Our society loves to talk. Everything from sports to the news to the latest celebrity gossip is fair game for our insatiably social society. We progressed so far that every parent, preacher, teacher, and student taking a trip abroad has to open up a blog and get their message out. We’re incredibly social and open about every part of our life…except for perhaps the bad. The Bible tells us that every one of us on this planet are sinners (Rom. 3:23), and yet that part of our lives is concealed and hidden away for no one to know about. This concealment of sin does unimaginable damage over time and robs Christianity of some of it’s beauty. Here are three reasons why it’s important that we open up about pornography.
Openness Forces Us to Confront Our Problem
According to the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program the first step that needs to be taken in handling a problem is admitting that a problem exists in the first place. This is very similar to what we see in the Gospels. Over and over again we see people being forgiven of their sins after they are made aware of their sinfulness. Sometimes this came by self-admission (Luke 18:8-9) and other times they were made aware of their sin because it was pointed out to them (Acts 2:36-37). Regardless of how the sin is made known know this, problems can only be solved when we become open about them.
Unfortunately sin, like the darkness, doesn’t like to be exposed. In writing about the Christ John said: “the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil” (John 3:19). Sin does not like exposure so much so that it fights to stay hidden. Those who have fought against pornography will tell you that while they desperately want out, they will try to do so on their own fighting a silent battle against unnumbered foes. It’s tempting to keep the temptation of porn in the darkness. It’s even more tempting to think that you can fight the temptation on your own, but that’s simply not true (at the very least your chances of succeeding aren’t all that high). This problematic sin, just like all others, is one that requires openness to confront.
Openness Allows Christians to Carry Out Their Responsibility
We’ve all done this:
Person 1: “How are you doing?”
Person 2: “Oh, I’m good! You?”
Person 1: “I’m good too.”
*proceeds to shake hands and continue on with their life*
We really seem to struggle with the whole the-church-is-a-family thing…well kind of. We’re excellent when it comes to worshiping together, eating together, working together, and serving together, but throw in emotions and we get annoyed or squeamish. Dealing with each other’s problems is a part of church life. As a family we get to enjoy the good, but we have a responsibility to put up with the bad at times too. When a fellow Christian brother or sister is caught up in a sin Paul instructs us to “bear one another’s burdens” (Gal. 6:1-2). In other words, we have the responsibility to help shoulder their load. If we all did our job as Christians, no Christian would ever have to carry a burden alone.
When it comes to pornography this is no different. Will some people judge you for your struggle with pornography? Probably, but there are Christians out there who will, instead of looking down on you with pity, help you look up to see life in Christ free from porn. However, we have to open the door to allow them in. If we’re never open about our addiction to pornography Christians can never have the opportunity to fulfill their responsibility of shouldering the burdens of a fellow family member.
Openness Opens the Door for God’s Forgiveness
Repentance, or the turning away from sin, has always been a part of God’s plan for saving mankind. Does God have the ability to save someone who doesn’t ask for forgiveness? Yes, but He won’t. That being said, God has always been a God of the extra mile. He is patient towards those in sin and He sent His Son to die in our place…all we have to do is turn from sin. When it comes to receiving the forgiveness we all desperately need, God went 99% of the way and He just asks that we go the 1% that’s left. Keeping our struggle of pornography in the dark ensures that the door to forgiveness will remain closed. Proverbs tells us that: “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (28:13). God’s forgiveness waits right around the corner, but only if we’re willing to embrace openness and allow God in.
Openness with all sin, especially pornography, forces us to confront our problem, allows Christians to carry about their responsibility and opens the door for God’s forgiveness. To the person reading this that struggles with pornography, refuse to allow porn to be something that continues to have a silent death grip on you. Speak up about your problem and get the help you need. Contact a friend, a Christian, a family member, or even us and get the help you need to bear and overcome this burden. To the friend of the person who struggles with pornography, accept your responsibility as a burden bearer and be prepared to show your friend that there is abundant life after porn.