Don’t Fight Porn With Self-Righteousness

0
186

How do you respond after you sin? When sin is exposed in your life, it can certainly be discouraging. Perhaps you replay in your mind the moments where you fell short of God’s standard. You wonder why a harsh answer, lustful thought, or proud comment seemed so attractive — so life-giving. At the moment, it promised joy, but sin is deceptive and always leaves a trail of death wherever it goes. It is good and right to feel broken over our sin, but in the midst of our grief, we must be careful that we grieve over the right thing. You have heard it said before that we need to be sorry about the sin rather than sorry we got caught for the sin. But there is an even more deceptive kind of grief that can creep into our lives if we are not careful. It is the grief of self-righteousness. The grief of self-righteousness is mostly sorrowful over broken “streak” or apparent victory over sin. It is broken not by the sin but by the very need to confess the sin at all.

This self-righteous grief is perhaps most tempting to the young man who is fighting to see victory over pornography addiction. By God’s grace, he has become aware of the severe and destructive nature of the sin in his life. He has confessed it to the Lord and a trusted friend. Perhaps he sets up boundaries to keep him from sin for a few weeks. He sees growth. He becomes encouraged by the accumulating number of porn-free days. Don’t get me wrong; this victory should be celebrated and is a fantastic thing. We need to celebrate every day of success on the road to freedom from addiction. But a few months pass, and he gives in to temptation and spends a few minutes glancing at pornography. He is devastated. He thinks, “I thought I was done with this,” — as if for the past few months he was without sin or that lust is the only sin in his heart. The problem is that he has failed to understand the gospel. He is in danger of fighting his sin of lust with the sin of self-righteousness. He has merely swapped idols. He has traded the idol of pornography for the idol of self-righteousness. Have you ever been guilty of this? I have. If we aren’t careful, we will believe the lie that we can earn favor with God. But this is not only unbiblical, but it is in opposition to the gospel. The gospel teaches that the only way we can come before God is through the righteousness of Jesus.

John writes, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Yet, it’s easy to think that we are more acceptable to God five weeks into a “streak of holiness.” In these moments, we forget the fact that when we repent, we are just as close to God as we are after six weeks of consistent victory in an area. Let me encourage you in your battle against sin to be weary of idol swapping. Be careful not to exchange the idol of addiction for the idol of self-righteousness. They both go down sweet, and the song or self-righteousness is alluring, but in the end, both addiction and self-righteousness lead to death and leave a bitter taste in your mouth.


AUTHOR’S NOTE: If the stats are true then the majority of people reading this post struggle to some extent with pornography addiction. Let me encourage you, freedom is possible. One of the best resources I have found to help fight pornography addiction is called Covenant Eyes. It is the #1 App for quitting porn. That doesn’t mean an app can keep you from sinning because sin is always an issue of the heart but this is an amazing resource that can help you on your journey. I would recommend it to anyone looking to find freedom porn addiction. 

Download Covenant Eyes

I welcome any questions, sarcastic comments, or additional thoughts you may have. Please feel free to reach out HERE — seriously! If you were helped by something you read, please share it with your sphere of influence. Thanks!