The Biblical Strategy To Overcome Porn Addiction (Covenant Eyes)

Covenant Eyes Luke Gilkerson talking about the Biblical strategy of fleeing from, fleeing, to, and fleeing with to overcome porn addiction.
To flee from ungodly passions and desires; to flee to godly pursuits and joys; and to flee with other like-minded believers.

Covenant Eyes is a business that provides internment filtering and accountability services. The software limits accessible websites and provides internet usage reports to accountability partners. There’s no “cheating” with Covenant Eyes. Every website and page you visit is visible by another human being. There are monthly packages for both individuals and families and a full 30-day trial. Lust is ultimately a matter of the heart, but having restrictions in place and accountability partner(s) is crucial. It keeps us from compromising in moments of emotional weakness, which doesn’t take long with unrestricted internet access. And it involves other like-minded people in the process to keep us grounded and provide support. I know a lot of Christians who have Covenant Eyes installed, many of whom are in full-time ministry. Accountability is strength.

If you are serious about getting sober from porn, you can start with iOS and Android restrictions. The iOS version blocks a bunch of legitimate sites, so I have my accountability partner type in the password for each individual exception. I have to do this less frequently since by now I’ve exempted all of the sites I regularly use. I also have Accountable2You software installed on all my devices, a software similar to Covenant Eyes. Accountable2You sends a weekly (or daily) log of internet usage to my accountable partner. It costs about $7 a month (slightly cheaper than Covenant Eyes) and the first month is free.

Be proactive about pornography. It’s your well-being that’s ultimately at stake before anybody else’s. And investing in your purity, even if it means making a financial sacrifice, is one of the best decisions you can make. Unrestricted internet access is a set-up for failure. It’s the modern equivalent of having a stash of Playboys underneath the bed ready to be accessed. The end goal of accountability is to completely eradicate the seed of lust from within us.

To the main point of this post–I’ve transcribed a super helpful video in which Luke Gilkerson, an Educational Resource Manager over at Covenant Eyes, talks about the Biblical strategy for overcoming lust. The strategy, based on 2 Timothy 2:22, is to flee. To flee from ungodly passions and desires; to flee to godly pursuits and joys; and to flee with other like-minded believers. Luke also shares an app the company rolled out called “Overcoming Porn.” If you like this video, you will probably like the app as well. It’s $2.99 and has a lot of quality, digestible material for battling pornography.

Transcript:

Hey everyone, it’s Luke Gilkerson from Covenant Eyes. I wanted to share with you something really simple that’s helped a lot of people to address a very sensitive problem that can be an uncomfortable topic to talk about, but it needs to be talked about if we’re going to make any changes in our lives and in the church. It’s the problem of pornography. Having worked at Covenant Eyes for about 8 years now, I’ve lost count of the number of comments I’ve received from readers with the question of how to quit looking at porn. To some people, it might seem like a really easy solution. If you don’t want to look at it, just stop looking at it. This reminds me of the advice given by the comedian Bob Newhart in his famous sketch on MadTV where a woman walks into his counseling office confessing to some terrifying and uncontrollable phobias, and he says, “I’m going to say two words to you right now, and I want you to listen to them very, very carefully. Then I want you to take them out of the office and incorporate them into your life. Stop it.” Look it up on YouTube if you haven’t seen it–it’s really funny.

The fact is telling people just to stop it when it comes to behavioral addictions, or what’s sometimes called a process addiction, doesn’t really work because the brain’s capacity for self-control has already been compromised. It takes new habits and new thinking to change your behavior. It takes a new heart.

Recently, I got an email from a Christian journalist asking me one question. He said, “If you had one piece of advice for someone who wanted to quit looking at porn, what would it be?” After thinking for a moment, I told him the same thing I’m going to tell you. It’s just one verse from the Bible that serves as a hook for all the strategies you need to overcome pornography. As a bonus, the verse is also really easy to remember where it is. It’s from the Apostle Paul’s very last letter. 2 Timothy 2:22. Here’s what it says: “So flee youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”

This one verse contains three easy-to-remember strategies: run from, run to, and run with. Run from, run to, run with. All the basic Biblical strategies needed to make radical change in our lives fits into one or more of these categories. Run from means to do what the Apostle Paul [means when] he says, “Flee youthful passions.” This means to run from every passion in us, even passions for good things, that have become overdrives. Or ungodly demands. Desires that we’re not even willing to submit to Christ because they’re so strong.

Fleeing involves a whole host of strategies. It means physically fleeing. Finding those physical triggers for temptations and cutting those things out of our lives. It means visually fleeing–moving our eyes away from images that are causing lust. It means mentally fleeing–bouncing our thoughts away from lustful fantasies. In general, the quicker we learn to physically, visually, and mentally flee, the quicker we cut the temptation off from the root so it doesn’t get a foothold. This means we need to spend real time and attention thinking about the common triggers we have, both external in our environment and internally in our emotions and our passions. And then coming up with very clear strategies or off-ramps that we’re going to take in the moments before a trigger turns into a compulsive drive.

The next strategy is run to. This is where Paul writes, “And pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace.” In the end, if we stop at “run from” strategies, our success is going to be limited. We just don’t need “do better, try harder” strategies. We’ll either find it too hard or we’ll just give up. Or we’ll find some measure of success but we’ll be so joyless in the process, that quitting porn feels about as empty as using porn. In the end, we need to replace porn with godly joys and godly pursuits.

In short, what this means is being captured by a better vision of the man or woman that God is making you to be. It means experiencing good and wholesome pleasures given by God. It means cultivating a heart of gratitude for the things that God has given. It means repenting of all of our passivity and our constant need for amusement, and experiencing the joy of meaningful work and meaningful service. It means experiencing and pursuing real intimacy with other people. Genuine friendships and, if we’re married, romantic intimacy with our spouse. Above all, it means delighting in the giver of these good gifts, knowing that Christ in faith is greater than all the pleasures of sin.

The last strategy is run with. This is where Paul writes, “Along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” Those who call on the Lord is another way of talking about true Christians. This is so key–we can’t miss this. If we run from temptations, and we run to God, we cannot forget to involve others in the process as well. This is not something that God considers optional, or something only for those who need extra help. The New Testament is filled with many one-another commands. Statements about what life is meant to be like in the church. The community of the church is one of God’s church is one of God’s normal and primary means to help us be God-ward in our thoughts, in our feelings, in our actions. This means praying together and for each other. This means confessing our sins to each other. This means really meeting together and talking to be encouraged. This means also talking about the stuff that really matters, not just surface sins. But really sitting across from one another, and reminding each other of the people God is making us to be. Remind each other to rely on Christ and not just our feeble efforts to perform.

At the begging of this video, I said this is my one piece of advice. Well, I know it’s one big piece of advice. I’ve been teaching on these topics for years, and one of the biggest objections I get is it seems like once we really try to look into these things, the Bible says an awful lot about these subjects. It seems like it’s so much to apply. In response, I would just say that we need to keep in mind that we need to spend a long time unpacking these Biblical strategies. If you really struggle with pornography, it’s important that you slowly unpack these truths and apply these ideas one at a time. Chances are, it took years for you to build up your pornography habit, so it’s going to take a long time to untangle the wires in your mind and really set your thinking in proper order. Old habits die hard. So we need to dedicate the time to this. And really commit this to serious prayer and attention.

Recently, I released a program to do just this. It’s pretty simple. It’s just a series of emails that go out once a day over 40 days. Slowly unpacking these concepts, one at a time. So far, thousands of people have gone through this and we’re really encouraged with the feedback we’ve heard. About 92% of the latest rounds of participants said that it was really helpful to them in overcoming pornography temptations. And it just takes these three strategies and just sort of stretches them out over smaller steps over the space of 40 days. I’m really excited that we are about to release the same content as an app for you mobile device. The app is called “Overcome porn.” It’s got all the same helpful content that I presented in my e-mail program just delivered to you on your smartphone. I’ll be talking more about this in upcoming videos, so stay tuned.

But in the mean time, I’d really like to hear from you. Leave a comment somewhere below this video, and let me know. Where have you seen just one of these strategies bear fruit in your life? When have you really run from temptation in a way that really worked? When have you really run to God and his good gifts in a way that really made sin lose his luster? When have you experienced genuine fellowship and friendship running with others in a way that motivated you to want to follow Christ even when you found it difficult to do so? I’d love to hear from you–just scroll down below this video, and tell me how you’ve seen these strategies helped you.

Author: DL Admin

A Christian millennial passionate about seeing people live free from the harmful psychological and relational effects of lust.

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