The symptoms were all too obvious. A feeling of dizziness. Lack of appetite. Tiredness and fatigue.  Nausea. Depression. Headaches. It’s hard quitting cold turkey.

That’s right – you guessed it. This was the first Sunday in 22 weeks without football. And there I was flipping channels Sunday afternoon, coming down hard from that mountain. In the end it came down to ice skating or a half-dozen infomercials. I thought my wife might appreciate it if I got in touch with my inner-shopper.

A half-hour later, there I was giving out my credit-card number to an operator in Fort Worth, because I knew my life would not be happy unless our kitchen was graced with a new Ronco-Magic-Hot-Dog-Broiler-And-Homemade-Mustard-Maker-Deluxe-Vacuum-Cleaner. Only my wife walking in at the last minute saved us from making three easy payments of $199 each.

Whoever makes those informercials oughta be shot. But they sure know how to sell a product. First, they make you itch. And then they show you how their product will scratch it.

It’s essential as we continue this time of training that you sell yourself on the importance of sexual wholeness. And that you rehearse again and again the reasons for committing to this long and challenging journey.

It’s interesting that more and more of the secular world these days realizes that porn is not just a harmless diversion. Comedian Russell Brand (go figure) has blogged extensively on porn’s dangers. Pamela Anderson spoke out against porn (shortly after shooting her 16th Playboy cover.) A 2016 Time cover story read: Porn: Why young men who grew up with Internet porn are becoming advocates for turning it off. (I always smile to myself when people discover that biblical morality isn’t so useless as they once thought.)

The reasons for becoming porn-free are compelling. It’s addicting. It dehumanizes women. It disrupts male-female attraction. It damages your sex drive. It sets you up for heartache or scandal later on. For followers of Christ though, there are even more reasons why the battle for holiness is worth fighting, and they all have to do with our relationship with God. It’s these reasons that we’re going to focus on in this week’s readings.

The secular world will scoff at these reasons and find them pointless. However, what I came to discover in my own struggle for freedom is that these positive, God-centered reasons were far more compelling in the end for helping me win the day. So ignore them to your own hurt. Read carefully. Think deeply. Let the God who made you speak to your heart and make you itch to be holy and to be free.

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