He then went on to talk about the warped perceptions pornography leads men to have of women. But I was uncomfortable with his labelling of pictures as addictive.
You can’t be addicted to a magazine! I thought. What are you going to do, roll it up and smoke it? Inject it into a vein?
I left chapel convinced he was wrong.
But he had presented a challenge throughout his talk, and reapplied it specifically to pornography at the end: “If you want to know if something is an addiction in your life, try to go three days without it.”
It bothered me so much because I had two magazines in my room. I thought to myself, I am not an addict! I don’t smoke, drink or do drugs! I’m a good Christian.
I was getting mad and my inner arrogance was emerging: I’ll tell you what I am! I am the Year 12 class pastor. I am the head dean’s assistant in the boys dorm. I am not an addict! And to prove it, I decided to take his challenge.
Before lunch, I had failed three times.
Mysteriously, a magazine would be in my hands within minutes of entering my room between classes. I realised, according to the doctor’s diagnosis, I was addicted to pornography. My heart had known the magazines were bad but I had been deceiving myself. I had arrived at the first stage of dealing with it—admitting I had a problem.
I laid the magazines on my bed and punched them—hard. I realised I was crying. I didn’t know what to do.
I went over to my bookshelf and grabbed my Bible. Kneeling in front of my couch, I laid the Bible in front of me.
I closed my eyes and prayed, “God, I am addicted to these stupid magazines. I don’t know how to stop. I am going to open my Bible and point. And when I open my eyes, You are going to fix my problem.”
My hands fumbled in the dark and opened the Bible. With my eyes still closed, I pointed to the middle of the page. When I opened my eyes, my finger was under a verse number—15. I read the verse. And I read it again.
I was so amazed I went to my computer and printed a banner (remember dot-matrix printers?) that I wrapped right around my room, with the verse written on it.
I put the magazines in a paper bag and took them to the dean. He had been at chapel, so all I needed to say was, “Don’t look in this bag. But you have got to hear what God just did!”
I told Dean Craig the story. When I got to the part about the verse, I asked to use his Bible. I opened it and read Psalm 25:15: “My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.”
Dean Craig’s face cracked into a weathered smile and his eyes twinkled.
“You’ve just been given a life verse, David. Memorise it. I believe God knows you’ll need it.”
I didn’t have to memorise it. It was already emblazoned on my mind. And it has remained with me ever since.
Whenever I am tempted to let my eyes stray from what is pure, I hear Jesus calling, “Look at Me, Dave. Fix your eyes on Me.” Daily, I am blessed by this verse.
Only when we fix our eyes on Jesus can He truly lead our lives.
Pornography availability and addiction has taken a quantum leap since the arrival of the internet. But so has knowledge and visibility of Jesus. Put your eyes where they belong. Fix your eyes on Jesus and He promises to finish what He has started in your life.