeated and believing I was a failure. Overtime, I have found that creating safety nets and placing barriers in my life have helped me to begin claiming victory over pornography. I say “begin claiming victory” because I feel that this is a battle that will go on as long as I am alive. I don’t believe that pornography will ever go away. With each new year the porn industry continues to grow and continues to captivate the minds of men. This is a battle that must be fought daily. Here are a few steps you can take if you desire to win the battle over pornography. These steps are from personal experience and conversations with others who have fought in this battle. 1. Admit You Have an Addiction This may be harder than you think. The first step to overcoming a problem is admitting that you actually have one. You must identify that you are weak in this area and that you can’t defeat it. When you admit you can’t defeat it on your own, you have admitted that you are addicted to it. This will set the course of action you need to take. 2. Share with other trusted men “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 Pornography is something that should be treated as any other serious addiction. Addictions have power over people. You can’t defeat this addiction on your own. Share your struggles with a couple of trusted men whom you believe can help you through your addiction. 3. Create an accountability partnership with those men Accountability partners need to be people who are 100% committed to helping you through your struggle. Most accountability partners start off strong but end after a few weeks because they get tired of asking the tough questions. Find people who will journey through this with you and who will stay committed for the long haul. Female friends or spouses are not good choices for accountability partners because they don’t fully understand all that we struggle with and sharing these types of details with a female friend can lead to situations neither of you desire to be in. I have had multiple accountability partners over the years but none were worth anything until they actually asked me difficult questions. 4. Set up accountability software on ALL your computers • xxxchurch.com – free software download • CovenantEyes.com. – about $8/month, but it’s absolutely worth it. 5. Read and Pray. God’s Word is full of examples of how God brought victory in people’s lives when they felt defeated. We read stories about an army of hundreds defeating armies of thousands, city walls falling down at the sound of trumpets, a small boy defeating a great giant, and so much more. When we spend time reading the victorious stories of God and we spend time praying for victory in our own struggles, God will provide. When we understand His faithfulness and His power, we begin to believe that victory is possible in our battle as well. 6. Know where you’re weak and avoid those situations I realized that for me personally I was weakest when I was alone, tired, stressed out, traveling, etc. I had to make drastic changes in my life to avoid placing myself in dangerous situations. I no longer travel alone to conferences, speaking engagements, etc. If I do have to travel alone, I take measures like asking for no TV in my room or unplugging the TV and leaving the laptop in the car. When you are home alone or tired, leave the house, exercise, or do whatever you need to do in order to avoid the situations you know you are weak in. 7. Celebrate. Create a special code or symbol that you can mark on a calendar for each day, week, month, etc that you go without viewing porn. Go celebrate with your accountability partners when you reach milestones you preset. For some, celebrating a week of being porn free is needed. Then move on to two weeks, a month, two months, etc. Celebrate with a soda or ice cream or go enjoy a hobby together. The important thing in that you realize that you are taking great leaps in claiming victory over this addiction and you are celebrating the successes in this journey. 8. Keep your guard up. As you begin claiming victory over this addiction, it can become easier and easier to believe that you have defeated it. Never let your guard down. You will never be immune to this temptation for the rest of your life. You and I are always at risk of falling into the trap of pornography. When we are successful for a long period of time, we begin to form a sense of pride and self-confidence. The book of Proverbs teaches us that pride comes before the fall. Be careful when you being feeling like you have it all under control. That is when you will be tempted. Remember who and what has got you to where you are and continue following that. 9. Stay in constant contact and be real. You should make it a priority to daily send a note to all your accountability partners. In today’s society you can do this through email, facebook, txt messages, etc. This is just a quick note telling your partners your status and thanking them for their support in your life. You must remember that your partners are supporting you and in order to support you, you must remain open, honest, and real with them. These daily checkups will help you remain real and honest. Don’t lie to your partners; it will only end up hurting you as they will not be able to support you the way they need to. 10. Remember this is a process. You did not get to where you are overnight and you will not be free from this addiction overnight. I once heard that “you must walk out of the woods just as far as you walked into them”. Basically it is just a reminder that if we journey deep into this addiction, than we must journey back through the depths to reach the surface again. Don’t beat yourself up and sit in despair if and when you fall victim to this addiction. Get up, dust yourself off, and start from the top. When you feel defeated and don’t see a hope, remember the power in this verse: Matthew 19:26 (NIV) "Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’"

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