Many Christian men have had similar experiences with pornography. It too looks good at first, seeming to add a little spice to life. But it rarely stays under control. Instead, it consumes energy and attention that should be used for productive purposes and depletes our spiritual strength.
That is not a recent phenomenon; scripture confirms that lust—the power behind pornography—has always had those effects. The book of Proverbs, written thousands of years ago, attests that illicit sexual matters initially appear attractive, Proverbs 5:3, 7:16-18, but eventually get beyond our control. Proverbs 6:27-29. It also describes how, left unchecked, they consume us, Proverbs 5:9-11, with tragic results. Proverbs 5:4-5; 7:21-23. Jesus confirmed those dynamics, Matthew 5:28-30. The delivery system has changed, but the stuff being delivered is still the same.
So what do we do about it?
Experienced gardeners know that there are two primary countermeasures to invasive plants. The first is to seal their gardens off; they are careful to prevent those plants from getting into their gardens in the first place, and failing that, to completely weed them out as soon as they appear. Half way measures don’t work; if the plants are present in any quantity the gardener must spend time and effort on containment that is needed to nurture other plants and will likely fail no matter how hard he tries. The second is to make the legitimate crops as strong as possible so they are more resistant to those invasive plants that appear in spite of his best efforts to keep them out.
Scripture and experience confirm that the same is true with regard to pornography. The best approach is to avoid it altogether, to stay away from areas, virtual or otherwise, where tempting materials are likely to be found, Proverbs 5:8, 7:24-25, c.f. Proverbs 7:7-8, and to completely eliminate them if they are present. Matthew 5:29-30. And like a gardener tending to his bona fide crops, scripture instructs us to strengthen legitimate outlets for our energies so we can better deal with those instances where sexual temptation enters our lives, as it inevitably will in spite of our best efforts. Proverbs 5:18-23, 7:1-5. See also Matthew 5:31-32.
(Images about the benefits of eliminating things that distract us from God/His purposes for us were posted September 18d, October 3a and 14, November 21, December 8, 2004 and February 28 and August 3, 2005.