Pornography is a worldwide business that entraps people in various ways and to differing degrees and, in the process, produces $100 billion annually. This financial inflow depends on millions of people succumbing to the three “me, myself, and I” temptations that are listed in 1 John 2:16:
- pride (“I do what I want”)
- coveting (“I want what I don’t have”)
- lust (“I must gratify my feelings”)
The above hooks of self-centeredness diabolically work together to lure pornography’s adherents into a devastating deception. This deception substitutes short-term, self-oriented satisfaction, which takes minimal effort, as a viable alternative for long-term love relationships, which demand maximum attention.
The meaning of short-term, self-oriented satisfaction is typically understood, but the meaning of long-term relational growth needs to be placed in its biblical framework. Long-term relational growth involves a relationship with God as well as relationships with fellow humans. These relationships are designed to flourish as love grows for God and others (Matthew 22:37-39) while self-love is being extinguished (Luke 9:23-24) by ardently following Christ.
Pornography, on the other hand, rejects God and promotes “self” by presenting lust fulfillment as integral to human relationships. In the pornographic world, “love” and “lust” are interchangeable. That is impossible, however, when a biblical definition of “love” is presented (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a). (See True Love is Not Based on Feelings). Biblical love brings glory to God, but physical lust brings attention to “self.” Those who pursue pornography reveal their love of “self” and, as a result, can accurately conclude, “My relationships exist for me and do not reflect sacrificial love that places others ahead of myself.”
Perhaps the people most unaware of pornography’s “relational deception” are professing believers in Christ who erroneously think they are growing in their love for God and others while being involved with pornography. The absurdity of this illusion is revealed since “loving God” is equated with “obeying His Word”
(1 John 2:4-6). One cannot claim to authentically “love God” while violating directives of Scripture with regard to lust (Psalm 101:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4). Similarly, one cannot claim to authentically “love others” while putting self-centered desires above the welfare of others (Galatians 5:13; Philippians 2:3-4).
Pornography’s illusion of loving relationships is persuasive to a self-centered person. God’s alternative is an acceptance of His Truth, revealed in Jesus Christ and the Bible. If you know the Truth, it will set you free (John 8:31-32). If you reject God’s truth, any perceived “freedom” is actually enslavement (John 8:34).
1 John 2:16, For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.
Matthew 22:37-39, And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Luke 9:23-24, And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…
1 John 2:4-6, Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
Psalm 101:3a, I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless…
1 Thessalonians 4:3-4, For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor,
Galatians 5:13, For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Philippians 2:3-4, Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
John 8:31-32, So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:34, Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.”
Pornography Destroys the Ability to Love © 2009 WordTruth, Inc—http://www.wordtruth.net
Verses from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version © 2001Version by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers