Earlier this year, I read an article on Time.com entitled, E-books Go Out of Fashion As Book Sales Revive. It reports that sales for physical books in U.K. increased and “demand for the e-reader has all but disappeared.” This brings me joy because I’m a big fan of the printed book (e-books can be too lame sometimes; just my opinion). I’m hoping that it isn’t just true in the U.K. but also in other parts of the globe.

Now, I want to throw-in this question: “Is there really a place for digital reading, especially for leaders?”

Albert Mohler, in his excellent book The Conviction to Lead, writes:

[T]he arrival of digital reading devices should be celebrated for what they can add to a leader’s reading…The new e-readers will not replace the printed book any time soon, but they are incredible reading technologies on their own, allowing you to carry hundreds of books in your hands, access millions of book in an instant, and have these books constantly available. More and more, leaders will find such e-reading to come naturally.1

So yes, there is a place for digital reading in the life of a leader. I download free PDF versions of Christian books (you’ll find a lot of good ones here) and read my Master’s requirements from a Kindle app. There are benefits to e-reading, in which I find accessibility and convenience the most prominent.

I agree with Mohler that “there is nothing like the physical experience of reading a printed book.”2 Nevertheless, I’m happy that people are still reading, even digitally. So whether you’re holding a paper book or a Kindle device, just keep reading.

P.S. It looks like I’m now into blogging about reading (check out my earlier post Leaders are Readers). Stay in touch for more posts on this topic.


1R. Albert Mohler Jr., The Conviction to Lead (Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2012), 106.
2Ibid.

This post is the manuscript of my message for Elevate Makati (February 21).

Today, I’m going to discuss is an exciting yet difficult topic—sex. I remember a time when I was invited to speak about sexual purity to a group of graduating students. The group consisted of two kinds of students: high school seniors and 6th graders. And seated in front of me were the female 6th graders, aged 11 or 12.

So being the straightforward speaker that I am, I boldly spoke on the topic. Then there was a time that I saw a girl in front of me covered her ears, closed her eyes, and screamed a bit. I kept on speaking. But inside me I was like, “Oh no, Enzo! You’ve taken their innocence away! Because of you, they now know about sex!”

Indeed, sex is a difficult topic. But we need to talk about it. Here’s the reality: If we will not learn about sex in the church, we will learn about it from the world. And it’s way better that we learn about it in the former.

Sex is also an interesting topic. Authors Gerald Hiestand and Jay Thomas comment:

On the whole, human beings are fascinated with sex—men and women, young and old, Christians, atheists, and everyone in between. In all cultures, throughout all of history, sexual desire has been one of the greatest motivators of the human will. Men and women throw away their families, houses, money, and land in order to be sexually satisfied. Some are addicted to it. Wars have been fought over it. We compose songs about it, make movies about it, and write stories about it.1

So why discuss sex in a series on love? Many people equate sex to love. Romantic relationships are expected to have a sexual element in it. Just take a look at the romantic movies shown nowadays and almost every movie has a sex scene.

7 REALITIES

People now have a low (even distorted) view of love and sex. Case in point is the 50 Shades phenomenon. So let’s know what the Bible says about sex and what we are expected to do. Here are 7 points:

1. GOD CREATED SEX. THEREFORE, IT IS GOOD.

There are lots of things the Bible says about sex. But let me show you a few. First, we have to understand that God created sex (“by him all things were created”—Colossians 1:16). Therefore it is good (“everything created by God is good”—1 Timothy 4:4).

Also, God designed sex to be enjoyed by a husband and a wife. He commanded our first parents Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28). He gave this command to a married heterosexual couple.

Let me just say that God is pro-sex. If you’re not convinced with that, just take a look at Song of Solomon or Song of Songs. This book is the most erotic of all books in the Bible. Its theme is about the celebration of marital love.

2. SIN, HOWEVER, CORRUPTED SEX.

After the Fall, when Adam and Eve sinned, sin distorted sex. Since then, many kinds of sexual perversion happened. These include, but not limited to, the following: Pre-marital sex (Deuteronomy 22:13-21; see discussion below), adultery (Exodus 20:14, Deuteronomy 22:22-24), homosexual intercourse (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13), rape (Deuteronomy 22:25-27), and prostitution (Leviticus 19:29, Deuteronomy 23:17-18).

Nowadays, the surroundings aren’t even helping. The truth is that we are living in hypersexualized culture. In his excellent book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis says why remaining sexually pure is difficult. One of the reasons for this is because of what he calls a “contemporary propaganda for lust.”

Poster after poster, film after film, novel after novel, associate the idea of sexual indulgence with the ideas of health, normality, youth, frankness, and good humour.2

What he was saying is that unbiblical sex had become acceptable. And while the book was published in 1952 (and the talks in which the book was based from happened years earlier), Lewis’ observation remains true these days. In fact, it has gone worse. We now have movies and TV series about adultery. We now have books that are sexually graphic, mainly appealing to women. We now have easier and instant access to porn (thanks to the Internet!).3

3. SEX ISN’T REALLY THE PROBLEM.

God created sex and it is good. But sin distorted. So sex, per se, isn’t bad. It’s sexual immorality that’s the problem. The Bible, in many times, warns against it. In fact, the words “sexual immorality” is translated porneia in Greek (it’s obviously where we get the word “porn”). It refers to all kinds of sexual sin we can imagine. It is an umbrella term for anything sexual that is outside of God’s design for sex. Pre-marital sex and adultery are included.

Speaking of pre-marital sex, let me tackle this issue further. I did some research and found about a study conducted back in 2013 on the sexual behavior of the Filipino youth.

The [2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS 4)] shows that one in every three youth aged 15 to 24 years old has engaged in premarital sex, the number increasing by more than 14 percent from almost 20 years ago, when the second YAFS was conducted. This translates to about 6.2 million youth who have engaged in sexual intercourse before marriage…

One in every three young people had already committed in pre-marital sex. That’s huge and troubling!

Here’s another interesting finding:

A new phenomenon in sexual activities among the youth has also emerged…: friends with benefits—3.5 percent or nearly 800,000 of the youth have experienced regularly having sex with friends they are not in a romantic relationship with.4

Aside from pre-marital sex being a sin or a distortion of God’s design, let me show a problem (there’s actually a myriad of problems at a human level but I won’t discuss here for a lack of time and space). We have to realize that sex is a deeply uniting act. It unites a man and a woman at all levels of their lives. So when a person engages in pre-marital sex (or any sex outside of marriage), he or she is uniting with someone who isn’t his or her spouse, at all levels. In his excellent book The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller writes:

The Bible says don’t unite with someone physically unless you are also willing to unite with the person emotionally, personally, socially, economically, and legally.5

Would you like to be united with someone who isn’t your spouse? My prayer is that you will abstain from pre-marital sex and any other sexual sins, and that you will resolve to only be united to your future spouse.

4. THERE IS FREEDOM OFFERED IN THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.

If you are enslaved to pre-marital sex or any sexual sin for that matter, don’t lose hope. Jesus Christ offers us freedom. In fact, His very name means that He will save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). He will not only save us from the eternal consequences of sin, but also from the enslaving power of sin.

Moreover, the death Jesus died, He died to sin (Romans 6:10). Therefore, we must consider ourselves “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11). We are called to freedom, but let’s not use that freedom to sin (Galatians 5:13).

The moment we place our faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross, sexual sins no longer have hold on us. Jesus has set us free from the power of sexual sin!

5. GOD’S WILL IS THAT WE LIVE SEXUALLY PURE LIVES.

Now that in Christ we have been set free from the slavery of sexual sin, God would want us to live lives of purity. First Thessalonians 4:3-8 says:

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. (Emphasis added)

The word sanctification simply means the process of becoming holy, or becoming more and more like Jesus. God wants us to be holy, because He himself is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). That is His will for us! And that can happen when we avoid sexual immorality (v. 3), practice self-control (v. 4), and love our brothers and sisters (v. 6), among many others.

6. JUST LIKE ANY SIN, WE ARE TO DEAL WITH SEXUAL SIN RADICALLY.

Because God’s will for us is to be holy, then we have to fight any sexual sin with all our might, in the power of the Spirit. And just like any sin, we are to deal with it radically. Matthew 5:29-30 says:

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

This doesn’t mean that we take this command literally, but it only means that we are to deal with sin radically. We should do whatever it takes to defeat sexual sins.

7. WAIT UNTIL WE’RE MARRIED TO HAVE SEX.

I can stop at the last point but I believe I must talk about waiting. Let’s go to Song of Songs 2:7 (NIV):

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you / by the gazelles and by the does of the field: / Do not arouse or awaken love / until it so desires.

This verse is found in Song of Songs or Song of Solomon. As earlier mentioned, this book is the most erotic of all books in the Bible. Its theme is about the celebration of marital love. It’s a dialogue between King Solomon and his bride.

The context of our passage is that the bride is looking forward to enjoy her relationship with Solomon. In the eve of her wedding, she described herself as “sick with love” that she even needed to be refreshed with food (v.5). That’s how in love she was!

Then she feared that her “in-loveness” would also arouse love in the young maidens attending her (“daughters of Jerusalem”). So she charged them “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” I want you to notice something. She didn’t say, “Do not arouse or awaken love until you desire.” Instead, she said “until it so desires.” So love here is personified. And it doesn’t want to be awaken until the circumstance comes in which it has to be awakened. And what is that circumstance? It’s marriage! Clearly, Solomon’s bride had arrived in that life stage and her maidens have not.

Here’s the point: We are not to stir up romantic and sexual passions outside the context of a marriage relationship. So let’s wait until we’re married.

HOPE FOR THE SEXUALIZED PERSON

If you’re struggling with any sexual sin, don’t lose hope. Because of Christ and His finished work on the cross, sexual sins no longer have hold on us. Jesus has set us free from the enslaving power of sexual sin.

Have you asked Jesus to set you free from the power of sexual sin?


1Gerald Hiestand and Jay Thomas, Sex, Dating, and Relationships (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 17.
2C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York, NY: Walker and Company, 1987), 152.
3For a discussion on porn, visit my message, Breaking Free from Porn. Actually, many parts of this message have been taken there.
4http://www.interaksyon.com/article/80226/1-in-3-filipino-youth-aged-15-24-has-engaged-in-premarital-sex—survey, accessed 02-19-2015
5Timothy Keller and Kathy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage (New York, NY: Dutton, 2011), 256.

Leaders are Readers

February 18, 2015 — Leave a comment

I wasn’t really into reading when I was younger. During grade school, my English teacher would require her class some reading. If I remember it right, I didn’t finish any of her book assignments, not even the famous Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone back in 5th Grade. Or if I did finish one, I didn’t understand it well. Admittedly, I had a hard time with fiction (and the struggle continues up to now). I just didn’t find myself interested with reading.

Fast-forward to college, when I was one of the leaders in our campus ministry. In a leadership training that I attended, a pastor-friend taught, “Your ability to teach is determined by your willingness to learn.” This truth captivated me and still drives me until today. I suddenly became so eager to learn. Eventually, I found myself browsing for books and reading them.

In her article for Forbes, Kelsey Meyer contends that leaders must be readers. This applies to young businesspeople and seasoned employees alike. Reading, according to Meyer, contributes to their growth.

While reading is important for people in the marketplace, it also is for Christian leaders. In fact, it is necessary for the latter. In his excellent book The Conviction to Lead, Albert Mohler writes:

When you find a leader, you have found a reader. The reason for this is simple—there is no substitute for effective reading when it comes to developing and maintaining the intelligence necessary to lead.1

Mohler even goes on to say that reading helps in cultivating convictions:

Convictions are honed and enriched through reading, especially when that reading is filtered through the kind of worldview analysis that Christian leaders must develop and deploy. The careful reader is not reading merely to receive data. The leader learns to invest deeply in reading as a discipline for critical thinking.2

Excellent words from Mohler!

Leaders, if our deeply-held convictions “are honed and enriched through reading,” then we should acquire and develop this valuable habit. After all, the “leadership that matters most is convictional—deeply convictional.”3

By the grace of God, I’m now a reader. I’m still limited to the Christian genre and I have yet to read “widely” and expand my understanding. But at least, I’m now into reading.

Leader, are you reading? And cultivating convictions through it? Share me your thoughts. Share me your reading list as well.


1R. Albert Mohler Jr., The Conviction to Lead (Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2012), 99.
2Ibid, 100-101.
3Ibid, 21.

This post is the manuscript of my message for Elevate Makati (February 14). I’m trying to revive my blog. Hope to build momentum from here.

Let me tell you about a man named Roy Cleveland Sullivan (he’s already dead). He worked as a park ranger in the United States. He was also a Guinness World Record holder. His record? He was hit by lightning not just once or twice or even thrice. He was struck seven times and survived them all!

Sullivan died in 1983. His death wasn’t because of a natural death or an 8th lightning strike. Rather, it was because of a suicide. The reason? Some say it was because of unrequited love!

Sullivan was struck by lightning seven times and survived. Then he was lovestruck and committed suicide. This got me thinking. What’s with love that it made Sullivan (and many others) commit suicide? A counselor once said, “”The number one reason for suicide is love. The number two reason for suicide is no love. It’s about the lack of love, either from a special friend or from the family—or too much of it—that a person feels bad.”1

WHAT IS LOVE…REALLY?

Last Saturday was Valentines Day. Many couples went out on dates because they are “in love” with one another? But I’m wondering, “Do they really know what love is?”

For some, love is a feeling. It’s something that suddenly sweeps them away. For some, love is an action. That’s why we spend time with the person we love, talk to them, give to them, sacrifice for them. While love involves feelings and actions, these don’t give us a complete picture of what it really is. And many aren’t still sure what it really is.

I’m saying this because the reality is that the world is offering us counterfeit forms of love. And if we’re not really sure what love really is and we’re not careful, we’ll end up with an imitation of it. So how do we spot counterfeit love?

I did some research and I googled, “How to spot fake money?” I ended up in US Secret Service Web site. And this is their answer: “The public has a role in maintaining the integrity of U.S. currency. You can help guard against the threat from counterfeiters by becoming more familiar with United States currency.”2 In other words, if we want to spot counterfeit money, we have to be familiar with the real one. Likewise with love, if we want to spot counterfeit, we have to be familiar with the real one. And the only way, I believe, to be familiar with real love is to go to the Author of love—God. And the way to know what the Author says is to go to the Bible.

Let’s take a look at what the Bible says about love. While there are many things the Bible says about it, I just want to focus on one passage. Let’s turn to 1 John 4:10-11 (NIV):

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Here, we learn of God’s love for us. It has 3 traits. First, it is unconditional. Now let’s talk about this for a while. Many people, especially Christians, use this term inaccurately. When you ask a person why he or she loves someone “unconditionally”, he or she will answer, “I don’t know! I just love the person.” That is not unconditional love; that’s blind love!

Michael Ramsden, a distinguished speaker, once said, “True love doesn’t exist in the absence of judgment. True love exists in the presence of it.” In other words, we can really say that we truly love a person after we have truly known them, which includes their past, their sins, their insecurities, their weaknesses. Let’s be honest with ourselves. If we only know someone deeper, we might change our minds about loving them. Some people know just parts of me and they already dislike me. I’m guessing that if they know me deeper, without the pretensions, they will even hate me.

In dating and courtship, both the man and the woman are always on best foot forward. They want to please the other party. No one went on their first date and said, “Hey! I’m a liar. I’m a cheater. I’m not really good in the area of loyalty.” No one!

Deep within a person’s heart is the desire to be fully known yet to be truly loved.3 In his excellent book The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller writes: “When over the years someone has seen you at your worst and knows you with all your strengths and flaws, yet commits him- or herself to you wholly, it is a consummate experience. To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear.”

We want to be loved and accepted for who we truly are. And no one can perfectly do that except for God. God (who is omniscient or all-knowing) knows everything about us yet loves us. That’s unconditional love! “But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything.”4

Secondly, God’s love is a willing kind of love. Even though He knows everything about us, He chose to love us. No one forced Him to love us. And that willingness moved Him to give His very own Son, Jesus. This brings us to third trait of God’s love for us, which is sacrificial. John 3:16 says:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

We learned that God’s love for us unconditional, willing, and sacrificial. This is in complete opposition to worldly love, which is conditional, reluctant, and selfish.

GOD’S LOVE AND ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS

So how do God’s love for us relate to romantic relationships?

Well, now that we know how God loves us, this is how we are to love others (including our future partners or spouses). First John 4:11 (NIV) again tells us, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” And unless you can give (or at least shadow, even imperfectly) unconditional, willing, and sacrificial love, don’t mindlessly enter into an romantic or exclusive relationship.

We are to love others unconditionally, willingly, and sacrificially. Are you loving others in this way?


1http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/lifestyle/09/26/11/love-number-one-reason-suicide-expert, accessed 02-05-2014.
2http://www.secretservice.gov/money_detect.shtml, accessed 02-03-2015.
3I’m greatly indebted to Tim Keller for this idea. Check his excellent book, The Meaning of Marriage, where I got it.
4Timothy Keller and Kathy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage (New York, NY: Dutton, 2011), 100-101.

This post is the manuscript of my message for Elevate Makati (October 11).

Let me begin with a story of a man named Ted Bundy. As a child, Bundy was shy yet was very bright. He was also good-looking and charismatic. Later on, he enrolled in law school and had a promising future in politics. However, Bundy was also a rapist and a serial killer. He was connected to a murder of 36 women (some even say that he has killed more than a hundred). In January 24, 1989, Bundy was executed for the crimes that he committed.

How come Bundy, who is a bright and charming guy, could do such a thing? In his final hours, he was interviewed and he revealed how it all started. When he was 13, he found “dirty magazines” in a dump near his home. He got captivated by it. When he got tired with fantasy, he turned to reality. It all started with porn.1

7 REALITIES ABOUT GOD, SEX, AND PORN

Let’s now talk about what the Bible says about porn. Below are seven realities about God, sex, and porn.

1. GOD CREATED SEX. THEREFORE, IT IS GOOD.

There are lots of things the Bible says about sex. But let me show you a few. First, we have to understand that God created sex (“by him all things were created”—Colossians 1:16). Therefore it is good (“everything created by God is good”—1 Timothy 4:4).

Also, God designed sex to be enjoyed by a husband and a wife. He commanded our first parents Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28). He gave this command to a married heterosexual couple.

Let me just say that God is pro-sex. If you’re not convinced with that, just take a look at Song of Solomon or Song of Songs. This book is the most erotic of all books in the Bible. Its theme is about the celebration of marital love.

2. SIN, HOWEVER, CORRUPTED SEX.

After the Fall, when Adam and Eve sinned, sin distorted sex. Since then, many kinds of sexual perversion happened. These include, but not limited to, the following: Pre-marital sex (Deuteronomy 22:13-21), adultery (Exodus 20:14, Deuteronomy 22:22-24), homosexual intercourse (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13), rape (Deuteronomy 22:25-27), and prostitution (Leviticus 19:29, Deuteronomy 23:17-18).

Nowadays, the surroundings aren’t even helping. The truth is that we are living in hypersexualized culture. In his excellent book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis says why remaining sexually pure is difficult. One of the reasons for this is because of what he calls a “contemporary propaganda for lust.”

Poster after poster, film after film, novel after novel, associate the idea of sexual indulgence with the ideas of health, normality, youth, frankness, and good humour.2

What he was saying is that unbiblical sex had become accepted. And while the book was published in 1952 (and the talks in which the book was based from happened years earlier), Lewis’ observation remains true these days. In fact, it has gone worse. We now have movies and TV series about adultery. We now have books that are sexually graphic. And we now have easier and instant access to porn (thanks to the Internet!).

3. PORN IS IN THE FOREFRONT OF THE CONTEMPORARY PROPAGANDA FOR LUST.

Porn is definitely not helping in our pursuit of sexual purity. Aside from this, there are lots of research showing the detrimental effects of porn. It has negative social and psychological effects on men. It objectifies women who are created in the image of God. It destroys relationships.

But to say that porn has negative effects is an understatement. Because it really has devastating effects. The life of Ted Bundy testifies to that.

But before I proceed to the next reality, let me just say that porn is not just a male issue. It is also a female issue. There are women who get hooked to it as well. While the porn industry generally caters to men (who are stimulated visually), pornographers have found a way to allure women (who are stimulated differently).

Tim Challies warns women that the pornographers are coming after them. He writes:

There is much that can be said about the 50 Shades of Grey series of books; what is beyond dispute is that the books—there are currently 65 million in print—shocked the publishing world by revealing the existence of a previously untapped market. The secret is out: There are millions of women who will read pornography even if they have little interest in watching it. Publishers, both mainstream and pornographic, are taking note. They are studying the 50 Shades phenomenon to see how they can duplicate it, or at least cash in on its success. Like any industry, they have surveys and focus groups and statistics and endless amounts of data that first measure and then transform behavior.

So women, beware!

5. THERE IS FREEDOM OFFERED IN THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.

If you are enslaved to the sin of porn or lust, don’t lose hope. Jesus Christ offers us freedom. In fact, His very name means that He will save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). He will not only save us from the eternal consequences of sin, but also from the enslaving power of sin.

Moreover, the death Jesus died, He died to sin (Romans 6:10). Therefore, we must consider ourselves “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11). We are called to freedom, but let’s not use that freedom to sin (Galatians 5:13).

The moment we place our faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross, lust and porn no longer have hold on us. Jesus has set us free from the power of lust and porn!

6. GOD’S WILL IS THAT WE LIVE SEXUALLY PURE LIVES.

Now that in Christ we have been set free from the slavery of lust and porn, God would want us to live lives of purity. First Thessalonians 4:3-8 says:

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. (Emphasis added)

The word sanctification simply means the process of becoming holy, or becoming more and more like Jesus. God wants us to be holy, because He himself is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). That is His will for us! And that can happen when we avoid sexual immorality (v. 3), practice self-control (v. 4), and love our brothers and sisters (v. 6), among many others.

7. JUST LIKE ANY SIN, WE ARE TO DEAL WITH LUST AND PORN RADICALLY.

Because God’s will for us is to be holy, then we have to fight lust and porn with all our might, in the power of the Spirit. And just like any sin, we are to deal with it radically. Matthew 5:29-30 says:

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

This doesn’t mean that we take this command literally, but it does mean that we are to deal with sin radically. We should do whatever it takes to defeat lust and porn.

SOME PRACTICAL ADVICE

With the last point in mind, here are some practical steps to fight lust and porn:

1. Meditate on God’s Word. The psalmist once said, “I have stored up your word in my heart, / that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11). Jesus quoted the Scripture when Satan tempted in the desert (see Matthew 4:1-11). So take hold of the word of God—the Bible—which is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).

2. Pray. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus instructs us to pray for protection from temptation (Matthew 6:13). So whenever you are tempted to lust and look at porn, fall on your knees and pray.

3. Avoid idleness and keep yourself productive. We can trace back David’s fall into immorality to idleness (see 2 Kings 11:1; David was supposed to be in battle). So don’t play in the Devil’s playground of idleness. Keep yourself productive. Read your Bible. Read good books. Serve in the ministry.

4. Employ practical measures. If you have to install Internet protection to avoid porn sites, go and do so. If you have to avoid friends because they’re not helping, go and do so (1 Corinthians 15:33). While lust and porn is ultimately an issue of the heart (Matthew 15:18-19), we can still employ practical measures to aid us in our battle against it.

5. Hold yourself accountable. The pursuit of holiness isn’t meant to be done alone. It should be done in the context of community. Second Timothy 2:22 says, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (emphasis added). We have to surround ourselves with fellow Christians who can help us in our battle against lust and porn. They can pray for us, guide us, and encourage us to persevere in the battle. So find a mentor, a small group, or a church.

HOPE FOR THE PORNIFIED PERSON

If you are that person who is “pornified” (or lustful), don’t lose hope. Because of Christ and His finished work on the cross, lust and porn no longer have hold on us. Jesus has set us free from the enslaving power of lust and porn.

Have you asked Jesus to set you free from the power of lust and porn?


1For more on Ted Bundy’s life, check out his biography here. You may check his final interview here.
2C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York, NY: Walker and Company, 1987), 152.