Before we get into strongholds I thought I would give my personal testimony on my struggle with pornography. I am a strong believer that even though you can still talk about it one cannot really understand a subject unless you experienced it. “Hello my name is Gregory Alan Keels II and I am a sex addict”. Here I was sitting in a Sex Anonymous group saying those exact words. As I was saying them I was thinking to myself, how did I get to that point? What has happened to me? Why do I not feel normal? It was the first time I admitted to myself I had a sex addiction problem. I was addicted to porn. I loved it! I needed it! It was my first meal in the morning and my last snack before bed. While others looked for drugs or alcohol when they were stressed, had anxiety, or to battle depression I found myself indulging in porn. How did I get to that point?
I remember two incidents that introduced me to porn. The first incident was me finding playboy magazines in the bathroom, and the other incident was finding playboy magazines under the couch. Both were family members but it was at two separate locations. I still was not much of a porn viewer but those two incidents introduced me to masturbation. No one never found out but the seeds were planted and I started my path on a slippery slope.
Let me clear up something. I grew up in a Christian home. I went to church, was in the choir (no I cannot sing) and people called me preacher Greg because I use to preach in my bedroom. I had everything going for me in my home. However without my parents knowing pornography crept into the home.
In middle school my hormones really started to kick in. and I was introduced to a lot of sexual things. With that experience several incidents further shaped and formed what I viewed has healthy sexual thoughts. One incident was with my next door neighbor. And another was with a family member. Both of those incidents left a permanent mark on my view of sex. And it also opened up my curiosity even more in the pornography world.
In High School my addiction was full blown. I found out about internet pornography, I was addicted to masturbation, and as far as I knew I was not a man until I lost my virginity. Because I was kind of heavy I was self-conscious about the way I look. However I knew some way somehow I had to prove I was a man and have sex just like the ones I have seen online and in the magazines.
College I straight up lived a double life. I was involved in the resident halls, I was in leadership in our campus ministry organization, and I was a full blown porn addict. I would go to bible study and literally lust and have sex in my mind with several of the women in the ministry. I was the most carnal Christian you would ever meet but it was not in the open. I wouldn’t date anyone that was connected to the ministry. My private life was VERY private. No one knew what was going on because I knew how to live one way in public and one way in private. I was viewed as one of the most spiritual Christian on our campus. Little did they know I was spending my whole nights up looking at porn, masturbating, lusting after my sisters in Christ, and feeding my flesh.
I always told myself I was going to stop. Each time I look at porn I would say this is my last time. I would erase my history on my computer, listen to worship songs, speak in tongues and speak with boldness that I was free from addiction! However the next night I would find myself right back looking on the same website.
Coming out of college and going into graduate school the craving for porn and masturbation grew stronger and stronger. With that craving I would have to look at different types of porn just so I can get the same feeling I got before. What started out as soft core porn ended with the desire for hardcore porn and things you probably would think is just plain sick and disquieting. I have come to the point where I could not function until I had my “meal”. If I didn’t give in I could not go with my day. It didn’t matter if I was late for work, if I had a paper or class to go to it had to wait until I ate.
This Blog is titled Tainted Desires, Staying Thirsty. I gave the blog this title because my addiction gave me a tainted desire for a different god. Instead of desiring Christ and feeding off of his word I chose to let a false alternative take its place. Matthew 6:24 says No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. Even though my outer actions said one thing deep in my heart I hated anything that had to do with the church. I hated reading the word. I hated talking about Christ. Every time I did those things I would feel so guilty and empty. My desire was not to live for Christ. My desire was to find any way I could to make my flesh feel satisfied.
Satisfying my flesh became harder and harder over the years. Each time I indulged into my addiction I noticed I would have to do a little more to get the same high feeling I got previously. Each time I look at porn and/or masturbated I had a stronger desire for more. Instead of looking at porn for five minutes it would turn into 20 minutes, 2 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours, ALL day!!! I had to find that fix. My thirst for the images, the videos became stronger and stronger. I saw myself looking at things I would had never thought I would crave. John 4:14 says But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. I was not drinking from the fountain of life. Because of that even after I drank from my cravings it left me even thirstier.
Fast forward a few years I am back in this group. I am admitting to a group of strangers I am a sex addict. And now I finally see how much damage this addiction has done in my life. I have not been able to have a romantic relationship last longer than three months, I have been written up and even fired from some jobs, I have struggled with self-esteem, seeing women as more than sex symbols, seclusion, and most important my spiritual life has taken a back seat. I am more involved with pornography than any other “hobby” including my growth with God. Why? Because I have continuously fed my flesh instead of killing it. I have continuously killed my spirit instead of giving it life. Most of all I have believed in and chased after tainted desires while staying thirsty.
Take this advice to everyone who is suffering with some type of sexual addiction. Kill it now or you will regret it later. If you feel like right now it is too big of a giant to defeat then get help. You cannot go another day feeding this giant. I wish I could give you some good news and say I have overcome this. However I have not. At first this use to beat me up and cause me to feel depressed but I realized something. Even though it can happen most of us will not be delivered in one day. If you are like me have been addicted to something for well over 10, 15, or 20 years then it is going to take time to fully overcome. No matter what YOU will overcome. In order to do that you must take that first step. I continue to climb the mountain. At times I fall off but I jump on because I know each step I take forward I am transforming into a new creation. Here are the steps I am taking. I hope as the Lord leads you will do the same…..
- Separate the thing that is causing you to fall rather it is electronic or an actual person. I have had to cut off several people because it was more flesh desired than anything else. Being friends with someone whom you had sex with, or strongly sexually attracted to will not help in your recovery.
- Put filters on your computer, tablet, and phones: One thing I have noticed is that I have to have accountability software on all my electronics. Not only that but I had to have people who will confront me when a questionable website pops up on the filter. Knowing I have that filter helps me out A LOT when it comes to me being tempted and wanting to give in
- Have an accountability group: You must be surrounded by people who are willing to ask you the tough questions. If your friends are not confronting and challenging you or making you feel uncomfortable with falling into your addiction then you need to find new friends.
- Consider counseling support groups and individual counseling: This has helped me a lot. I do attend Sex Anonymous groups and also individual counseling. It is very important to me because I need that place where I am not look down on or judged for how I feel or if I have fallen. Also I have that one person who helps me figure out how my past is affecting me now. I strongly encourage anyone who is deep in sexual sin to get counseling. I am a strong believer that all sexual sin comes from a deeper root. You cannot be delivered from sexual addiction until you deal with the root.
I really Hope this blog helps and encourages every one of you who are in the same position I am in. You are not alone in this fight. You can do it! You can overcome! I am praying for you! If you ever have the feeling like you need to talk to someone who will not judge or embarrass you then contact me through any of these networks:
Twitter: @GregoryAKeels | Facebook: Gregory A Keels MDiv
GroupMe: Gregory A Keels (Gregory.email@example.com) | InstaGram: GREGORYAKEELS
"If I can help in any way I can I will. I love you but most of all God loves you!!!"
In the meantime meditate on these scriptures:
- Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
- But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
- I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
- Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
- Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Here are some books that can help you with sexual addiction or any issue that is keeping you from growing in Christ.