Lust Topical Study

<p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Lust in Scripture</span></strong></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><span class="heading-sm"><strong>Examples</strong></span></span></span></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Genesis 34:1-2</a>, Shechem&rsquo;s rape of Dinah</span></span></span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Genesis 39</a>, Potiphar&rsquo;s wife with Joseph</span></li></ul><ul><li><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">2 Samuel 11:2-5</a>, David with Bathsheba</span></span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">2 Samuel 13:1-22</a>, Amnon with Tamar</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Proverbs 7</a>, the adulteress</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Romans 1:24, 26-27</a>, the profligates</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">1 Peter 4:3</a>, the pagans</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">1 John 2:16</a>, The &ldquo;worldlings</span></span></li></ul><p><span style="font-size: 16px;"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Warnings</span></strong></span></p><ul><li><span style="font-size: 16px;"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Proverbs 6:25, 27</a>, &ldquo;Do not lust in your heart after her beauty. . . . Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?&rdquo;</span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Matthew 5:28</a>, &ldquo;I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart&rdquo;</span></span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Romans 13:13</a>, &ldquo;Let us behave decently, as in the daytime . . . not in sexual immorality and debauchery&rdquo;</span></span></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy"><a href="">1 Corinthians 6:8-10</a>, if you commit lust, you will not inherit the kingdom of God</span></span></span></li></ul><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Vice lists</span></strong></span></span></p><ul><li><a href=""><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Galatians 5:19</span></span></a></li><li><a href=""><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Ephesians 5:3</span></span></a></li><li><a href=""><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Colossians 3:5</span> </span></a></li></ul><p><strong><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="heading-lg">Reflections about Lust</span></span></strong></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Disintegrating</span></strong></span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Healthy people enjoy the freedom that is born of contentment (a &ldquo;freedom from want&rdquo;) and integrate their sexual desire into a committed relationship bonded by vows and trust. But lustful people disintegrate sexual desire from whole-person love, seeking sexual pleasure just for themselves and just for its own sake. But this is dehumanizing. Human beings are much richer than their mere appetites, and relational trust, commitment, and vulnerability are some of the choicest of those riches. To burn straight and true, sexual desire needs a secure context; the fire needs a fireplace.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Addictive</span></strong></span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Like the other appetitive sins, lust easily becomes addictive, capturing whole tracts of a person&rsquo;s attention and imagination and requiring regular and fresh fixes. Avarice, gluttony, and lust exhibit a combination of exaggerated and misplaced longing. Addicted people display the addictive syndrome: a childish, self-seeking impatience with delayed gratification and a refusal to accept reasonable limits on behavior. In addition, addiction tends to split and bind the will, to work itself into a habit of the heart, and to hide itself under layers of self-deception. Finally it locks itself in by attempting to cure distress with the same behavior that caused it.</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Bondage of the Will</span></strong></span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">At the center of his <em>Confessions</em>, St. Augustine ponders the bondage of the will, &ldquo;the violence of habit by which even the unwilling mind is dragged down and held.&rdquo; Scripturally, Augustine is moving among those Pauline passages (Rom. 7:22-25, Gal. 5:17) that speak of the war between flesh and spirit&mdash;the inner war we lose whenever we will what is right but do what is wrong. Experientially, Augustine is talking about his long battle with lust. The eerie dynamic of appetitive evil, he says, is that we enslave ourselves to it. As in all tragedy, the enemy is within as well as without. We know we are doing wrong, we want not to do it, and still we do it. The reason is that at some other level of our being we do want to do it. Giving in to that want at that level leaves a bondage we both create and resent: &ldquo;I was bound not by an iron imposed by anyone else but by the iron of my own choice. . . By servitude to passion, habit is formed, and habit to which there is no resistance becomes necessity&rdquo; so that &ldquo;a harsh bondage held me under restraint&rdquo; (Augustine, Confessions 8.5.10-11).</span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy"><strong><span class="heading-sm">Antidotes</span></strong></span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;"><span class="body-copy">Seeking by spiritual means a heart that is full of satisfaction with the gifts of God, i.e., a heart that is &ldquo;rich toward God&rdquo;; following the counsel of Matthew 5:29-30 which, shorn of Middle Eastern hyperbole, means we have to do whatever is necessary, whatever it takes, to tame lust (such steps might include getting plenty of exercise, practicing sturdy mind control, and making &ldquo;a covenant with one&rsquo;s eyes,&rdquo; as in Job 31:1); defusing lust by confessing it to a confidant other than the lustee; honest, patient prayer and striving for self-control; seeking protection by using the incest taboo to deliberately view potential lustees as brothers and sisters within the family of God</span></span></p>