In C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce, the narrator witnesses one of the bright spirits interacting with a ghost with a red lizard on his shoulder. The lizard is whispering in the ghost’s ear. After yelling at it to be quiet, the ghost turns away from the mountain to which he is journeying, back towards the bus to hell. The lizard represents everything that keeps us from God. The spirit the ghost is speaking to has burning hands outstretched, ready to kill the lizard as soon as he verbally permits him to do so. The ghost states why the spirit shouldn’t kill the lizard. The reasons sound like arguments some people give for not stopping pornography:
1. He doesn’t want to bother the spirit with killing it
2. It isn’t presently bothering him because it went to sleep
3. He’ll be able to get it under control himself through gradual process
4. He doesn’t feel well enough to go through with “the operation”
5. He thinks killing the lizard would kill him
6. He’ll go and get his doctor’s opinion (back in hell), and come back later
The lizard then whispers into his ear that the spirit can indeed kill him, but it would kill the ghost as well. The lizard tells him that it is only natural to have him on his shoulder, and it is not natural to be without. He promises to be good, although he has not been so in the past. The ghost almost believes the lizard, but then finally relents and begs the spirit to kill the lizard. In one swift moment the flaming hands of the spirit kill the lizard and throw it to the ground. After this, something wonderful happens. The ghost is remade into a solid spirit. What used to be the lizard becomes a great horse, which the new spirit rides away on.
This illustration is worth noting. Men and boys, do not try to placate lust. Do not reason your way out of sin with “I'll do better next time.” Clearly, there are serious long-term consequences when we give in to lustful thoughts, when we look at women to lust after them in our hearts, when we allow pornographic images to enter our minds and hearts through our eyes, when we act upon sexually immoral desires. Give God complete ownership. Ask Him to give you the grace to cut the sin of lust off at the root. This is not for surface bandaids. We're talking an Ephesians 5:3 heart operation: “Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.” Dear Father, help us to be pure men and women, loving You and loving each other!