Porn or Purpose: Your Choice

This may be the most important post I’ve ever written. The number one threat to our society isn’t terrorism, drugs, or economic instability. It’s a little four letter word that effects every single demographic, from 80 year old men to little kids: Porn.

Pornography Statistics

I’m trying not to get too theological…but…

There are few things that generate more criticism than pulling out the religion card. So I’m wading into these waters with a bit of fear and trembling.

As a life coach, I am passionate about seeing people discover and live out their purpose. But sometimes there seems to be a block….a sense of vagueness, like seeing your purpose through a foggy window.

We know from scripture that God does have a purpose for you (we don’t “create” purpose, we discover it). And even better, he wants you to know what it is. But there’s a connection between our ability to hear and discern God’s will, and our level of purity.

Paul wrote in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”

What he means by “pattern of this world” is the way of life that is contradictory to God’s way. In other words, if you do conform to the pattern of this world, then you won’t be able to discern his will for your life.

Bottom line: If you want to know why you were created, you need to stay connected with your creator. 

In this post, I want to address the issue of pornography. Porn is so prevalent, working it’s barbed tentacles into every demographic and sector of society. But it has serious consequences. One of those consequences is that choosing to engage with pornography will bring confusion into your life regarding your purpose, and if nothing else, will strip your confidence and authority for living out that purpose. But we’ll cover that more later. For now, let’s start with the problem of porn.

The Problem of Porn

There’s a belief held by some (usually men using or profiting from porn) that there’s nothing wrong with porn. At this point, after 500 words about God, I doubt anyone who believes that is still reading, so I’ll leave it for another post to address why porn is wrong. For now, I’m going to assume you agree with me biblically that porn is wrong, and if not biblically, at least morally wrong in the way it degrades women into objects and men into animals with uncontrollable passions.

I want to paint a picture of just how pervasive it is. When I was a kid, the internet was only in Al Gore’s mind, and magazines were hard to come by. Nowadays, it’s easier to view porn than go to the fridge for a glass of water.

Plus, porn benefits from the three A’s: Accessible, Affordable, and Anonymous. Which, combined with it’s affects on the brain, make it quite Addictive.

Pornography Statistics

Here are some shocking statistics regarding pornography:

From http://www.familysafemedia.com/pornography_statistics

  • $3074.64 is spent on porn every second
  • A new pornographic video is created in the USA every 39 minutes (about 6 new videos in the time I spent writing this post)
  • The annual revenue of the porn industry is great than the revenues of Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Ebay, Yahoo, Apple, Netflix, and Earthlink Combined. 
  • Everyday, there are over 68,000,000 search engine request for porn (25% of total search requests)
  • 35% of all internet downloads are pornographic
  • Average age of first internet exposure to pornography is 11 years old
  • 90% of children between the ages of 8-16 have viewed online pornography
  • 1 in 3 visitors to adult sites are women
  • The United States is the #1 produce of video porn
  • The United States owns 89% of all porn pages online
  • Stats show that the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to view porn

From Covenant Eyes:

  • 9 out of ten internet porn users only access free material
  • 1 in 5 mobile searches are for pornography
  • 88% of scenes in porn films contain acts of physical aggression
  • 68% of porn performers have Herpes, 12-28% have STDs, and 7% HIV
  • 69% of pay-per-view internet content is pornographic
  • 1 in 8 online searches is for pornography
  • 50% of all Christian men and 20% of all Christian women surveyed said they “feel” addicted to pornography
  • 51% of pastors say internet pornography is a possible temptation, yet 75% of pastors do not make themselves accountable to anyone for their internet use (wake up pastors!!)
  • 9 out of 10 boys were exposed to pornography before the age of 18
  • 6 out of 10 girls were exposed to porn before the age of 18
  • 30% of 17 year olds have received a sext
  • 68% of young adult men (that’s almost 7 out of 10!) and 18% of women use porn at least once every week.
  • Porn is a monthly activity for 85% of young men and nearly half of young women.
  • 67 of young men and 49% of young women say viewing porn is an acceptable way to express one’s sexuality.
  • 70% of wives of sex-addicts could be diagnosed with PTSD.
  • 56% of divorce cases involved one party having an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.

Also from Covenant Eyes, prolonged exposure to pornography leads to:

  • a diminished trust between intimate couples
  • the belief that promiscuity is the natural state
  • cynicism about love or the need for affection between sexual partners
  • the belief that marriage is sexually confining
  • a lack of attraction to family and child-raising

From Brigham Young University:

  • Porn revenue is larger than all combined revenues of all professional football, baseball and basketball franchises.
  • US porn revenue exceeds the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC (6.2 billion)
  • Child pornography generates $3 billion annually
  •  Average age of first Internet exposure to pornography: 11 years old
  • Largest consumer of Internet pornography: 12-17 age group
  • Breakdown of male/female visitors to pornography sites 72% male – 28% female

From Internet Safety 101:

  • 74% of adult websites display adult content before asking if the viewer is of legal age
  • Youth who view porn are 6 times more likely to report forcing someone to do something sexual.
  • “Sex” and “Porn” are both in the top 6 most ranked search terms
  • 69% of all victims in child abuse images are below the age of 10
  • 19% of adults arrested for child pornography between 2000 and 2001 had images in their possession of infants and toddlers 3 and under.
  • 58% of child pornography depicts images including adult penetration and bestiality (animals).

What’s the Point?

Porn is everywhere. Like Hitler’s regime, it is evil, powerful, and growing stronger and no one really knows how to stop it. And even if you’ve never looked at it yourself, it has affected you in the countless encounters you’ve had with spineless and depressed men who don’t know how to relate to real humans because of the damage their porn use has caused.

But if you are willingly using porn, you need to know loud and clear that you are sabotaging your purpose at the altar of sexual immorality.

Pornography Statistics

The Privilege of Purpose

Purpose is a funny thing. Almost everybody believes they have one, but very few can actually articulate what their’s is.

It can be such a mystery. “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” are the two most powerful questions one can ask.

And if God has a purpose for our lives, why is it always so foggy and vague? Why doesn’t he just tell us what it is?

Allow me to clear things up for you.

Proverbs 20:5 says that “the purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” You have purpose in your heart, but it takes insight and understanding to discern what they are.

Proverbs 19:21 says “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

So in reality, asking “what is my purpose” is the wrong question. What you should be doing is asking “God, what is your purpose for me?”

This is where most people get off track. Not humble enough to acknowledge God’s role in their lives, they think they can just look at their natural passions, strengths, and abilities, and create their own purpose. Thankfully God is gracious and looking inward like that will get us close, but to really nail down why you were created you need to connect with your creator.

In Matthew 7:6, Jesus said “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs.” In other words – don’t give what is valuable to people who don’t value it!

What could be more valuable or sacred than your purpose?

God is not going to share such treasure with those who live their lives on their own terms. There are so many verses that confirm this point – that when we do things God’s way and invite him into it, that’s when everything becomes clear.

  • Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
  • Proverbs 2:7-8 “He holds success in store for the upright…he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.”
  • Proverbs 3:6 “In all your ways remember him. Then he will make your paths smooth and straight.”
  • Psalm 25:12 “Who, then, are those who fear the Lord? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.”

And here’s the key verse I want to share:

Psalm 25:14 “The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.”

If you really want to get clarity on your purpose, it starts by honoring God and walking in relationship with him. Like any friendship you have, you only share secrets with those you trust the most, with those you are the most intimate with. So it is with God.

Which brings us to purity.

Pornography Statistics

The Power of Purity

I hate shame.

There’s nothing more miserable than shame. Truly, it’s awful. My desire isn’t to shame anyone or make anyone feel worse for things in the past or even current struggles. So let me share some hope.

There is more hope for you than you realize.

What makes Psalm 25:14 (above) so beautiful is the verse that follows it. Verse 15 says “My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.”

Don’t forget who is writing this – Kind David – one of the worlds most famous adulterers.

Speaking of David, it says in Acts 13:36  that “David had served God’s purpose in his own generation…” So, while there were consequences to David’s sin, he knew that God could release his feet from the snare. And God was able to redeem David and still fulfilled his purposes through David.

Regardless of your current struggles, or your past, God can and will redeem you.

If you let him.

Psalm 32:5, also written by David, said that after confessing his sins to the Lord, that God even “forgave the guilt of my sin.”

It gets even better.

In Psalm 103, David writes that God forgives ALL your sins, heals all your diseases, redeems your life from the pit, crowns you with love and compassion, satisfies your desires with GOOD things, renews your youth, and…removes your sins from you as far as the east is from the west.

God’s grace is what brings purity. And it is his grace that empowers us to remain pure (Titus 2:12). There is hope for you regardless of how far you’ve fallen. But don’t try to get free in isolation. (This post is too long already, so message me on Facebook if you need help but aren’t sure where to turn. I’m not a counselor or pastor, but I can point you in the right direction.)

And it is a pure lifestyle, lived in intimacy with God, that allows us to understand what his will is for our lives.

In Revelation 2:26, Jesus says, “To the one who is victorious (over sexual immorality – see verse 20) and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations.”

Not only is there the clarity of being able to discern God’s will for your life (your purpose), but through purity God will give you the authority to walk out your purpose.

Porn = Pain and Confusion, but Purity = Purpose & Power

2000 words later here we are.

I truly believe that to the extent that you live your lives consecrated to God is the extent that you will know and understand His purpose for your life and will have the authority needed to fulfill that purpose.

If you’ve been dabbling in pornography and wondering why your purpose always seems out of reach, this may be your answer. Now the question is, what are you going to do about it?

-Wesley

[reminder]Have you found it true in your own life that Purity really does bring clarity and power? If so, how?[/reminder]