Samuel James has an excellent article on a needed topic: How to Leave Porn Behind. James writes:
The sin of pornography goes much deeper than the singular moments of watching and downloading. It’s about entire daily patterns of unbelief, laziness, self-absorption, and much more. Thus, repentance from enslavement to pornography must seek more than behavior modification in one isolated habit. It must be a resolve to bring every piece of the heart’s architecture, every beat of the rhythm of life, into the light of the gospel.
Many Christian men are fighting a losing battle with pornography because they are trying to remove the sin without adopting a radical lifestyle of repentance. They know their spiritual lives would be sweeter without giving way to lust. They know their capacity for rich relationships with other believers would expand tenfold if they weren’t smothered by midnight shame. They know their Godward ambitions for vocation and missions and pastoring are being squashed by it.
They really do want it gone, but they want everything else to stay where it is — and then they are perplexed why it just won’t work, even with accountability partners and internet filters. It won’t work long-term because this is not how God designed us.
James is on point when he writes about the need to adopt a “radical lifestyle of repentance.” He points out that if you really want victory, you might need to change your job, your friends, your hobbies, the entire way you spend your “free time,” and more. Another way to say all this would be to say, you can’t selectively obey Jesus. It doesn’t work. You can only defeat one sin by resolving to repent of all sin. When we’re really ready to defeat “that one thing” that embarrasses, or weakens, or plagues us, we have to lay our whole life on the table before the Lord and say, “Ok, have your way in everything.”
The teaching of Christ that always comes to my mind on this issue is:
“If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”
…and it just begs the question: if Jesus would say this about a hand, and we can kind of know that he’s going over the top to make a point, isn’t it clear that he would definitely say this to us about the things that we might keep in our life which lead us to sin?
If your phone helps you sin, don’t have a smart phone.
If your friends always lead you to sin, deal with it, or change your friends.
If your gaming ends up in sin, stop gaming.
If your TV, movies, or internet, or social media time lead you to sin, cancel the service, delete the accounts, and just stop watching things.
If you won’t stop sinning with your boyfriend or girlfriend, break up with them.
Isn’t that exactly what the application of Matthew 5:30 should be?
I encourage you to read the whole article. And, wherever necessary, do whatever it takes to have Jesus, and not sin, as your Lord.