Pride Goes Before Porn

Pride Goes Before Porn by Benjamin Vrbicek  for The Gospel Coalition

A decade ago I worked at a church as a summer intern, and one Sunday night I was all set to lead youth group. After eating some obligatory pizza, I made my way to the restroom to wash my greasy hands. But as soon as I entered the church bathroom I noticed a problem: toilet water covered the floor.

I thought, Hmm . . . I wonder whose job it is to clean that? I had the idea to put a sign on the door that said, “Do not use. Out of order.” Pleased with my solution, I posted the sign and left.

As the night continued, I started thinking that perhaps I should make it my job to clean the mess; after all, I was the intern. So when the kids left, I found the mop and started to clean. I noticed my reflection in the mirror wringing out the mop. That’s when a sinful thought popped into my head: Is this what I went to graduate school for—cleaning bathrooms?

A toilet had overflowed, but so had my prideful heart.

Porn Pampers Your Pride

Before that moment of (literal) self-reflection, I had no idea how much pride sloshed around in my heart. I was above certain jobs—so I thought.

This is often the case, isn’t it? We don’t see the connection between our pride and our actions . . . until the ugliness spills out. This is true of sexual sin, particularly pornography.

Whether you’ve thought about it this way or not, porn often medicates insecurities—just touch the right buttons on your phone, and you have an IV drip straight to your ego. No courtship, no competition, no rejection. Even when Sports Illustrated runs their famous swimsuit issue, the cover whispers to your pride. You’re powerful, and she’s ready for you to come get her.

The wise father in Proverbs describes a man led to the slaughter by sexual temptation. Note the words the wayward woman speaks: “So now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you” (Prov. 7:15). It’s nice to be wanted and appreciated, to be noticed and needed. It soothes our pride like warm honey gliding down a sore throat (cf. Prov. 5:3).

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