Overcoming Sexual Addiction

Ed Young

Picture in your mind, if you would, your college dormitory room.  Can you see it?  Now just imagine, if you would, that it has been four months since you've done anything to clean up your room.  That's probably the average cleaning cycle for most college rooms...and to say it would be a mess is an understatement!

In 2 Timothy 2:20-22 the Apostle Paul tells us there are two kinds of vessels.  There is a vessel that is pure, and there is a vessel that is impure.  There are two kinds of lives: a life that is pure, and a life that is impure. 

Here is my question to you today: What kind of life do you have?  Is your life full of the debris, garbage, and stench of impurity...of sexual addiction?  Or is it sexually pure?

Now the latest polls show that over 25 percent of Americans have some kind of sexual addiction.  And that includes those who profess to be Christians.  What I am talking about is something that has grown to epidemic proportions in our sex saturated culture. 

What is an addiction? I agree with one definition that an addiction is an illicit appetite that demands to be satisfied...but once it is satisfied it doesn't rest.

Addictions often start innocently.  First, there's just a thought, and then there's the act, then there's the habit, then there's lifestyle, and then there is the addiction. And before you know it, especially and particularly in the sexual area, something will get its hook in you, and take you further than you ever dreamed you would go.

Sexual addiction includes things like homosexuality, incest, voyeurism, sex with prostitutes, viewing pornography (which is rampant now through the internet), cyber-sex (which is an on-line sexual act simulated now through computers), telephone sex (which today is a 100 billion dollar business), pedophilia...and the list just seems to go on and on.

As I travel the country, it is clear that an incredible number of people are living lives of sexual addiction - and they are paying such a high price.

Perhaps such an addiction has a hold on your life...or someone you know.  If so, let me show you how you can get out of that trap.

The secret is found in 2 Timothy 2:22: 

Therefore, if a man cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

The first step is to make a decision to change.  Notice that Paul says, "IF."  The Holy Spirit can convict, but He can't do what only you can do, and that's to decide to change.  It is a personal decision.

If you decide to repent and turn from sin, then God will bless you and your decision.  And you will be able to move forward in the next three steps which are so critical.

1. Flee youthful lusts.  What is Paul saying?  Choose the right track.  Youthful lusts are the wrong track and will only lead you to a destructive lifestyle.

2. Pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace.  Not only do you need to get on the right track by fleeing youthful lusts, you need to choose the right target, which is Jesus Christ!  He supernaturally...and He alone...can change you and change your appetite and change the cycle that has led you into this captive lifestyle.

3. With those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. You have to choose the right team and leave behind those who would tempt you to go back to your old lifestyle. You need to surround yourself with godly, sanctified people who can help you stay the course.

My prayer for you is to break free from any sexual addiction which might have you in its grip today. And to know God's design for sex within the context of marriage...and to experience this most wonderful creation of God as He has intended.

To help you in this pursuit or just to better understand God's design for sex, get a copy of Ed Young's booklet, Sex by Design

Additional Resources:

Pure Life Ministries
Exodus International (for those struggling with homosexuality)

Ed Young is the pastor of Second Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. He was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention in June of 1992 and again in June, 1993. Young is author of many books including Against all Odds, Romancing the Home, Pure Sex and Everywhere I Go. His broadcast ministry, The Winning Walk, began in June of 1989. This ministry is seen and heard across North America and on