1 One who isolates himself pursues selfish desires; he rebels against all sound wisdom.
Biblical community protects us from our self.
From my own past struggle and from my experience with helping others, this verse paints a picture of addiction. Specifically, let’s talk about pornography.
The pornography industry makes more money than NBC, ABC, CBS, the NBA, the NFL, and the MLB combined. Men and women are tempted. Almost all men and many women are struggling, have struggled, or dabbled in it. There are three reasons: Affordability, Accessibility, and Anonymity.
Jeffry Santanover (Psychologist, Psychoanalyst, and Fellow in Psychology at Yale) made this statement before congress: “With the advent of computers the delivery system for this addictive stimulus has become nearly resistance-free. It is as though we have devised a form of heroin 100 times more powerful than before, usable in the privacy of one’s own home and injected directly to the brain through the eyes. It’s now available in unlimited supply via a self-replicating distribution network, glorified as art and protected (as speech).”
Isolation breeds selfishness. And, engaging in pornography is downright selfish. It is the pursuit of fleeting, bodily pleasures with little regard for and at the expense of others. When a person engages in pornography, he/she becomes the center of their own universe. This person obsesses about his wants and how he’s feeling at the moment. All of this self-obsession causes ego build up & a critical, judgmental heart.
The deepest battle we’ll ever fight will be the battle of self-obsession verses God obsession. Pornography makes an individual self-obsessed. And the result looks like Proverbs 18:1.
Aside from God renewing & rewiring our minds (Romans 12:2) and trusting the grace of Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), getting free from addiction involves creating a protection plan (Psalm 119:9). There are least two ways biblical community protects us from our self:
We is stronger than Me. We need to bring sin to the light. Accountability, confession, and prayer together brings healing. (James 5:16)
Connect instead of Click. We need community. We need to spend time with others…relationships over screens. Getting free from addiction and habitual sin requires sound wisdom and love from others in a trusted community.
If you’re not a part of biblical community, I’d love to help you find one.A good starting point is www.tbclife.net/groups
Questions To Ponder
What kind of person is described in this verse?
When have you thought, “It would be easier alone?”
What other passages in scripture lift up the value of being in community rather than running from it?
Where are you involved in Christian community?
Scripture Memory | January | Proverbs 17:9
“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense,
but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”