This has been another busy week for national scares and tragedies.
We started the week with news that a deranged person was sending pipe bombs to leaders of a specific political party. We ended the week with news that another deranged person, who hated members of a different political party – and faith, had killed 11 people during a worship celebration.
As America and the rest of the world runs full steam away from God, these stories are becoming an all-too-familiar occurrence. It happens so frequently, I often wonder if it is becoming so routine that people are losing their sense of shock when it takes place.
Yet, each time it happens, it seems as though we can count on follow-up news stories telling a similar tale. The perpetrator grew up without a father, or was deeply hooked on pornography, or both.
The problems really work to skew a person’s worldview in an ugly way. Of course, not everyone who grows up fatherless or who is hooked on porn will mail pipe bombs or engage in mass murder. However, it seems that those who do are either fatherless or hooked on porn.
People growing up either fatherless or fathered-less often lack an appropriate foundation in life. Filled with self-doubt, they are often bullied and ignored. All they know is that there is something deeply wrong with them and that nobody really accepts them.
That often leads to masking their pain with drugs, alcohol or pornography. All are damaging, but it seems that pornography has a unique way to skew a person’s mental state. Drugs and alcohol can create a chemical imbalance, but pornography seems to cause a mental imbalance.
That’s not surprising because pornography is a place of fantasy not at all based on reality.
In fact, it is often called virtual reality. It seems real, but isn’t. How can someone face reality when so much of their time is spent in a virtual, fantasy world?
As someone who grew up fatherless and became hooked on porn shortly after his 12th birthday, I can only speak from my experience. Being fatherless changed my outlook on life by taking away my hope and sense of purpose at a very early age. Porn eroded that outlook by allowing me to drift into isolation to the point I was often consumed with anger.
Life wasn’t fair, so I ran away. The further I ran away, the angrier I got — especially when it seemed nobody was chasing after me.
It is for that reason that I wonder if the anger that permeates the world today is due in great part to the widespread use and acceptance of pornography.
I’ve discussed the statistics before. Two out of three men and one of out three women view porn regularly. One quarter of pastors view porn. For teens, the percentage is almost 100 percent for boys and 70 percent for girls.
Feelings of hopelessness and unlovability feed upon each other. The more hopeless a person is, the more unlovable he considers himself to be, and he turns to pornography to ease the pain. But, the more he consumes porn, the more hopeless and unloving he becomes as a result.
Fortunately, we have a very loving, gracious, forgiving and accepting heavenly father who delights in us and welcomes us with open arms – even when we make the same mistakes over and over and over again.
Rather than wallow in a fantasy world feeling sorry for ourselves and wishing things could be better, we must always turn to God…
- When we feel hopeless or confused, and need a sense of purpose.
- When we feel unloved or unlovable, and need to feel accepted.
- When we feel guilty or full of shame, and need to be forgiven.
- When we feel angry and out of control, and need reassurance all will work out.
- When we feel isolated, alone and abandoned, and need to know there is one person who loves us no matter what.
Matthew 6:33 is one of the best verses in the Bible because it tells us to first seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness, and everything else we need will be given to us as well.
When we feel tempted to check out of life and retreat into a fantasy world, we should first seek God’s kingdom. Time with God never comes back empty.
It’s really strange, and something non-Christians can’t grasp.
Years ago, when I was at a Promise Keeper’s rally, the Maranatha Promise Band would sing a very upbeat song titled “Worship the Lord in the Beauty of His Holiness.” It has remained one of my favorites. Here are part of the lyrics:
What you going to do?
When you can’t see your way through?
When the time feels hard?
When you need someone to turn to?
When you need a friend?
Turn to the Lord!
When the time gets rough?
Just worship the Lord!
So, when the time feels rough, and there is a lot of bad news and uncertainty, and we can’t see our way through, what should we do? Before we surf to that secret place that will seem to liberate us for a moment, but leave us empty, guilty, angry and more alone, take a few minutes to worship the Lord in song or just words.
I guarantee your perspective will change!
For help in overcoming a problem with pornography, I recommend my book Pornocide: Why Lust is Killing Your Faith, Stealing Your Joy and Destroying Your Life. It is a fictional account of a man caught up in the problem. However, through a series of divine appointments, he develops the faith needed to walk away.