Tuesday, May 27, 2008

L u s t and Desire, A Continuum

You asked about how 'desire' and 'lust' relate in last week's letter. You took Greek, I remember, I was there. 'lust' in the Bible is 'desire.' So the command is if you look on a woman to desire her for yourself or your pleasure or for your titillation, you commit a d u l t ery with her in your heart (Matt. 5:28). Desire turns to l u s t whenever it changes from a godly desire to an ungodly desire. The godly desire is to enjoy beauty, but it slides into l u s t when it changes to desire to change the created purpose of beauty into one that feeds your own selfish and idolatrous heart.

Here's a very obvious example (I hope). When I was in the Navy I knew some guys who were turned on by the idea of women having relations with horses and other large animals. They were also turned on by the idea of having these same relations with sheep and other barnyard animals. These are perverse ways to think about God's creation. These men took the good desires God gave men to have with their wives and twisted them into desires for animals. My theory is that they misunderstood that is about love and thought it was about the thrill of the chase, the thrill of the feeling, the thrill of doing what they knew they ought not to be doing, etc. The law of diminishing returns had gotten a hold of them and they went from the right way of thinking about the desire for (if they ever knew it) and when that thrill became ordinary they looked for something other than what God provided. Consequently, they went from soft p o r n, to hard p o r n, to perverse p o r n. They also made this same trek in their lives with real women and animals (I don't think they did anything h o m o u a l, but I believe this is how many "liberated" men get into h o m o u a l i t y). They went from admiring their wives to admiring any woman, to admiring, hard women, to thinking that with an animal was a good idea (I have no idea how this jump was made). But once desires get twisted, with no restraints, there is no end to the gross perversity a mind will go. The men could no longer look at anything and not turn it into something grotesque and bawdy.

This kind of thing goes from this very perverse kind of thinking down to what you do when you look at some else's daughter, or mother, or sister, or wife. You both think you can own them for your own enjoyment; if only in your own mind, and for a short period of time. But when you think about it it is perverse in the same way as my Navy buddies, it just hasn't moved down the perverse continuum quite as far. What has happened in both cases is that you guys have put yourself into the center of life and have decided that you get to pick and choose, dictating what the real purpose of the things God has created and put in front of you are. He has put them there to be enjoyed in a particular way and you have twisted that way to make yourself feel good, or to make yourself feel like you are in charge of your lives. Like Eve in the garden you see the fruit and think it will make you feel better than God's plan for you.

Here's another way to think about desires and how twisted they have become. When you look at a beautiful flower does the urge to have with it overcome you? If the flower were to come to you in the night and say, "have your way with me big boy," would you immediately think of ? Do you see a flower in the daytime and then later dream about touching and fondling it? I hope you are saying "no, that's silly." But why not? Why is it silly?

It is silly because flowers are not made to have with. There is nothing about a flower, or a mountain, or a sunset, that should make you want to grope them. But this is because you are still thinking about them in the right way. They were created to enjoy in a particular way and not in other ways. I know people who think about when they see certain kinds of flowers, but this just illustrates the perversity. The right way to think about the beauty of flowers is to see them for what they are and glorify God for his beautiful creation. Anything ual and personal is simply evil.

In the same way, other people's daughters and wives were not made for you to think about any differently than those flowers. You don't think about flowers with an eye to have with them, don't think about other women in that way either. They weren't made for you. They were made for you to enjoy, but not in that way. Desire them in the way that God has created them. Rejoice with God at their beauty, but don't desire to have them yourself. They don't belong to you. You can't have them, even for a few minutes when you are alone.

Do a bible study on self control and thought control. See what God has to say about how we are to think and what we are to think in different situations.

Again, I've been tough and straight up with you. I know it is hard to take. I'm praying that you run to God and with a mind to serve him more faithfully. He is what is all about, not me, not you.

Blessings brother. I'm ultimately on your side. I only want your best for God's glory.


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