I'm addicted to pornography, i am an active member in the church and am close to my pastor. I only recently confessed to him my problem.

Yours is a more common problem then you may realise, and with these days of internet access it is even easier to become addicted. However, you have done the right thing in confessing your problem to somebody you trust. As you say, that very act of confession is cleansing, and it also helps you to know that there is someone by your side to help you in the battle.

Please remember one Bible text: 1 John 1:9

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

This is a blanket promise for any and all sins. The Bible is full of stories of people whose sins were great but who were forgiven. Take King David. An adulterer and a murderer. Yet as a result of his sin he wrote the beautiful Psalm 51

In 2 Chronicles 33:1-20 we read the story of King Manasseh who caused the streets of Jerusalem to flow with the blood of the righteous. He was an evil man yet he too repented and God changed his life. In the New Testament we have characters like the women at the well, Martha who had seven demons cast out her, the demoniac of the Gaderenes etc. who all received God's forgiveness and lived changed lives.

The apostle Paul tells us that "in Jesus Christ we are a New Creation" [2 Corinthians 5:17]

Paul himself struggled with sin and temptation. You can read all about it in Romans 7. The climax of his struggle comes in verse 24 where he cried out, "What an unhappy man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is taking me to death? Thanks be to God, who does this through our Lord Jesus Christ." (TEV)

He then goes on to show how God, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit can work to change a life. How we have "no condemnation for those of us who live in union with Christ" (8:1) and that "if God is for us, who can be against us" (8:31). It is my favourite chapter of the Bible.

You are empowered to claim all these promises. Recognising your addiction you can now work to rid yourself of it even though some of the baggage may be there for some time.

Try the following:

1. Always start the day with God and ask him to help you through it.

2. Hebrews 12:2 gives us some excellent advice. Rather than focusing on the problem, focus on Jesus.

3. Avoid those times and situations when you are most likely to succumb to temptation. If, for instance, yours is an internet addiction, try to use the internet only situations where others can check what you are doing. If that is impossible then install some child protection software on it and ask your Pastor or someone you trust to set the password.

4. Remember, even if you slip and fall, God is your friend. He wants you in his family. He will pick you up and move you forward again. Trust him.

You may also get further help from the following websites. http://www.pureintimacy.org, http://www.sa.org, http://www.xxxchurch.com

Friend, I hope that this is of some help to you.

Wishing you God's richest blessing as you bravely step towards a better and fuller life, free of addiction.

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