Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace by Heath Lambert
Just a little glance never hurt or so many men say after they view pornography online for the first time. Yet, like the Lays chip commercial says, ‘Betcha can’t eat just one,’ pornography has an alluring grip on the time, hearts, and lives of so many men, including those in our churches. Heath Lambert’s new book, Finallly Free, is a no nonsense grace centered book that aims at helping men find freedom from pornography. Even more than that, “This book is about something much better than pornography. This book is about the amazing power of Jesus Christ to free you from pornography” (12). Heath has a strong desire to bring the transforming grace of the gospel to bear on all the unraveling effects of pornography’s path. Rather than go into unnecessary detail, Heath strikes at the way this sin gets ahold of men, the way forward to freedom, and the continuing way of living for God in the midst of temptations.
Heath opens up the book in the first chapter with a look at forgiving and transforming grace. God’s forgiving grace is that absolutely forgives our sins, all of them, including pornography (20). This forgiving grace came at the cost of the death of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Secondly, God’s transforming grace is “God’s powerful grace also gives us strength to live in new ways” (21). Men often strive after forgiveness time and time again after looking at pornography. The next step is to live by faith in God’s transforming grace, and as Heath later indicates, this step involves a community of believers walking with you, study of the Scriptures and a repentant mindset. These two kinds of grace find their head in repentance. Repentance comes through confessing your sin, affirming God’s forgiveness of your sin, and requesting the grace of Jesus to change (23-27). Mentally beating yourself up leads to a self-centered condemnation that produces no real change in the heart, but looking to the one who gives you the power to change is lasting. Heath focuses beautifully on a grace by writing, “The logic of despair is broken by the miracle of grace” (27).
Heath’s chapter on Using Accountability to Fight Pornography is wise both in its teaching and wisdom. Heath points out that effective accountability doesn’t start after one has looked at pornography but in the middle of the process. Heath writes, “You will not experience dramatic change in your struggle as long as you use accountability to describe your sins instead of declaring your need for help in the midst of temptation” (49). Calling as soon as you are tempted to look at pornography is the way forward with accountability. Having a mature believer to help in the accountability process is also wise because it gives the group someone who has had victory in sexual purity and knows the hard road forward. Heath also points out that having spiritual leaders or someone in authority in the accountability process. A pastor or elder has the wisdom to speak authoritatively on behalf of the church and also knows how to point people to healing through Christ. Lastly, it is unnecessary to point out explicit details in your accountability group because this can be an opportunity to bring more temptation to others in the group. Describing scenes is unhelpful but letting your accountability partner know how you access material is wise (52-53). Lastly, true accountability only works as long as there is true accountability happening rather than just checking in each week about your failures. This kind of accountability is long term and takes rather seriously the goal of finding freedom from pornography.
The rest of the book is filled with chapters on using humility, gratitude, your spouse and radical measures to fight pornography. Heath leads his leaders about the way to confess your sin to your spouse and seek reconciliation. Lastly, Heath gives his readers the true hope which can deliver them from pornography, namely Jesus Christ. With grace, honesty and truth, Heath gets at the heart of pornography and points people in the right direction.
I cannot recommend this book enough. Pornography is one of the most powerful sins that men and women are attracted to in our culture. Yet, destruction, death, and broken relationships are the result of engaging in pornography. We need a good word to stem the tide of pornography and Heath provides a grace-centered book here.
Thanks to Zondervan and Cross Focused Reviews for the free copy in exchange for review.