A question I hear often from Christian men is: “Is lust really wrong? After all, I’m not hurting anyone.” Let me address the first part of this question.
Think back to the scene in the Garden of Eden. The serpent asked Eve, “What did God say?” He questioned God’s word and has used that tactic successfully since the first sin.
Let’s set the record straight before we go any further. The 10th commandment is really clear: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Ex. 20:17, NLT). Proverbs also has something to say about lust: “Don’t lustfully fantasize on her beauty, nor be taken in by her bedroom eyes” (Prov. 6:25, MSG).
God did say not to lust. He didn’t break it down for you to give you permission to lust after certain things. He was clear. You and I are not to lust—period.
I want to address those of you reading this article who take a literal approach to the Scriptures above. You may believe God means you aren’t to lust after your neighbors in your block. I want to remind you that Jesus cleared up who our neighbor is in the story of the Good Samaritan. Every woman is or will be your neighbor’s wife. From a biblical perspective, you have absolutely no room to lust. Any permission to lust is self-granted, self-destructive and self-defeating.
Just as Scripture has proven that lust is a sin, it is also a key tool to help you overcome lust. Memorizing and reading Scriptures daily is vital in fighting the battle of lust. When you believe a Scripture, lust has no strength against it. Scripture does what kryptonite does to Superman. It weakens the grip of lust on your mind and can make it quickly flee from your heart. Remember, lust is your flesh. The Word of God can kill your flesh and heal you at the same time—like nothing else on this planet!
For Scripture to achieve its designed purpose, you must believe. Use a concordance to find and study Bible verses with these words: “lust,” “covetousness,” “adultery” and “flesh.” Stockpile Scriptures containing those words in your arsenal. You might also find it helpful to add to your arsenal Scriptures on love, holiness, sanctification or other positive words to give you a boost in fighting this war.
Once you find a Scripture that works for you, there are several principles you can use to apply it to your life. First, read it daily. Second, put it in your phone or use it as a screensaver. Third, memorize it. Finally, pray it to God.
Whatever principle you choose to use with the Scripture, be consistent. Let its truth become true to your heart. When you and Scripture believe the same way, you begin to manifest the mind of Christ. Scripture can be a very powerful and ever-expanding tool to help you remain in your lifestyle of remaining lust-free.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books, including Lust Free Living. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.