The television station Cinemax used to be one of my favourite stations to watch because after 11 p.m I got the opportunity to feed the addiction I had to pornography. They had a segment which was referred to as, “After Dark” and I looked forward to it.
During the “After Dark” segment, movies with high sexual content would be shown, and for hours the lusts of my flesh would be fed, as I watched guiltily. However the more I watched the less guilty I would feel, and the more pleasurable it felt. After watching the movies I would feel so dirty and filthy because I had yielded to the temptation of watching porn.
A few weeks ago while reflecting on that particular time of my life I began to wonder about the name of the segment used by Cinemax: “After Dark”. Why was that name used? Well, besides our guesses we may never really know. I have come to realize however that darkness offers a sense of secrecy, in darkness one has the freedom to act out secret desires without fear of being caught. There is a false sense of security against watchful eyes. That was exactly how I felt those nights as I sat before the television in the wee hours of the night into the early morning; as if no one was watching, no one cared how I behaved, and I could get away with anything that I did. The darkness provided a false sense of security; just like sin (St. John 3:20).
Sin like darkness provides a blanket for issues that God wants to help us overcome. The enemy sometimes tricks us into thinking that committing the sin secretly or without being exposed or found out will kill the urge or reduce the desire to sin. He allows us to believe that by giving in to the urge or desire we are less likely to sin another time because that urge would have been satisfied. We find ourselves thinking like this, “I’m just going to give in this once and it won’t happen again” however; it’s the other way around. The more we indulge in sinful activities is the more we hunger or desire it and the more likely we are to keep engaging in them.
He also allows us to believe that keeping our struggles with sin a secret will avoid condemnation and shame. So, although we know that God knows all things, even the things done in secret, we don’t confess them to Him. Instead we listen to the condemning thoughts planted by the enemy in our minds and we feel uncomfortable about acknowledging our sins to our Heavenly Father.
The devil uses the sinful act to condemn us and we in turn believe it is God who condemns us! This couldn’t be further from the truth because St. John 3:17 tells us that God did not send His Son into the World to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. The enemy uses this strategy and fills our thoughts with feelings of unworthiness. Guilt then consumes us and the result is that we avoid God, our very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).
Truth counteracts a lie and likewise light is the perfect antidote for darkness! The truth can be found in the Word of God and the light of this world is Jesus Christ. The Light of God exposes the darkness of sin in our lives. However this exposure is not meant for embarrassment but for deliverance through His love. It was not until I admitted to God that I was addicted to porn and asked for His forgiveness and His help to overcome this challenge, that I was able to be free from this addiction. The process was a lengthy one, and there were many days that followed when I yielded to the temptation of porn. However there was a difference, I was determined to overcome. I had found truth, and one of the truths that kept me going was that I was more than a conqueror through Christ who loved me!
Today it doesn’t matter how messed up you believe you are, God desires to be in relationship with you. Your struggle may be an anger problem, drugs, lying, stealing, procrastination, low self-esteem, adultery, fornication… whatever it is, God is able to shed light into that dark area of your life. However you can’t keep hiding in the dark, you have to step in the Light and seek His help. You can’t overcome in your own strength, but God has promised you that His strength is made perfect in your times of weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Accountability also helps to keep us on the road to recovery. Seek Godly counsel and get spiritual and confidential mentors within the body of Christ, preferably from your pastor or elected leaders. Seek help now!
Secrecy offers a false sense of security but Jesus Christ offers us a love that helps us to overcome all our insecurities and struggles. Leave the darkness and step out into God’s marvellous light!