I am a young man who had a problem with pornography for seven years. It made me feel as if my life were garbage…. I told my father about my problem, and he said that when I made mistakes in life, I didn’t have to keep on repeating those mistakes, and that God would forgive me if I asked forgiveness for my sin and then stopped doing it.

It wasn’t easy. I fell many times, but thank God, today my conscience is clear…. However, I would like to know if God really has forgiven me… or if He is angry with me for having failed so many times in my short life.

Dear Friend,

How wonderful that you were able to confide in your father, and that he gave you great advice! And how awesome that you recognized the negative consequences of your sin and determined to change! We congratulate you on being persistent and not giving up until you conquered the enemy that you were fighting.

There are many scientific as well as non-scientific studies of the effects of pornography. Because the brain releases pleasurable chemicals in response to it, many believe that pornography is addictive. You might agree, since it took so much time and effort to finally be free.

God designed sex to create a bond between a man and woman who are in a committed marriage relationship. The pleasurable chemicals that are released in the brain strengthen that bond and strengthen the marriage. But when pornography is viewed, those same chemicals in the brain bind the viewer to the computer screen or the printed page, and the viewer begins a relationship with an image. However, that image is only satisfying for a short time, so the viewer feels compelled to find a better image, and then more images. This becomes an insatiable hunt that can be all-consuming and last hours each day.

Because the viewer is in a relationship with images, he or she doesn’t have as much time or effort for real-life relationships. If the viewer is married, the marriage suffers. If the viewer is young and unmarried, as you were, the images can lead to unrealistic expectations regarding a healthy sexual relationship in marriage.

You say that you would like to know whether God has really forgiven you for all the times you failed. Apparently, you believe that your sin was just too bad or lengthy to be forgiven. Do you think that the sacrifice on the cross of Jesus Christ, His Son, was not enough for you?

As difficult as it is to believe, your sin is no different or worse than anyone’s sin, and Jesus’ sacrifice was more than sufficient for us all. It doesn’t matter that your sin went on for years or that it was in secret. Jesus paid the penalty for you and for me.

In the same way that your father was compassionate and helpful to you, your Heavenly Father is compassionate and kind. That is why He sent His Son to this earth. When we ask for forgiveness in Jesus’ name, and turn from our sin, our consciences can be clear because God no longer holds us responsible. Don’t let a guilt complex fool you into believing anything else.

We wish you the best,