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As we continue on our Advent journey, the majority of us have probably already started our Christmas shopping or at least have a good idea of what to buy for all the special people in our lives.

While we stress over which scarf to get our mother (what color coat does she wear again?) or the right tool kit for our father (does he already own this one?!) it can be easy to forget the most important name on our Christmas list...Jesus Christ! 

If you’re guilty of this, don’t worry, because you’re not alone. It is all too easy to forget the reason for the season (I know, that’s cliche, but, hey, it’s true)! Now, if you’re reading this and are super confused about what sort of Christmas gift the Creator of the Universe could possibly want, don’t panic!

His Christmas list is actually really short and it doesn’t involve a trip to the mall or a night of scrolling through Amazon. It involves you simply being willing to say the word “yes”. 

Sounds too good to be true? Maybe. But, maybe not. After all, saying “yes” to God sounds super simple, but the cliche saying “it’s easier said than done” comes to mind here.

While what God wants from us sounds really simple, even easier than shopping for your best friend, it’s really not as easy as you might think. Saying “yes” to God over and over again in every aspect of our lives will be a daunting task. But, after all, that’s what makes your “yes” such a meaningful present! 

So, what does saying “yes” to God look like? Chances are He’s not going to appear to you when your alarm goes off tomorrow morning and say “Hey, today, can you give me a ride downtown?” But, what might happen is, He may be calling you to drive yourself downtown to volunteer at the homeless shelter and bring His love to those who are there. 

He probably won’t call your cellphone and invite you to grab coffee with Him at Starbucks, but He may ask you to commit to a weekly Holy Hour.

He most likely won’t Facetime you and ask to hang out next Sunday, but He wants you to attend Mass each weekend.

And, he probably won’t text you and remind you to avoid pornography and other sins of impurity, but He is definitely calling you to embrace a life of purity and remove yourself from near occasions of sin whenever they crop up in your life. This means saying “yes” to the steps below that will help you remove pornography from your life altogether. 

6 Ways to Cut Out Pornography

1. Go to Confession.

This is an important first step. Bring all your sins to Christ in Confessional to have them wiped away for good. Embrace God’s mercy and forgiveness through this sacrament! You will feel so much better afterward. If you’re unsure how to make a good confession (especially if you struggle with pornography), here’s some guidance.

2.  Rejecting your past sins.

You already know pornography is wrong, but do you ever take the time to reject it? It’s important that you commit yourself to the rejection of pornography and all the sins related to it. This will help you in your resolve to avoid it.

3. Resolving firmly to do better in the future.

Part of a good confession is resolving not to sin again. Hold yourself accountable to take the steps you need (see below) to ensure that you won’t commit these sins again. 

4. Forgiving yourself.

Once you’ve sought God’s forgiveness, don’t forget to seek forgiveness from yourself, too. We are all human and we all make mistakes. Once you’ve resolved to reject these sins for good, be sure to take the time you need to heal from them.  

5. Finding a trusted person.

You’re not in this battle alone. Find someone who can support you on your journey to freedom from pornography and also hold you accountable. This can be a good friend, family member, or even spiritual director. 

6. Reject triggers and temptations.

Don’t give in to the temptation to participate in things that you know will encourage you to view pornography. Whether that’s avoiding certain people, types of music, or movies...make the choice to avoid them. It’s not worth the risk! 

Saying “yes” to Him shouldn’t be so hard. We all say “yes” to so many things every day. We say it to our friends, our boss, the waitress at the restaurant, the stranger in line at the store, and to ourselves (probably more than we should). 

This Advent season, start training your ear to God’s voice and listen to what He wants you to start saying “yes” to. And, this goes without saying, but sometimes saying “yes” to God will involve saying “no” to our own selfish desires. (That’s kind of the whole point!)

There is no doubt there will be times that is going to be very, very difficult to say “yes” to God. There will be times that you would rather say “yes” to anyone other than Him. After all, He rarely calls us to do the easy thing but instead the hard things that will require sacrifice, self-control, and hard work. But, as yet another cliche saying goes: nothing good comes easy! And, it’s very true. 

If saying “yes” to God sounds too intimidating, let me share an inspiring story with you about the good that can come from saying “yes” even when it’s hard.

The Ultimate Example of "Yes"

Thousands of years ago, a very young woman who was engaged to her future husband and had her whole life planned perfectly said “yes” to a seemingly crazy ask by God. God asked her if she would bear His son, and without hesitation, she said “yes!” even though she knew becoming pregnant would forever change her relationship with her betrothed, her parents, and everyone in her life. She knew that being a virgin mother would be difficult. She knew that raising the Son of God would be a daunting task. She knew people that would ridicule her and refuse to believe her story. But, she also knew that God wanted her to do this, so she said “yes” and the world was forever changed. 

It was forever changed because a seemingly ordinary person got up one morning and made the choice to do whatever God asked of her that day. 

Chances are you probably already have a very good idea of what God is asking you to do.

And, you might be too afraid to do it. 

“What will my friends think?”

“What if I fail?”

“What if my life changes in a way I won’t like?”

“What if it’s just too hard?”

Whatever your fears are, stop buying into them. Whatever they are, God is bigger and stronger than them. He already knows them, and He wants to set you free. He knows your deepest darkest struggles and wants to help you overcome them. He also knows your dreams, even the ones you haven’t dreamed of yet, and He wants to help you reach them and make them a reality. 

So, make this the year you start saying “yes” to God over and over again.

Equip Yourself to Say "Yes"

If your “yes” means to turn away from pornography, it’s time to get the tools you need to quit it once for all. That means going to Confession, rejecting your past sins, and resolving firmly to do better in the future. It also means finding a trusted person who can hold you accountable and give you the support you need to remain firm in your decision. Rejecting pornography and other sins of impurity means also rejecting near occasions of sin such as certain people, places, or content that can you draw you into sin.

Lastly, choosing to give up pornography for good means finding a reliable accountability software, such as Covenant Eyes.

By making these choices and getting these things in place, you can start saying “yes” to God right now. 

God doesn’t promise us that when we say “yes” everything will be easy, but He does promise to be with us every step of the way. 

This Advent, give yourself to God as a gift and tell Him to lead you where He wishes! And, let the fruitfulness of Advent move into Christmas, your New Year, and well beyond.

Resource
Ally Covenant Eyes

Covenant Eyes: Screen Accountability™

Description

Be the best version of you.

Covenant Eyes Screen Accountability is designed to help you live with integrity on your devices by sharing your activity with a trusted friend.

Audience: Adults and supervised minors 
Language: English
Resource Type: Software 
Cost: $16.99 / month.  

Kateri Bean is a cradle Catholic living in New Hampshire with her husband. She is passionate about sharing the Catholic faith, especially through writing and social media. She’s worked with a variety of organizations to grow their social media following and create engaging content. When she isn’t working, she can usually be found exploring the Granite state with her dog, enjoying an iced coffee, or working on plans for the house she and her husband are building.