It's always good to get a group of guys together to talk about porn and lust issues. The journey really matters. At one point, the question gets asked: "If sexual sin is the 'fruit,' what is the root?" It's a good question... but is it an accurate one? In the context of lust and porn, the fruit is depression, loneliness, anxiety, laziness, guilt, shame and anger. The branches supporting and growing the fruit are porn and masturbation. The trunk is lust. (See Drawing 1)

Reality Check: Harvest the fruit as often as possible; it keeps growing back. Hack the branches and chop the trunk of lust, porn and masturbation as frequently as possible (cycles of sin & confession), they keep growing back. The question remains: what is the root?

The next question explored by the group of guys: "What are the reasons anyone engages in porn?" The responses: pleasure, loneliness, boredom, curiosity, and fear, with justifications of no harm, no foul and selfishness & entitlement. Really good answers. Are any of these the actual dominate tap-root? (See Drawing 2)

For a person who believes in God, as revealed in Jesus, as revealed in the Bible, the taproot of everything we do and everything we believe about us is found in the answer to the following two questions: Who is God? and What is God doing? (See Drawing 3)

So, what do we actually believe about God when we analyze the given root issues?

Pleasure: If porn is an inappropriately wrong pleasure-source then... God must be a killjoy.

Loneliness: If porn meets this need then... God is not present. He may have abandoned me.

Boredom: If porn gives purpose and creativity to life then... God is not very creative and does not provide me with enough purpose.

Curiosity: If porn satisfies curiosity then... God is insufficient; maybe He can't satisfy me.

Fear: If porn removes the fear of inadequacy or rejection then.... God is less than my fear and does not make me adequate or give me worth.

No Harm: If porn does not hurt my brain physiology or psychology or my relationships then... God is lying to me about porn being sexual sin.

Selfishness & Entitlement: If porn is acceptable & appropriate for self-satisfaction then... God is holding back & holding out on me.

Ah... the taproot issue then is what is actually believed about Who God is and What God does. According to our image, God is a killjoy, who is not present or creative or purpose-giving, and who is not enough to satisfy, and is holding out and is ultimately a liar, who does not measure up to our fears. That is what is believed about God if the reasons for pursuing porn are accurate.

This is hopeful. Because now we can get to the heart of a solution. The truth about Who God is can replace the lie about Who God is. Repentance can occur. Turning to the true God from the false god - real repentance - is possible, followed by true forgiveness, and a new taproot in Who God is and What God has done through the cross. This allows the Spirit of God to grow the fruit of righteousness; no thanks to the sin nature or flesh or self at all.

The truth about Who God is:

Killjoy? No. God wants us to find joy in Him and life that is full (John 10:10), provided through the resurrection life of Jesus to those who believe.

Absent? No. Jesus is God with us (Matthew 1:23) and God promised to never leave or forsake His children (Hebrews 13:5) and after Jesus' resurrection and return to Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to live in us (1 Corinthians 3:16).

Not creative or purpose-giving? No. Even during the darkest moments of the cross, God's purposes were being carried out and God has huge purposes for His children by faith (Ephesians 3:10).

Insufficient? No. The cross sacrifice and restoration to life of Jesus is enough to give us all that we need to live this life (2 Peter 1:3).

Less than our fear? No. Jesus overcame death and hell on the cross. He is greater than any fear we could ever have (Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 1:18).

Lying? No. Jesus revealed a God of truth who showed us the truth about God and about us through the cross when He did what was necessary to remove our sin. Jesus is the truth (John 14:6).

Holding out? No. If God did not spare His own Son but freely gave Him up for us all, how will He not give us all things, and for our enjoyment? (Romans 8:32; 1 Timothy 6:17).

If we want new fruit, we need a new root. We get a new root by changing our belief about Who God is and What God does. Repentance is not changing behaviour; repentance is changing belief. Someone who turns to God from an idol has repented. And God empowers the change that produces the fruit of righteousness. A new root is the route out of sexual lust and porn addiction! With God and the good news about Jesus, we truly can change both the root and fruit of this whole diagram. (See Diagram 4 and draw a new one!)

LET'S GO!! At Radiant City Church there are people who will journey with you into freedom.

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