Lust Begins with Our Thoughts
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
God has given us the beautiful gift of sexual desire with the intention of us sharing it with only one person in life – our spouse. The world, the evil one, has counterfeited that gift and lied to us. He has told us that we can use God’s gift, a good thing, in a bad, ungodly way. This insidious lie, which began long ago, continues to affect people in today’s world. Almost everywhere we turn, the temptations of lust are visible and tantalizing.
How can we avoid the harmful effects of lust? How can we keep from falling victim to the evil one’s lies? The simple answer to this is to follow God’s way. In marriage, we are told to remain faithful to our spouse. This does not only mean to remain physically faithful, but also faithful in our minds. Jesus told us that when we commit adultery in our minds, we have already committed it.
Lust begins with our thoughts. For men, that tempting thought begins with visual stimulation. For women, that thought begins with an emotional connection. What we need to do, when we feel temptation begin, is to press the “pause” button. The thought that we have as a result of a temptation is not a sin. What we do with that thought can result in sin. When we take that tempting thought and store it in our minds to bring up later, we are sinning against God in a real and harmful way.
Before you allow a tempting thought to warp its way into a harmful action, take a step back. Recognize the lie of lust before it causes you to stumble. This week, when you feel the pull of temptation, take it to God and allow him to work in your life in a positive and meaningful way. Before that temptation leads to harmful feelings and actions, press the “pause” button, give that thought or feeling to God and allow him to replace it with things that are true, noble, right, pure, and lovely.