by Larry Eddings | May 2, 2018The man sat across from his pastor, grieving because his marriage was in shambles and his wife had told him that she was leaving him.
“What seems to be the problem?” asked the pastor, though he already knew what it was because the man’s wife had been to see him. She had informed him of the circumstances of their marriage and that she was divorcing him.
The grieving man responded, “She says that I am addicted to pornography and that it is ruining our relationship. I am addicted to pornography. I just can’t help it. I’ve tried to quit but I just can’t do it. I am addicted and my addiction determines the choices I make in everything, including my marriage.”
The pastor responded, “No, my friend, it’s the other way around. The addiction does not determine your choices. The choices you make determine your addictions. You have chosen pornography as part of your lifestyle and as a result, you have become addicted to it. That choice has now resulted in the dissolution of your marriage. Don’t blame it on your addiction; blame your choice and yourself for choosing it.”
The marriage failed, largely in part because of his choosing to continue participating in his addiction to pornography, rather than seeking to be free of it. Addictions are real and whether it is to pornography, drugs, alcohol, food, laziness, lust or whatever, a person can either choose to stay in it and live with the consequences, or choose to find help to be freed from the addiction and work toward experiencing a more healthy and productive lifestyle.
Jesus has the power to heal us of our addiction to whatever sin in which we may be involved. His Spirit can guide us in making the right choice when we are faced by the recurring temptation to once again entertain that sin. But, it is still our choice to follow his counsel or not.
Unlike the dog that naturally returns to its vomit [Proverbs 26:11] and the washed pig that returns to the mud-hole, [II Peter 2:22] Jesus tells us that we are persons who can be set free by his grace and his Spirit. We can choose to return to the old, sinful ways that serve only to entrap us, destroying us and our relationships with others. OR, we have the power to choose, with the Holy Spirit’s help, to live a clean life and do the things that lead us to it.
It all has to do with our choices! We can choose to be a slave to sin - in whatever form, or a slave to righteousness. It is far a better decision to choose to be addicted to doing the things that are right and good! As our Lord God said, “Choose life!”