The Real Reason You Can't Quit Porn Has Nothing to Do With Sex

(Photo by Mitchell Hollander on Unsplash)

Autumn is the season when we especially turn our thoughts to giving thanks. While we should thank God every day for all the blessings He gives us, the Thanksgiving holiday just naturally causes us to reflect on God's goodness.

If you are struggling with pornography, you know that your battle doesn't take a break for festive celebrations. But as the year rushes to an end, now is the time to begin to look deep within. It's time to confront one of the main strongholds keeping you from victory—resentment.

Dealing With Resentment

Nelson Mandela said, "Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies."

Well-known preacher and author Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, noted, "Resentment or grudges do no harm to the person against whom you hold these feelings but every day and every night of your life, they are eating at you."

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Resentment can come from big or small traumas in life. It can be in many forms, such as sexual, emotional, verbal and neglect. Pornography is one means men use to medicate the pain they have experienced.

According to Dr. Ted Roberts, founder of Pure Desire Ministries and the host of the cinematic Conquer Series, "Sexual bondage is not about sex. It's about how you've learned to medicate the pain in your life."

Dr. Peter Kleponis, a licensed clinical therapist, said, "Here is where we most often use the term 'self-medicating.' Addicts often use pornography as a coping strategy to deal with deep emotional pain. Often, they don't even realize the pain is there. All they know is that pornography makes them feel really good and that they must go back to it over and over again. The fact that they cannot feel good without pornography is an indication that there is a deep emotional wound that they are using pornography to anesthetize."

The Power of Forgiveness

In order for the wounds and resentment to begin to heal, you first must be willing to forgive. Just as God forgives you for your sins, likewise you need to forgive those who have hurt you.

Jeanene Swanson wrote on addiction.com, "There is power in forgiveness — this is the first thing most addictionologists will tell their patients. According to the definition of the word, forgiveness is the process by which a victim—the person you hurt, or yourself—changes his attitude toward the offense, lets go of negative emotions such as revenge and creates within himself an increased ability to wish the offender well."

Swanson added, "It's important to note that forgiving someone is not condoning, excusing, pardoning, forgetting or reconciling. In fact, you can choose to forgive someone without engaging any further in a relationship."

As Amanda Zurface, author from Covenant Eyes, explained, "Forgiveness does say that I don't condemn you for your fault or the ways you have hurt me. I leave the judgment in God's hands. I find great consolation in knowing that God can draw good from evil, including the harm that has been done to me."

Become Grateful

As you deal with your resentment and begin to forgive those who have negatively impacted you, you will experience the ability to be grateful for all the good in your life.

Dr. Kleponis said, "Often people who are enslaved by pornography addiction only see the problems with their lives. They are trapped in a cycle of negativity and pessimism. They live with bitterness, resentment and feel unworthy of receiving anything good in their lives, especially love."

He continued, "Overcoming this mindset is crucial for healthy recovery. To do this, people in recovery need to live their lives with gratitude. Every day, they need to take time to acknowledge all the ways they are blessed and be thankful for them. Keeping a gratitude list can help with this. Try taking a few minutes every day to write down the people, things, events and situations in your life for which you are grateful. Then take a few minutes to read through your entire list and thank God for all your blessings."

Being aware of all the things you have to be thankful for will help keep you from relapsing. Focusing on all the good things God blesses you with will encourage you when temptations come your way.

Amy Morin wrote in Forbes that "Gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools that we all have access to every day. Cultivating gratitude doesn't cost any money and it certainly doesn't take much time, but the benefits are enormous."

Start a Process to Heal Resentment and Harvest Gratitude

You can find freedom from pornography and the resentments beneath the surface of your acting out. The Conquer Series is a powerful small-group study that is already helping men in more than 70 countries find victory. Besides the 12-DVDs that give you valuable insights into defeating your pornography usage, you also will learn to understand your identity in Christ and live with gratitude. You should also become involved in a Conquer Series small group.

Jason Martinkus, president of Redemptive Living, explains why being part of a small group is so important.

"When you have a couple people (besides your spouse) in your life who you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, will be there for you, there is a direct offset to the sexual acting out. Will porn ever reject you at 2 a.m.? Nope. Is there someone you are 100 percent confident will answer your call if you ring them at 2 a.m.? If the answer is no, you'll consistently revert back to the guaranteed hit."

Martinkus added, "We need men in our lives who we know, that we know, that we know have our best interest at heart and will be there for us absolutely any time we need them. Hands down. They are on vacation ... they'll answer our call. Middle of a meeting at work ... answer our call if it's an emergency. 2 a.m. .. .groggy and halitosis, they'll drive to the ends of the earth to help us."

That is the kind of amazing support you will get in a Conquer Series group.

Make this season a time of true Thanksgiving in your life by starting on a path to a porn-free life.

Learn more at ConquerSeries.com

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