Home Pastors Articles for Pastors Porn: The Subtle Anesthesia

Porn: The Subtle Anesthesia

Not because I resisted it by any means. The tears just never came. My wells were empty. My emotions had evaporated. I even wonder, in the throes of my porn addiction, if a family member or dear friend were to die, if I would have cried. Or if I’d be the one at the funeral, sitting stoically silent, my face dry as the western plains.

Porn addiction is that powerful.

Even a ‘non-chemical’ addiction such as pornography has the ability to rewire our brains to the extent that we don’t feel. (And of course, any learned person knows that there are plenty of neuro-chemicals involved in porn anesthesia.)

In David’s great psalm of repentance after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba, Psalm 51, he continually calls for God to return and awaken emotion within him. He prays, “Let me hear joy and gladness . . . Restore to me the joy of your salvation.” Part of repentance is returning to a delight in the Lord; it is also mourning the places we have grieved Him.

When I look at the person of Jesus, I see the polar opposite of numbness. I see someone who was entirely alive to His emotions, the full spectrum. I see a man who wept at the passing of his dear friend. Jesus wept.

Do we ever take time to think about the implications of these two words? God wept. God . . . cries. If we are to be like Jesus, then we are to be alive to our emotions.

Seeking to escape the hard times and numb the pain is not what God wants in us. The enemy may lure us in with the promise of a pain-free life, but what ends up happening is reality becomes dimmed.

To be like God is to embrace the reality around us with the emotions He has wired into us, not to escape it. I picture Jesus on the mountain, crying out to the Father for guidance. I see Him in the temple courts, fiery with rage at injustice. And there He is in the garden, nervous and terrified of the suffering He is about to go through.

And as He hangs on the cross, shattered and dying, He is offered a drink to ease the pain. This cocktail was designed to reduce the agony of those suffering torture, so they could slip into death with some amount of comfort.

But He turned it down.

Jesus refused to partake in anything that would reduce His experience, the good and the bad, in life and in death. Saint Irenaeus said that “the glory of God is man fully alive.” Jesus was fully alive. From the moment he emerged from Mary’s womb til’ the blood dripped from His toes onto the dirt beneath the cross, I see a man who embraced every ounce of His life, and continues to from His place on high.

To embrace a porn addiction is to escape life, and embrace porn anesthesia.

So let us cling to Jesus. Let us cling to the One who gives to each of us life, and life to the fullest.  

1
2
Previous articleWhy Church Attendance Is Important (Still!)
Next article25 Relevant Hymns About Trusting God in Troubled Times
Ethan Renoe has published 7 books, been on 6 continents, done 5 one-armed pull-ups, and gone to 4 universities. He has not fallen in love, but he did fall out of a tree in front of a cute girl one time. Not only is he scuba certified, but he also knows how to dance. He is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and is currently attending Denver Seminary. Read him weekly at ethanrenoe.com.