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7 Offensive Weapons To Defeat Lust

Chinese general and philosopher, Sun Tzu..
“Every battle is won before it is fought.” -Sun Tzu

The phrase “defense wins championships” used to be one of the most common phrases uttered in American sports parlance. An explosion in offense in the NBA and NFL in recent years has prompted people to take a more balanced view of things. Today, people seem to appreciate that “offense wins championships” just as much as defense does. If pornography is our opponent, we play defense when we resist tempting sexual urges. On defense, lust is ready to strike, and we reactively adapt ourselves to neutralize that potential. On the other hand, we play offense against pornography when we are not actively being tempted. On offense, we take steps to weaken the power that lust may have over us in the future. How we respond in the heat of the moment can make or break an outcome, but what is far more important is what we do in the days and hours leading up.

There’s a saying in English, “The best defense is a good offense.” It applies to sports, competition, warfare, and yes–sexual integrity. I don’t always quote from Wikipedia, but I like how it breaks this saying down.

Generally, the idea is that proactivity (a strong offensive action) instead of a passive attitude will preoccupy the opposition and ultimately hinder its ability to mount an opposing counterattack, leading to a strategic advantage.

Wikipedia On “The Best Offense

If we analogize sexual integrity with sports, the heat of temptation is like game day. On game day, there are things athletes can do to increase their chances of winning. They can eat a nutritious pre-game meal, down an energy drink, stretch, focus, and get fired up. However, the team that typically wins is not the team that has the best game day routine, but the team that prepares the most in advance. The times in my life when I was most defensive-minded in my battle for sexual integrity are the times I suffered the most losses. The times in my life when I was the most offensive-minded are the times I experienced the most victories.

A Word on Vision

People who labor all their lives but have no purpose to direct every thought and impulse toward are wasting their time—even when hard at work

Marcus Aurelius

In truth, anything we do to grow as people–physically, emotionally, and spiritually–is an offensive weapon against lust. In this article, I expand on five such actions with  a golden reputation that we can consistently put into practice.  

I hear guys say all the time, “Oh, I have a really hard time being consistent.” I’m like, “Bro, if that was true, you would not have an addiction. The whole premise of an addiction is consistently engaging in a behavior. You have proven that you actually can be consistent.”  

Sathiya Sam

7 Offensive Weapons To Defeat Lust

1. Fasting

In the past, I have described fasting as the “reset button for the soul” and the “atomic bomb of personal growth.” In Fasting To Break Pornography Addiction And Control Lustful Behavior (4 Powerful Benefits), I outline four mechanisms by which fasting works to achieve results: 1-) fasting is training in self-control; 2-) fasting is training in willpower; 3-) fasting is an aid to processing unresolved emotions and traumas; and 4-) fasting is a tool to build a stronger relationship with God. Fasting works, and when done right, it works quickly and efficiently. When I feel that I am in an emotional or spiritual rut, fasting is one of my first resorts. Fasting also one of my first resorts when things are going well, and I want to take my personal growth to the next level.

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?

Isaiah 58:6

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and do not give medical advice. You should consult your doctor before implementing any fasting regime or dietary changes.

2. Meditation

Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?

Lao Tzu

Meditation is self-therapy. It’s just that instead of paying a therapist to sit there and listen to you, you’re listening to yourself.

Naval Ravikant

Recovery specialist and founder of Rebuilt Re- covery, Frank Rich, described stillness as “the key to quitting porn,” a sentiment he unpacks in the following excerpt:

Coach Frank Rich at Porn Reboot Recovery
Coach Franch Rich

Quiet time and alone time is something we build into the curriculum… Stillness. And it makes sense when you think about somebody that is struggling with porn addiction. They’re overstimulated. They’re overconsuming. Their day is either social media, pornography, work, this, that–they’re always intaking, intake, input, input, consume, consume, consume.  So, in fact, if you can just learn to slow down and literally do nothing, to sit there and be present with your own thoughts… it will help you quit porn. (Frank Rich)

Coach Frank Rich (Cultural Quote #306)

Meditation has been described as “the art of doing nothing,” or “the art of masterful inactivity.” Meditation happens when we intentionally quiet our souls. It is a tool to de-stimulate. When we are overstimulated, emotions backlog and our bodies experience discomfort. This discomfort drives the impulse to escape via pornography.

The following quote from French intellectual Blaise Pascal is thought-provoking and telling. Could it also apply to a pornography habit or addiction?  

French philosopher Blaise Pascal..
Blaise Pascal

All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone

Blaise Pascal

3. Diet

The food and drink we consume, both in terms of quality and quantity, impact our health, our stress levels, our emotions, our self-esteem, and our interactions with people. The evidence for the effects of diet on various markers of human well-being is abundantly clear in the scientific literature. As for the spiritually-minded, they have every reason to apply themselves. In the Hebrew Bible, God gave the Jews a large number of dietary laws to follow partially because diet was and is an important input in human outcomes. In addition, diet is a discipline that requires self-control and moderation. How we manage it may influence our consumptive habits in other areas.

Diet and nutrition influence mood, energy, and cognition, which impact our ability to love and be loved.

Walk In Integrity (Christian Quote #90)

4. Gratitude

Thankfulness is the opposite of lust because the thankful heart has stopped prowling around for everything it doesn’t have and is overwhelmed with appreciation for all the good things it already possesses.

Heath Lambert

Pornography consumption stems from personal discontentment and self-centeredness, to which gratitude is diametrically opposed. Gratitude is soul satisfaction that boils over in the mind and demands to be expressed. The object of gratitude is always someone, or something, other than the self. Gratitude for family and friends who make life worthwhile. Gratitude for nature, education, health, security, and material objects that fulfill needs and enrich lives. And gratitude to God for love, grace, and the gift of life. The more the mind overflows with gratitude, the less it longs for the forbidden.

While no special tools are necessary to practice gratitude, a print or online journal can help foster a routine practice.

If you’re struggling with sexually compulsive behaviors or suffering with pornography addiction, chances are you’re not spending a whole lot of time in gratitude. . .

One of the fastest ways for us to rewire those neural pathways, to reset that dopamine response. . . is the practice of daily gratitude. What ends up happening when you show or express gratitude on a daily basis, that reward center, that pleasure center, that dopamine response–it fires in the same exact way as it does when you’re getting that external stimulus.

Frank Rich (Cultural Quote #339)

5. Physical Activity

The problem of people who struggle with pornography is rarely that their testosterone is too high. In fact, it’s often the opposite–they’re too stressed out. They lack healthy stimulation in their lives and find it hard to decompress. One of the fastest ways to relieve stress is via physical activity. I like to say, many times we think we need a sexual release, when, in reality, we really just need a physical or emotional one. An addict’s problem isn’t their need for stimulation, it’s how they get their fix. To its credit, physical activity promotes positive emotion and clarity of mind without a laundry list of side effects. It is also a tool to develop discipline, which is necessary to live a porn-free life.

6. Social Relationships

Addiction thrives in isolation. If you have ever struggled with pornography, you already know this to be true. When we can’t experience real connection, we often settle for cheap counterfeits. The older we get, the more discretion we have over how we spend our time, and who we spend our time with. Many of us prioritize education, work, and hobbies above relationships with people. This is a big reason why our mental health suffers despite any success we might experience in these domains. Human beings are social creatures that need to be around their own every day in order to thrive. In solitary confinement, inmates notoriously go insane. The bottom line is that when we isolate ourselves, we set ourselves up for failure in life. I’m speaking from a place of experience.

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.

Proverbs 18:1

7. Spiritual Walk

If you are a spiritual person, then this might as well be #1 on the list. In Christianity, the most important attribute of God is holiness. Holiness implies supremacy, but it also implies moral integrity. They say you become what you behold. It follows that the more we worship God, the purer our thoughts and actions will be. Robert Morris, when asked at Gateway Conference about the secret to a pure heart, had this to say:

It’s hard to have an impure thought when you are in the presence of the pure one [God]. . . For me, keeping me pure is meeting with the pure one every day.

Robert Morris

When you are in the presence of God, it is easier to do right than to do wrong

Steve Gallagher

For more, see 7 Powerful Benefits Of Quitting Pornography | 7 Toxic Beliefs That Keep People From Quitting Pornography.

An intellectually curious millennial passionate about seeing people make healthy, informed choices about the moral direction of their lives. When I’m not reading or writing, I enjoy hiking, web-making, learning foreign languages, and watching live sports. Alumnus of Georgetown University (B.S.) and The Ohio State University (M.A.).

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