Saturday, May 20, 2017

Defining Lust

It's something people struggle with because the heart wants to make an exception, but Jesus raised the bar from "what are you doing?" to "what are your heart motives?" in Matthew 5. It's my hope this helps convict and purify those who are being saved.

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. James 4:17

"What is lust?"
Well, theoretically, it comes down to "desiring someone sexually." The question of course, is, what does THAT entail? Is it visualizing them naked or in a sex act? Is it in not doing that, but getting turned on when you look at them? Is it in imagining them in a relationship with you, ultimately leading to marriage, no matter how unsexual the fantasy might be in your mind at that moment? Is it solely limited to masturbating with the thought of them in your mind? Is it so broad that it encompasses even simply wanting to be with them in a relationship though you are not?
I tend toward thinking, if you gotta ask, God is probably stricter about it than He is lenient. It's a purity issue. You can look at it from a 'fruit' perspective, as well -- does dwelling on someone in your mind all the time result in good things for you, or does it distract you from academic pursuits and lead to emotional havoc? If the product of thinking about someone in a certain way does so, then that could mean that what you were doing was not good--and if not sinful, at least not beneficial.
The simple definition of lust I've arrived at is: any thought, concentration on a visual or auditory stimulus, or physical action that is intended to provide sexual gratification and enjoyment outside of the appropriate context between a married person and their spouse.

That covers pornography, romance novels, aggressive hugging, staring, daydreaming, tv commercials, and of course romantic pursuits where the amount of contact outpaces the level of commitment, not to mention the 'standard' notions of sexual impropriety such as fornication et al. Nothing is excluded, and nothing that would be appropriate is broad-brushed into this definition.

Verses referenced: 
Matthew 5:27-28 -- 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Matthew 7:18 -- A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.
1 Corinthians 6:12 -- All things are lawful for me, but not everything is beneficial. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by any thing.


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