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A Perversion of a Gift from God
“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18 NIV).
I recently heard an interview with Rev. Levi Lusco. He was discussing his new book “Swipe Right.” The dating app Tinder provides pictures and basic information that people “looking to date” have uploaded of themselves. If the user swipes to the left of a particular image, then that means he or she is not interested. However, if you swipe to the right, that means you are interested and if the other person does the same thing to your picture, you are very likely going to have sex with them very soon.
You may ask what does that have to do with pornography? They both are feeding a desire for sex in an immoral manner. Sex is a gift from God and its value decreases when it is approached with such a nonchalant attitude.
Pornography can be as addicting as any drug. Studies have shown that it releases endorphins in the brain which make it “feel good” when in fact it is actually harmful to the body and soul. In reality, it is the fruit of the enemy. Every relationship comes with a moral commitment; this commitment is absent in the relationships of the flesh.
Mark 7:15 tells us: “Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” If you “feed” yourself with immorality, then what do you expect to come out of you? Christians are certainly not immune to pornography addition. The same can be said for the clergy. Many of the millennial generations are products of divorced parents. They see no benefits of marriage and feed their desires through illicit relationships and pornography. Rev. Lusco stated that 1 out of 3 boys who are 13 years of age have a pornography problem. As men of the church, we must be the defenders of these young boys. We must explain to them why this behavior is harmful. The pleasure that they are feeling is not Godly and if they do get married later in life, they often report a less satisfying sex life, according to Rev. Lesko.
Do you recall the story in Genesis of Jacob and Esau? These were twin sons of Issac. Esau was the oldest by seconds and by right he held a higher position in the family. One day Esau returned to his brother, Jacob, and was famished from working in the fields. He begged his twin brother to give him some “red pottage” (stew). Jacob offered to give Esau a bowl of stew in exchange for his birthright (the right to be recognized as firstborn) and Esau agreed.
This is huge because the birthright has to do with the inheritance of both goods and positions. Esau acted impulsively, as he did not value his birthright over a bowl of lentil stew. The lesson here is that your standards are low when your stomach is empty. Esau gave into the desires of the flesh without thinking of the consequences.
Rev. Lusco advises that we do not overreact if we find our son or daughter looking at pornography. Do not shame them. Instead, calmly explain to them why this is wrong and why it is important to live in the Spirit rather than living in the flesh. My advice: Keep your stomach full of Godly things and you will not have an appetite for impure things. Develop an accountability group of friends that form a barrier around you to keep the enemy out.
Prayer: Dear God, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10 KJV).
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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