A recent World Magazine article written by J.C. Derrick and Angela Lu discussed the effects of pornography on Christian men. Derrick and Lu made the argument that isolation fosters this sin. The writers quoted David Zailer, a former pornography and drug addict who believes silence has the ability to hold struggling Christians in bondage. “They already know [pornography is] wrong. The problem is people will stop but generally go back to it because they’re stuck in isolation,” Zailer said.
What do we struggle with, because even though we know it’s wrong, we refuse to talk about it? Is there a vice that grips you so tightly that you loathe it, but you don’t share the struggle with anyone?
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about four out of five college students drink alcohol. Other statistics show that 25 percent of college-aged women use binge-eating and purging as a way to control weight. And according to the World Magazine article, 90 percent of all boys and 60 percent of all girls will see pornography before age 18.
Clearly, those who struggle with tough, binding sins aren’t alone. The statistics show that these struggles are prevalent.
On Focus on the Family’s website, an anonymous writer describes his battle against deep-rooted lust. “The hours I wasted were taking their toll, and my life became increasingly unmanageable,” he writes. “I loathed the filth I created, promising each time would be the last. I hated the lies that were necessary to cover up my detested secret life.”
Maybe, like this writer, we stay in sin isolation because we don’t want others to know what is holding us in bondage.
But we have to face the reality that sin grows in isolation. We need to see our sin as God sees it, seek forgiveness, and find a community of other believers for accountability and encouragement.
Proverbs 28:13 says, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
If we want to prosper and break the chains of secret sins, we need to seek God’s help, and we need to seek the help of others.