The Fight For Mental Purity in the Digital Age

We periodically have a Men’s Morning-in-the-Word at Laurel Canyon where we focus together on some practical issue relating to our walk with God. We’re getting together this morning with a focus on exercising influence and demonstrating leadership as men of God. I love and always benefit from these opportunities.

Earlier this year we spent a few hours talking about the fight for mental purity in the digital age. You can see the framework of the discussion below.

The Fight for Mental Purity in the Digital Age

Why do we compromise that which is honorable, flirt with disaster, and give in to sin?

  • Sin offers instant gratification, but real life is far from instant and gratification is often elusive.
  • Sin is easy, but relationships are hard.
  • Sin is comfortable, but life is stressful.
  • Sin is exciting, but life is “boring.”
  • Sin makes men feel powerful, but real life often makes them feel powerless.
  • Sin unleashes insatiable craving, but it also kills genuine satisfaction.

In Closing the Window, Tim Chester describes six core motivations that commonly fuel porn addiction:

  1. Respect – When our craving for respect becomes an idol, porn offers us a fantasy world where we are worshipped and adored.
  2. Relationship – When our craving for intimacy becomes an idol, porn offers the illusion of relationship without the risks of rejection or vulnerability.
  3. Refuge – When life gets tough and our craving for escape becomes an idol, porn gives us a fantasy world where we are never a failure, where there are no expectations.
  4. Reward – When our desire for reward becomes a sinful sense of entitlement, porn gives us a fantasy world where our underappreciated egos can “get what we deserve.”
  5. Revenge – When our anger at life or God or our spouse gets out of control, porn can become our tantrum at a world that isn’t catering to our desires.
  6. Redemption – When self-pity becomes a consuming desire, porn offers us a fantasy where we can feel “normal”—or even a place where we can punish ourselves.

The lies sin tells us to keep us enslaved:

  • “That was the last time.”
  • “You can stop anytime you want.”
  • “Sin isn’t inherently erosive.”
  • “Hiding is the best way to deal with it.”

But believing lies will never give you the power to overcome them.

What does the fight for mental purity look like? How is it waged? What is its goal?

  • Recognition that I am accountable to a holy God and not my own (1 Cor 6:15-20)
  • Abhorrence for that which is evil, not just the shame evil brings (Rom 12:9)
  • An uprooting of all weeds of filthiness and thorns of rampant wickedness (Acts 2:38; James 1:21; Luke 8:14; Psa 51:7)
  • A commitment to that which is proper for saints of God (Rom 12:1-2; Eph 5:1-14)
  • Construction of walls of wisdom and integrity around my heart (Psa 18:1-3; Eph 5:15-17)
  • Focused effort to nurture a hunger for righteousness and sustain satisfaction in God with the goal of leading a mature, joy-filled life for God (Matt 5:6; Psa 63:1-8; Rom 6:13;  2 Tim 2:19-22)

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