The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I'm 16 and I'm addicted to masturbation and pornography. I don't remember the first time I masturbated or watched porn, but I remember when I was 7 or 8 my older brother was watching porn and he  introduced me to it. That was the first time I saw it. Since I was so curious I went on my own on the Internet to watch it myself. I tried to imitate what I was watching and ended up masturbating.

It has been 9-10 years since I've been addicted. I'm a Christian but can't call myself a real one because of what I do. I struggle and cry to Jesus to forgive me, but sometimes I'm to ashamed to even speak to him. All of this hurts me a lot. I  even felt guilty enough to tell my mom about this problem because I wanted to be free from this dark secret in me, but  my mom told me to pray and ask for the Holy Spirit to help me stop the problem. But I still do it. I really don't know what to do and all I feel like doing is crying. I feel trapped in a dark cage and there is no way out of it. No matter how many times I cry to God, I always find myself doing it the next day or even the next hour.

I'm writing this because I don't know what else to do. I know Jesus loves me no matter what and forgives me but I can't forgive myself. I watch videos and read blogs about people being delivered from pornography and masturbation to give me techniques on how to overcome it. But the next hour after watching I will start lusting and start to masturbate. I have been watching porn for so long I have found myself watching gay pornography. I'm really scared of what is happening to me spiritually and physically.

Some times I fear that the whole world is against me for what I do. Just writing this is making me cry. I want to be free from this and to know what it feels like to be free. I'm very scared. No matter how many times I repent truthfully I find myself doing it again. I don't know what to do anymore. This sin is destroying me little by little. I even find myself dreaming that I'm doing it. Sometimes I regret living and my only purpose is to sin.


Answer

I want you to start by reading: I can't stop myself from looking at porn.

A part of the problem is that you are looking for an external solution to your problem when the problem is really one of self-control. You wanted someone -- your mom, God, anyone -- to take away the desire to sin or prevent you from sinning. Yet sin come because you and I make bad choices and not because no one out there stopped us.

Being sorry is a motivation to change, but it is not the change itself. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11).

For the moment, I want you to focus on just giving up pornography. No more looking up things about it because that just reinforces the idea in your mind. The goal is simple to get through one day without looking at pornography. It doesn't matter if you masturbate or have a wet dream, just as long as you don't look at any pornography. Other matters will be taken care of later, but you have just one task for the moment and that is not to look at pornography for a whole day. Once that is managed, repeat the goal. See if you can eventually reach a week and then see if you can reach a month without pornography.