Devotional Pornography Stories

Porn: A Passion Wasted

According to legend, when an Ancient Greek died, his friends and relatives did not examine his possessions or his wealth. They did not judge his life based on his merits, his achievements, or his social status. They asked only one question…

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According to legend, when an Ancient Greek died, his friends and relatives did not examine his possessions or his wealth. They did not judge his life based on his merits, his achievements, or his social status. They asked only one question:

Did he have passion?

Whether or not this is historically true, I love the idea behind it. In a sense, it gave the man the freedom to fail. It gave him the liberty to attempt great things he was passionate about, and even if he failed, what mattered was that he tried at all; that he was passionate. It wasn’t about the money he made or the legacy he created.

Imagine if we didn’t judge anyone by their social standing, or the cards in their wallet, but by how passionate they are about things their hearts pulled them toward.

For instance, my friend Harris is passionate about good coffee. So he decided thats what he wanted to do with his life. It won’t make him rich, and it won’t afford him a Beamer, but it will keep him happy because he loves it. I love spending time with Harris because his zeal and zest for life is contagious.

But don’t we all know people that don’t seem to have any passions? They may have the money and the house and even the looks, but they lack some sort of tangible passion.

One movie scene that will always stick to the inside of my brain is from American Beauty. Lester is a middle-aged suburban cubicle drone, and the opening of the film depicts a day in his life. It opens with him in the shower, dryly narrating, “In a way I’m dead already. Look at me. Jerking off in the shower. This will be the high point of my day. It’s all downhill from here.”

Is viewing porn the highlight of your day?

Does it give you the rush of downhill skiing, or the thrill of chasing a tornado? Perhaps your greatest desire is to be an award-winning chef, or write a best-selling novel, but instead you have settled for porn. For a 20-second dopamine rush that both gratifies and quiets the deeper longings within your soul. (For more on the soul-killing effects of porn, read my previous post.)

One of the biggest mistakes most people make when addressing a porn addiction is assuming that the problem is purely sexual.

For much of my own life, I assumed that once the wedding day arrived and the rings were in place, this struggle would magically evaporate.

Well, I’m still not married, but I have discovered that this is not so. (If it were true, would we continue to see so many marriages destroyed by pornography?) Addressing a porn addiction starts by zooming out and examining every aspect of our life, and one of the most important areas is our passion.

I think our American society has given us permission to live lives devoid of passion. Advertisers want us to think that their products will make us happy. Movies offer a momentary escape from our boring real lives. TV shows tend to offer us interpersonal connection with the characters for a season at a time.

But all this ends up doing is polishing our exterior and distracting us while the real me withers away inside. When a man or woman suppresses his or her passions, be they hiking, exploring, making music, writing, or any of the other million things to do on this earth, they will quickly go looking for a substitute.

Several months ago, I sat down to lunch with a friend of mine who is one of the foremost experts on sexual struggle. I brought up that I was struggling with porn at the time, and he asked me what seemed like a random question.

“If you had all the resources in the world, all the time in the world, and you couldn’t fail, what would you do?”

I thought for a second, then said something about traveling and writing and teaching, quickly followed by but that won’t ever happen for me.

In two seconds, I had quenched my soul’s permission to dream. I had, in essence, told it that my dreams and goals will never be realized, so I should buckle up for a life of slaving away at things I hate doing.

Who wouldn’t want an escape from that kind of life??

My friend was not asking me what I want to do on the weekends to escape from my real life, or what I could dream about doing for the next fifty years, while sitting in a cubicle. He was trying to invite me to life. He was saying, Okay, so you know what you’re passionate about, now why aren’t you doing anything about it?

God doesn’t call us to a bored life.

I love how Eugene Peterson translates Romans 8:14-16:

God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?”

My dad sporadically disappears for a day and resurfaces later, telling us about the 14,000-foot mountain he just summited. My mom spends her free days gardening in the yard. My friend Neil had a 48-hour layover in Peru, so he hiked a 40-mile trail in his penny loafers. Laura is a nurse who thinks delivering babies is the most beautiful thing in the world, so she does it every day.

These are not perfect people, but they are people who have examined themselves, discovered what they are passionate about, and do those things. You won’t hear a passionate person tell you porn is “the high point” of their day.

Why would they need a substitute for passion?

Are you struggling against porn, but it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast? Quit looking at the problem itself, because chances are, the roots are much deeper than an unfulfilled sex life. Ask yourself, What makes me feel alive? and go do it. 

Live in such a way that at your funeral, your friends and family will gather round, and in one unified sigh declare,

‘he lived a passionate life.’

e

3 comments on “Porn: A Passion Wasted

  1. Reblogged this on rachelsoto and commented:
    🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽

  2. Ethan,
    I started following you just days ago and this is the first blog post of yours that I’ve read. You wrote such beautiful words and effortlessly related to everyone on so many levels. As you discussed the struggle with your addiction to porn, everyone is challenged by something in their lives that acts as an obstacle to their passions. For me, I have been dealing with anxiety since I can remember…which was 3 years old. I am now 23, and still have trouble with it to this very day. However, I have realized that anxiety does not define me. I will never allow it to get in the way of my passions and pursuing all of my life’s wildest dreams. Most importantly, God, my family, and my friends are always there to remind me of these things. Porn does not define you. In fact, going through this struggle makes you so much stronger not only within your relationship with God, but also within yourself. God bless you for being so brave and courageous. It would be an honor and a privilege to meet you one day.
    – Jacqueline DiPasquale, New Jersey

  3. Appreciate your willingness to share your heart journey.

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