If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am a child of the 80s. And like most boys from that decade, I grew up with a passion for G.I. Joes, Transformers, Legos, and Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books. But if there was one thing that I’m willing to bet every boy from my generation was into, it would have to have been the movie Karate Kid.
One could argue that no movie inspired the boys from my generation more than Karate Kid. The story of an underdog maturing into a mighty warrior awakened something in our young male hearts. My friends and I would tie bandanas around our foreheads and wrap belts around our waists, pretending to be Karate warriors. We would spend hours practicing crane kicks on the playground, imagining we were fighting the evil Cobra-Kai. What it really all came down to, is every one of us boys wanted to learn how to fight just like Daniel-San.
In the movie, Daniel-San approaches an elderly man from Okinawa named Mr. Miyagi, and asks him to teach him Karate. Mr. Miyagi agrees to train him as long as he does whatever is asked of him without question. Daniel-San agrees, but quickly starts to regret that decision. Instead of being taught how to fight, his time with Mr. Miyagi is spent painting fences, waxing cars, and sanding floors. Daniel-San begins to feel as if Mr. Miyagi is only using him for free labor.
In a moment of frustration, Daniel-San asks Mr. Miyagi why he isn’t teaching him Karate like he promised. Mr. Miyagi responds by telling Daniel-San to show him “wax-the-car.” As Daniel-San performs the same hand motion he has done hundreds of times while waxing the car, Mr. Miyagi throws a punch at him. Instinctively, Daniel-San uses that same hand motion to effectively block the incoming attack. In that moment, Daniel-San realizes that these seemingly unrelated chores he had been doing were actually teaching him how to fight on an instinctive level. Even though Daniel-San didn’t realize it at the time, Mr. Miyagi had been teaching him Karate all along.
In the same way, the truths in this book may appear to be unrelated to your struggle with pornography addiction. Concepts such as understanding who you are in Christ or how God loves you unconditionally will sometimes appear to be no more helpful than learning how to wax a car, tempting you to give up out of frustration. But let me encourage you to keep trusting these truths of Scripture. Trust that Jesus, much like Mr. Miyagi, knows what tactics you need to learn to be prepared for this fight better than you do.
Remember, this battle we fight is real. You really do have an adversary. But instead of scissor-kicks and dragon-punches, his favorite way to attack you is with lies. And the only way to defend against these lies isn’t with power, it’s with truth:
- When he tells you that your addiction defines you, you block his punch by trusting who God says you are.
- When he points out that you are the only one dealing with pornography on this level, you dodge his accusation by honestly sharing your struggles with other trusted brothers.
- When he tries to drop-kick shame directly into your soul, it will glance off without a scratch if you are trusting God’s unconditional love and acceptance of you.
- When he tries to convince you to accept an invitation back into his dojo through bitterness, you deny him because you trust that your Sensei is taking care of you.
- When he tells you that your mistakes have made you ineligible for the tournament, you take your spot in the ring proudly, trusting that Jesus believes you are ready because He is the One who signed you up.
If you want to be prepared for this fight, you must paint the fence and wax the car daily. And by that I mean practicing the art of trusting these Biblical truths. The more you practice trusting them, the more they become your automatic response to temptation. Your battles will no longer require you to fight in your own power because your trust in Jesus has already set you free.
That, my friend, is the true and lasting freedom that Christ promises you.
This has been an excerpt from my book, 10 Lies Men Believe about Porn, available now wherever books are sold.