Sorry, let me back up.
There’s a kind of sexual longing that’s like a hunger, and then there’s a kind that’s like a thirst; the first is for the honey you love, the second is an urge in the loins. We savor food as it goes down; we gulp liquids when we are thirsty, and the only enjoyment we derive is that of our thirst being slaked. Water is not something to be savored.
When the sex drive unhitches itself from tangible reality and runs unbridled, full of thirst, we are made into drinkers. We take in gulps, and yet, somehow, the thirst remains. Pixels and bytes freely offer themselves for our purposes: they rearrange and re-form into the shapes of flesh and nails and teeth and (sometimes) hair. Our eyes bug out. They are bloodshot. There is blood everywhere.
Play the digital field! Feel that sweat comingled with dread, that anxious release! Pray to God that you won’t take yourself in hand in front of your monitor again! Seek forgiveness! Punish yourself with pushups and jumping jacks! Out, damn’d spot!
Oh yeah. Porn is bad for basically everyone involved. But you already knew that, right?
What do you think Jesus would have done in the presence of a pRon?
That’s right. He would have minded his business.
So why is it so hard for us to mind our business?
Because we aren’t Jesus, of course.
Bear with me. I banged the magical cactus, and I learned something from it.
Picking up a porn habit is basically at least as bad as throwing a fake convention and expecting everyone to shell out their cash, even though it’s, y’know, a fake convention.
It’s even worse than trolling, probably. Believe me. I don’t often troll, but when I do, I troll hard.
I would even go so far as to say that it’s worse than defending a plagiarist in the face of overwhelming evidence of plagiarism.
Think about it.
Yeah. I bet you’re feeling pretty bad, seeing as how a porn habit is worse than all the things I mentioned that are bad.
But like, what was the Internet made for, if not porn? Probably nothing, although snuff videos are a strong runner-up.
The system is rigged. Your soul is cruising on a sea of flesh-toned bits and bytes, at the mercy of the winds and waves of the iCloud.
That’s deep-ish, my friend.
And yet, somehow, it’s possible not to drown.
The idea of a free will is pretty funny. We often confuse two kinds of freedom: freedom from and freedom to.
Freedom from is what we normally think of as “freedom,” i.e., freedom from constraints and impediments that would bind our will otherwise. Want to go to the mall? Well YOU CAN’T because I AM A CRAZY PERSON AND I HAVE ZIP-TIED YOUR WRIST TO A RADIATOR. In this hypothetical scenario, my crazy decision to attach you to your heater has resulted in a net loss of freedom for you. You can’t move! You are not free from my clutches.
Freedom to, though, is a whole different story. Freedom to is a deeper sort of freedom: it’s what we’re enabled to do, regardless of whether we are constrained by something outside of us.
Let’s say I feel compelled to go to the mall, but I know that if I do I’ll probably just buy a glove compartment’s worth of nudie pictures from the economy-sized nudie pictures store. Freedom to would allow me to choose instead to do something else. Freedom to is the freedom of discipline and self-control; it’s the ability to do what’s right, even if what’s wrong is massively appealing.
Our minds are not in any way prepared to deal with the insane onslaught of Internet porn. Freedom-to-not-click-the-bad-links is hard to come by, as it were. In fact, it’s nigh impossible. We are overwhelmed in a deluge, and cannot help ourselves in trying to slake the endless thirst.
You knew He was on His way, right? That’s kind of how things go around here. By the grace of God offered to us through Jesus Christ and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, it’s possible to satisfy the infinite thirst with a different kind of drink. Hydrated with living water, we’re free to skim over waves of the digital sea on the surfboard of righteousness, while the wind of forced metaphors blows through our hair, because grace is awesome, especially when it doesn’t make sense.
Maybe this is a Jesus-juke. Okay, it’s definitely a Jesus-juke. But you knew where this was going, right? This column is sort of like a porno in that way, I guess: no matter what happens along the way, you can be assured of the outcome. In this case, though, I can offer you much more than a happy ending: a joyful one.