“Jesus answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind…” Luke 10:27
There is a worldwide epidemic that is destroying countless lives and families. The statistics are not pretty. Annually, pornography is a $97 billion global business. In the United States alone it tops $13 billion. It brings in more money than the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball combined; and pornographic Internet sites get more monthly visitors than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined!
This is not just an adult epidemic, either. Research puts the first exposure to pornography, on average, at 11 years old for boys. The largest consumer category of Internet pornography is 12-17-year-old boys. By college, according to a survey of more than 800 students, 90% of men and one-third of women had viewed porn in the preceding year.
You may be wondering why I am so openly addressing the pornography epidemic. The reason is that many Christians wrongly assume this sin problem is “out there,” but it is not. This sewage of smut has infiltrated the plumbing of the Church. Fifty-seven percent of pastors admit they either do or have struggled with this secret sin; and 27% of Christian men admit having visited pornographic sites at least once or twice in the last month. Pornography has become a big elephant in the room.
My purpose here is not to convince you that pornography is a real problem, or even to convince you that it is harmful. Instead, I want to share a positive message with you. I believe there is a path to freedom from this addictive sin…and what most people don’t seem to understand is that this pathway is not just through the heart, but also through the mind. You see, pornography is not just a moral problem; it is a mental problem. Research has shown that consistent exposure to pornographic images actually rewires the brain. In the anatomy of the human body, the brain is command central. Every action, response, and impulse originates from the brain. It is not just a mental organ; it is a spiritual organ because our thoughts have spiritual components as well.
You cannot separate the spiritual from the mental, the emotional from the physical, because they are all woven together. That is why Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart” (spiritual) “with all of your strength” (physical) “and with all of your mind” (mental). Control of the mind is imperative in freedom from pornography. This begins not with more will power, but with loving God with everything that we are…spiritually, physically, and mentally.
Application: Are you striving to love God with all of your heart, strength, and mind?