Guarding your heart, eyes from harmful content is key to avoiding pitfalls online

There is a hopelessness and a resignation experienced by many who are struggling with an addiction to pornography. Josh Proctor knows that struggle well.

After being set free from his own addiction many years ago, Proctor founded Caleb Micah Ministries (named after his son, who died in 2010) to help others work through their struggles. He has collaborated with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention to provide resources for caught in the trap of pornography and continues to meet with and minister to men on a regular basis. 

Through his work, he has identified a number of things anyone can do to take back spiritual ground lost if they are struggling with a pornography addiction:

Examine & guard your mind

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.” One surefire way to begin the process of guarding your heart is to examine what you expose your mind to. Proctor says when he ministers to struggling men, he starts by asking them to fast from social media for a prescribed amount of time. The idea is to identify which ones were the hardest to give up—indicating a possible idol that is hindering their walk with God.

“All media and is not bad, but some media may be bad for you—and it may be affecting your thinking more than you realize. Romans 13:14 says ‘make no provision for the flesh,’ and that’s really how we’re going to win the battle and renew our minds.”

“One of the ways we renew the mind is by rethinking how we do media,” he said. “All media and is not bad, but some media may be bad for you—and it may be affecting your thinking more than you realize. Romans 13:14 says ‘make no provision for the flesh,’ and that’s really how we’re going to win the battle and renew our minds.”

Proctor says it’s important to recognize that eliminating certain social media apps should not become the focus of a legalistic set of rules a person must follow to be holy. “It’s not about sin management,” he said. “It’s about walking in the light. But part of walking in the light is knowing what darkness I can’t go near—ever.”

Identify unhealthy thinking

Proctor says sin leads to shame which, in turn, leads to distorted thinking. Many followers of Jesus who are struggling in any way—including with pornography addiction—are either believing lies about their identity which is rooted in Christ or not embracing and experiencing truths that God has already set in stone through his word.

The kinds of lies Christians believe can vary generationally. Men younger than 40, he says, often struggle to see that their sin is an offense against God’s holiness that should be taken seriously. Men 40 and older frequently believe that their identity is defined by what they do, such as their level of performance in any number of areas in their lives.

“I met with a guy once who believed for most of his life that his identity is tied to his performance,” Proctor said. “And so when his performance did not measure up to whatever he thought it should be, that’s when he was most vulnerable to sexual temptation. So for him, (there was freedom) in being able to experience who he is in Jesus. Who I am in Jesus, that’s the one that God wants to dine with, whether I performed well that day or not.”

Understand the deeper heart issue

Proctor frequently uses a borrowed acronym—BLAST—to help those he ministers to understand when they tend to be most vulnerable to sexual temptation. Each letter of the acronym represents a heart issue that may serve as a trigger for temptation and sin:

B

Bored

L

Lonely

A

Anger/Afraid

S

Stressed/Sad/Shame

T

Tired

There is a biblical answer for each of those heart issues (see inset) that must be worked through for someone to begin experiencing victory. For example, Proctor said many turn to porn out of boredom, but that boredom is could actually be tied to a hurt from when someone was younger and found themselves home alone often because they lived in a single-parent household where the parent had to work late.

“Boredom’s really not a boredom problem—it’s a purposeless problem,” he said. “So we help them look through the pain and struggle of that.”

Remember the hope Christ offers

Proctor knows that people who struggle with pornography addiction feel like there’s no hope and no way out. This is another lie that can greatly hinder someone’s recovery and postpone a victory that Christ has already won for them.

The first step to claiming that victory, he said, is stepping out of the shadows of addiction and walking into the light of Christ.

“Jesus Christ has come to meet you in your sins and shame, but you cannot receive that if you stay in the dark,” Proctor said. “Let the light of Jesus shine on you and let him be with you in your sin and shame and consequences and let him cover you. Let him walk with you.”

Find out more about Proctor’s ministry at pornfreeshamefree.com.

Jayson Larson pic
Digital Editor
Jayson Larson
Southern Baptist Texan
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