I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman. (Job 31:1)
Relate: Ashley Madison. Four years ago, if somebody said those two words, I would have asked, “who’s that?” Since the list came at that time, I don’t think anybody can be asking that question anymore. If you were to google search the name shortly after the scandal broke, you would have had over one hundred seventy-five million hits. Just browsing through the top few pages, it looks like most seem to fall into three categories 1) Why nobody should be checking to see if their loved one is on the list 2) How evil the hackers were for breaching our privacy 3) What to do now that you’ve been outed for being on the list.
Ed Stetzer, a writer for Christianity Today and one of the best bloggers out there with regards to Christian leadership wrote an article: My Pastor Is On The Ashley Madison List. He states in it:
Based on my conversations with leaders from several denominations in the U.S. and Canada, I estimate that at least 400 church leaders will be resigning Sunday. This is a significant moment of embarrassment for the church—and it should be.
Going beyond Ashley Madison, in the United States alone, the porn industry nets more than thirteen billion a year. Add to this the fact that nine in ten viewers of pornography on the internet are viewing free material and the size of this global addiction is staggering. There have already been about 1.5 billion internet searches for pornography this year. Do you have a smartphone? One in five of all internet searches on our cell phones is for pornographic material.
The statistics could just keep coming. I could keep continuing to spew them out, but they leave a bad taste. The truth is, most if not all of you who are reading this have personal experiences that mean far more to you than any numbers. Many of you are reading this with guilt. Others are victims of broken relationships where porn addiction played a significant factor. A little more than a dozen years ago, I myself was caught viewing porn. It was probably one of the lowest points of my life. I thought my ministry and my future was forever shattered. Finding freedom and restoration was a long, hard, and very humbling road.
What accountability do you have? What filters are on your computer? Who, of the same sex, are you regularly meeting with that can hold your feet to the fire by asking the hard questions in a safe environment? If you cannot answer these questions, then you are begging the enemy to cripple and destroy your spiritual life. Broken covenants can be restored, but only when we are willing to come into the light. It is humbling. It is necessary.
Your grace is greater than all of my sin. As was said to David, You do not desire our destruction, rather You devise ways to restore us back to Yourself. Restore me. Forgive me. Give me the courage and the humility to do whatever needs to be done that we might be restored. Help me to truly understand that who I am in You is far more important than what I do for You. If my ability to work for You must be sacrificed so that I might become who I should… let it be.