Now this is a modern definition, which, while mostly accurate, paints a picture of someone at the helpless mercy of another: a slave. While so often we find ourselves floundering against the urge to gratify our sexual desires, this does not absolve us of personal responsibility in the face of addiction.
Below its English definition on Dictionary.com, the word’s origin is listed, giving us a well-rounded understanding:
1595–1605; < Latin addictiōn- (stem of addictiō ) a giving over, surrender. See addict
“A giving over, surrender.” At some point, we made a conscious choice (or series of small decisions) that toppled our teetering selves onto the forbidden side of the addiction fence. We gave ourselves over to sin. I think we forget sometimes that we are still at fault for what we do as addicts. It’s easy to begin to play the “victim card” when you’ve failed so many times to escape back to freedom, but it’s a dangerous way of thinking. That puts us in a place of opposition to God’s will for our lives, viewing our own position as tolerable or “right” because it’s beyond our control. Why do you think the homosexual movement has gained so much acceptance? It’s because of this same way of thinking; personal responsibility is on the downgrade in our culture, replaced instead by the idea that “I was born this way.” We are not victims, we’re sinners! God’s will is for us to have freedom from sin through Christ, even from addiction. One major part of that is taking responsibility for our behavior!
Learning self-control is also key. God, through Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 4:2-8 tells us:
For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor
, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that 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. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
I have failed so many times because I surrendered to that victim mentality, as if the decision to turn away was somehow out of my control. I know now that was absolutely wrong! I was submitted to my flesh, and not to the rescuing power of the Holy Spirit. He can enable us in our weakness to make the right choice. We should submit to Him to help us flee!
I know it may sound harsh, but start taking responsibility. Learn self-control. It’s not completely up to you (since you are helpless on your own), but start doing your fair share of the work. Though God is able, that doesn’t mean He’ll miraculously free you from porn addiction without some effort on your end, so hop to it!
Just remember that you are not alone.