Here is a life hack for any born-again believer who has trouble with their purity when searching on Google images.
When I was addicted to pornography, one of the things that often brought me down was being enticed to click on a semi-nude picture when looking for something else unrelated while browsing Google images.
Because the addiction renders you powerless when lust has control, it is easy to go down a rabbit hole by clicking that image. Upon clicking, another more luring one will come. And another more enticing when you click that one. Then another, and another. And soon you find yourself in an unwanted place of sin and immorality.
The Holy Spirit would often warn me not to click on the first picture in the first place. He would tell me to run! Log out! Leave my hostel. But my excuse would always be that it’s not really porn since the woman was half dressed. The LORD was concerned about the other half that wasn’t. My foolish pride and lust would insist on that excuse. And that pathetic excuse would always land me in trouble. And the result was guilt and shame.
This life hack will only help anyone who wants to truly live a pure life. Purity is only for those who want it. That’s why the first step is to repent and be saved. Only in Christ does a pure life motivate you out of love and passion as opposed to pride and fear. The death of Christ for us implores us to live for him. Like Joseph in Genesis 39:9, we believers are more concerned about losing our intimacy in our relationship with God than getting STIs, unwanted pregnancies and human shame.
For those that do not love the LORD and do not desire purity, this life hack will simply be another uphill legalistic task. As I was getting help and breaking the addiction, I discovered something that helped me a lot. I had already employed other strategies such as, “Surf in public/ in the day”, “Get accountability partners”, “Confess your sin,” “Gouge out the eye that causes you to sin,” etc. but this life hack was in line with Proverbs 5:8 that warns against lust.
“Keep to a path far from her; do not go near the door of her house.” Proverbs 5:8 (NIV)
One sure way to beat lust, the Bible teaches, if to avoid the path near the vice. Avoid the door. Avoid the street. Stay far. Our strength when dealing with sexual sin lies in admitting we are weak. When we imagine ourselves strong, we are ripe for a scandal (1 Corinthians 10:12). I realized when I clicked on that image that led me down the rabbit hole, I was doing the exact opposite. I was along her path. I was at the door of her house. No wonder I fell…again.
So here we go. It’s called the SAFE SEARCH feature. If using a laptop or personal computer, one way to prevent unwanted images from cropping up in your google searches is by activating the SAFE SEARCH feature. Go to your Google Images page. On the top right side of the page, you will see a bar that says SAFE SEARCH. Click on it. It will show whether it is on or off. Turn it on.
If using a mobile phone or a tablet, go to Search Settings. Find the “SafeSearch filters” section. To turn on SafeSearch, check the box next to “Filter explicit results.” To turn off SafeSearch, uncheck the box next to “Filter explicit results.” You want it on. Click save.
The way to defeat sexual sin is to avoid the battle altogether. Samson was the strongest man in Israel yet sexual sin brought him down. Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived yet sexual sin brought him down. Reuben was the rightful heir to the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob yet sexual sin brought him down. David was by far one of the most spiritual men in Israel yet sexual sin brought him down. It’s not that they were not strong. Nobody is. It’s just that they did not admit weakness.
2 Timothy 2:22 says flee. 1 Corinthians 6:18 says flee. Joseph fled. If there is a spiritual gym, then we need to remember leg day. Learn to run. Don’t leave the safe search feature off and pretend to be strong. Overcoming sexual sin does not need prerequisite victories; it only needs present obedience to flee. My friend Boniface Nyoike puts it like this: “Sexual temptation has no respect for STRENGTH but has respect for SPEED. Samson had STRENGTH Joseph had SPEED to FLEE.”
I learned a tad too late that what many people call a thorn in the flesh is really a lack of obedience. It is not a thorn in the flesh; perhaps it is your WhatsApp group membership. Perhaps today it is turning on the safe search feature. God will not do by miracle what you ought to do by obedience.
What I’ve learnt is that the message of Purity never gets old. God bless you Ernest and Merry Christmas.