Many people struggle with addictions to sexual sins and pornography. This article gives some information about how to overcome sin. There are links at the bottom for information about an organization that is growing in popularity that dedicated to helping people overcome sexual sins in particular.
Regarding sins of any kind, the Bible says that when we sin we become a slave to sin.
“Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34)
So how do we overcome this slavery? Jesus said that without him we can do nothing, but with him we can do all things. What is needed is not just willpower to overcome sin, but humble prayer asking for God’s help and grace. God desires this prayer and desires to help us.
If and when we fall into sin what is needed is not to give up, but to get up, and confess our sins to God in prayer with a firm resolve to not commit this sin again. For Catholics this also means going to confession for any mortal sin we commit with a firm purpose of amendment so that we can receive Holy Communion again as soon as possible. (A mortal sin takes away God’s sanctifying grace in our soul and breaks our union with God. For a sin to be a mortal sin three things are required, which are that the sinful act is a serious matter in God’s eyes, done with full knowledge and realization of the sinfulness of the act at the time the act is committed, and full consent of the will. For more information see the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This link has a search engine at the bottom of the page where you can enter any word or phrase.)
The goal should be not just to overcome sin, but to be united with something and someone much greater than any pleasure or sin, who is God himself. We need to take our eyes off the sinful temptations and put our focus on God/Jesus who is truly good. When we commit a serious sin, we lose God’s grace in our soul.
In other words, to overcome serious sin or addictions, we must replace the love for the sin or addiction with a greater love for God.
How to love God more
To love God more, we can learn more about God through reading the Bible and good spiritual books, and through prayer. We should pray and do spiritual reading daily, and then put into practice what we learn. In Baptism we receive God’s sanctifying grace and the virtues of faith, hope and charity (love). If we have lost his grace through sin, we can regain this grace through repentance and forgiveness of our sin.
To know Jesus Christ, is to know God who has revealed himself throughout history as recorded in the Bible and especially by becoming man in the person of Jesus Christ. The Catechism of the Catholic Church gives an overview of the teachings of Christ as handed down through his Apostles and Church, and explains what the Bible means on important teachings.
To have a good relationship with God requires not just knowledge, but doing what He asks of us. It is difficult to overcome sin of any kind, but Jesus said, “With God all things are possible…” (Matthew 19:26). God desires our victory even more than we do. God in his great love for us desires that we have all good things that will be truly helpful for us.
Jesus came that we might have an abundant life of true love, joy, peace, and freedom from sin, and ultimately true happiness, which can be found in God alone who is above all other things. Even if things outside of us are not going that well, inside we can still experience the peace, joy, and love of Christ, as God dwells within us. Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within” (Luke 17:21).
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
There is a choice we have to make, whether we want to be with the real God who created us, loves us, and desires our happiness and fulfillment, or do we choose to put something else first in our lives, which can never ultimately fulfill us or save us making that in effect our little false god.
Giving up our false gods and idols for the real God
Addiction is kind of like making a person, substance, or activity into a false god in our lives. If one is addicted to sin, it is difficult, but possible, with the help of God’s grace to overcome any sin and get our lives into the right order, i.e., God first, other things second, with sin not having a place in our lives. No matter how many sins we have committed, is not too late to reject sin and put God first. This is called repentance. We must love, pray, work, and not give up. With the help of God’s grace, we can conquer sin and live a happy, joyful life in union with God who is love, mercy, and all good.
Regarding sexual sin
Our Lady of Fatima said in 1917, “More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason…” We can see especially today that sexual sins are everywhere and people are struggling to get out of these sins but feel helpless at times. Men, women, and even children are getting caught up in sins through the internet and other ways. I even had a 13-year-old girl email me that was addicted to pornography and didn’t know how to stop. (Of note to parents, she said that there are ways around internet filters that parents put on computers, and she acted like it was common knowledge. Best to keep computers and cell phones with internet connections where they can be monitored like the living room as children/teens are vulnerable and curious. It is best not to let them play on the internet alone in their room for their safety.)
Angelic Warfare Confraternity
One organization growing in popularity that is dedicated to helping people overcome sexual sins is called the Angelic Warfare Confraternity. An interesting article about this organization can be seen by clicking here. More information about this organization can be seen here: Angelic Warfare Confraternity website.
Seeking Union with God