Today, I’ve transcribed a practical, meaty clip targeted at Christians struggling in the sexual area, particularly with online / internet pornography. True to the title of the video, Parr outlines 10 imperatives–5 positive, and 5 negative–that can guide Christians as they address this issue. There is no sense in fighting a battle without a battle plan of action. Care and effort are a prerequisite for change, but it’s equally important to go about things in an intelligent manner.
There are some universal principles at play here, but Parr’s tips / advice / counsel are based on his faith as a Christian in the Bible. In fact, Parr quotes the Bible verbatim in 7 out of the 10 items, and all 10 are derived from Biblical principles. These concisely address a large number of questions and concerns that Christian may have as it relates to the issue of sexual temptation and pornography.
Check out the complete video and transcript below! And consider sharing it with somebody who may benefit from hearing it.
So, what is going on behind the scenes? What’s going on in your life? Where is the emptiness coming from? Is it because you are frustrated in your marriage? Is it because you are frustrated as a single person? Is it because you are angry with God at something? Is it because you are bored? What is the root cause that is causing you to go back to this issue again and again? So you really, really need to drill down and do the hard work to try to figure out what it is that is driving you to look at something that you should not look at online.Allen Parr
For more, check out 5 Lies About Sexual Purity Many Christians Believe (Mark Ballenger).
Transcript of Five DO’s and DON’Ts if You’re Struggling With Pornography:
Hey, listen up. If you are struggling in any way with an addiction to pornography, I want to give you in this video 5 DOs and 5 DON’Ts. So, in other words, 5 things that you need to make sure that you are doing if you are struggling with this addiction, and then 5 things that you need to make sure that you are not doing if you are having some trouble. So, I’m going to go through the 5 DOs first, and then later, the 5 DON’Ts.
DO #1: Confess Your Sin Every Single Time
The Bible says 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Now, I know some of yall are going to fight me on this, but listen. The Bible doesn’t give us a limit to how many times per day that we need to confess our sins. It just says, “When you and I sin, we are to go to God and to confess it,” which means we are to name it, we are to agree with God that this is sin. The reason this is so critical is that when you hear yourself confessing the same sin over and over again, then what’s going to happen is over time, it’s going to cause you to think, “Wait a second. I can’t keep taking God’s grace for granted. I got to get my act together.” So it’s important, every time that you sin, you need to confess that sin to God.
DO #2: Accept The Free Gift of Grace And Forgiveness That God Has Forgiven You
Listen, it’s important that you understand that when Jesus went to the cross, he did not just die for some of your sins. He died for all of your sins. All of your sins are nailed to the cross. Now, this, ‘cause I can already hear some of yall. This doesn’t give you a license to sin. Listen, even though you will receive the forgiveness of your sins, you will experience the consequences of your actions. So, this isn’t some, you know, easy-believism, or some sort of easy Christianity, where I’m telling you to just go and sin because you can accept the forgiveness. No. But what I am saying is 1 John 2:1 says that “I’m praying that you don’t sin. But if you do sin, you and I have an advocate with the father, who is Jesus Christ.” So I want to encourage you to accept his free gift of forgiveness.
DO #3: Try To Identify The Root Cause of Why You Keep Falling Into This Particular Sin
So, what is going on behind the scenes? What’s going on in your life? Where is the emptiness coming from? Is it because you are frustrated in your marriage? Is it because you are frustrated as a single person? Is it because you are angry with God at something? Is it because you are bored? What is the root cause that is causing you to go back to this issue again and again? So you really, really need to drill down and do the hard work to try to figure out what it is that is driving you to look at something that you should not look at online.
DO #4: You Got To Get Some Accountability In Your Life
Listen, Proverbs 18:1 says, “The man who isolates himself seeks his own desires and he rages against all sound wisdom.” What I mean by accountability is not just telling someone that you’re struggling with something. I’m talking about setting up a regular conversation with somebody that you love and respect, somebody that you trust, somebody that you can be vulnerable with, somebody that you have given the permission to ask you the hard questions in your life. And you’re setting up a schedule, where every single week, or every single day, or however often it takes, that this person is asking you, “Hey, what did you look at online?”
And I’m going to go a little bit further with this, and if you have the funds, I’ll highly recommend that you invest in some sort of internet filter software program, like Covenant Eyes. I believe I have a link in the description where you can go check that out. Essentially, you’re going to make your accountability an ally for you, and you’re going to give them access, so they can see what it is that you’re looking at on all of your devices. So I want to encourage you to get some accountability.
DO #5: I Want To Encourage You To Use Your Struggle As Fuel That Ignites Your Purpose
Particularly after God delivers you. The devil would love nothing more than for you to struggle with something, God heals you of it, and then because you are ashamed to share it with people, you don’t even tell anybody, because you don’t want people to know that you used to struggle with something. So, if God delivers you from anything, whether it’s an addiction, whatever it is, let that be the fuel that ignites your purpose, because you, more than anyone else, know how difficult it is to get over a particular issue, so now let God use you to do as David said in Psalm 51, “Now, oh Lord, I will teach transgressors your ways.” So, help somebody else get out of the same pit that you were in if God delivers you.
DON’t #1: Don’t Think That You Lost Your Salvation
This is where a lot of people struggle. They watch something online that they’re not supposed to watch, maybe for a day, maybe for two days, maybe for a week, maybe for a month, and then they start questioning their salvation. Listen, just because you have a struggle in your life, a sin issue in your life, doesn’t mean that you are not saved. As a matter of fact, on the contrary, if you are experiencing a level of conviction for that sin, that is consistent proof and evidence that the Holy Spirit is working in your life, because it is only the Holy Spirit who can convict you of the things that you are doing. So DON’t #1 is don’t believe you lost your salvation.
Should you repent? Yes. Should you confess? Yes. But don’t’ feel that you’ve lost your salvation.
DON’t #2: Don’t Live In Condemnation
The enemy, when you fall, wants to cause you to be inactive where you don’t pray, you don’t worship, you don’t go to church, you don’t read your Bible, you don’t minister to other people, you don’t make disciplines, you don’t share your faith. Why? Because, he wants you living in guilt and shame. He wants you feeling like you know what, “I can’t go to God, so I got to create some sort of buffer time between me and God.” Maybe three hours, maybe three days, because God is angry with me, and, as a result, he wants you to be an ineffective, inactive Christian, and live in condemnation for days on ends, because you feel guilty of your own sin. The Bible says in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Should you be convicted? Yes. Should you confess? Yes. But you need to get up and make plans to try to get over that and not live in condemnation.
DON’t #3: Don’t Try To Do Something To Make Up For Your Sin
The Bible says in Isaiah chapter 64, that our righteousness is like filthy rags to God. That word actually means menstrual rags if I’m just getting a little bit explicit. And so, basically, God is saying when you and I try to do something righteous to try to cover up our sin, that’s like a menstrual rags to God. Like, we can’t do that. There’s nothing we can do in order to make up for our sin. The best way you can make up for it is to make plans to not do it again.
DON’t #4: Don’t Make Promises To God That You’re Never Going To Do It Again
God takes our words very seriously, particularly whenever you and I make vows to God. As a matter of fact, the Bible says that it’s better for us not to make a vow than to make a vow to God and to break it. So don’t make promises to God, just to say “God I’m never going to do this again.” You’d be better of just to say, “Okay God, I am going to put some things in place to ensure that I have some defenses up in my life.” But don’t try to make promises to God.
And then I’ve been waiting all video for DON’t #5, and for those of you who tuned in, you’re going to receive a blessing.
DON’t #5: Don’t Rationalize It
The Bible says, “He who confesses his sin and turns from them, will receive mercy, but he who conceals it will not.” I may have gotten those backwards, but the point is whenever you and I sin, own it. Own up to it, right? Don’t try to make excuses for it. Don’t try to rationalize it. Don’t try to justify it. Don’t try to minimize it. Don’t try to sweep it under the rug. Don’t try to make excuses for it, whatever. Don’t try to say, “Well, I’m doing better than I was last month,” or “I’m doing better than my friend who struggles with this every day,” or, ‘You know what, hey, my wife isn’t giving me what I need,” or “My husband isn’t giving me what I need,” and, as a result, you know, this is something that I should have. Everybody else has a struggle, so therefore this might be mine.
There’s a lot of thoughts that the devil is going to be planting in your mind as it relates to this issue. I want to encourage you not to rationalize it.
So, I hope that these 5 DOs and 5 DON’ts as it relates to sexual purity will really, really help you experience victory in this area. But if you continue to struggle with it, make sure you apply these 5 things that you should do, and make sure you avoid the 5 things that you shouldn’t.