DEAR REV. GRAHAM: People think I'm a good person, but secretly I have a constant battle with pornography. Every time I turn on my computer, I automatically go to websites that I know are wrong, but I can't help it. I feel so ashamed. How can I conquer this? Or is it hopeless? —D.H.
Dear D.H.: No, it isn't hopeless — but it may require drastic action on your part, because something like this easily becomes an addiction that's very difficult to break.
The first step is to realize just how harmful this is to you. Pornography is like a toxic poison to your mind and heart, for it not only fills you with guilt and shame, but it also cuts you off from God and from those who love you. It also corrupts your attitude toward one of God's greatest gifts to us — the gift of marriage and family. The Bible tells us to "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust (and) evil desires" (Colossians 3:5).
Then I urge you to give your life — body, mind and soul — to Jesus Christ. By faith ask Him to come into your life and cleanse you of all your sins, and then ask Him to fill your mind with good instead of evil. In addition, let God's Word, the Bible, become your daily companion. The Bible says, "How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word" (Psalm 119:9).
Finally, take action to get control of your computer. Install filters that will keep out pornographic Web sites, and move it to a room where others can see what you're viewing.
In addition, seek the help of a trusted Christian friend or counselor who will hold you accountable for your actions.