It is a little odd that I am even bothering to write this article. After all, lust is only something that one in every thousand Christian man struggles with. Only those who are unholy and unloving, only those who do not care about God struggle with lust. No true Christian would have this struggle. So why write about it? Because that is a lie. That is a lie that you tell yourself. Lust is something that just about every single Christian man struggles with. Imagine the person who you would be most embarassed in front of, if they discovered your problem. They probably struggle with lust in some form too. So how do we deal with it? How can Christians deal with lust?
Firstly, I need to emphasize again that this is something that pretty much every man struggles with in every capacity. It does not mean that you are not a real Christian. In fact, the very fact that you struggle with it could be proof that you are a true Christian. Somebody who was not a true Christian just would not care. They would go on doing whatever they wanted to do, and would not care one way or the other. But you care. You struggle with it. It is not by the power of the flesh that you saw this sin. It is because you are a child of God and therefore you hate the sin in your life.
The guilt that you feel is the discipline of the Father. Have you read, “It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.” (Hebrews 12:7-8). But this is something that we need to overcome for the sake of our love for God and love for men. How can we do that? How can Christians deal with lust?
1 – Know your identity in Christ. Who are you to God and who are you to the world? Who are you expected to be? God did not create you so that you could commit adultery every hour of every day. If a man gave you a hammer, would you turn around and use it to bludgeon his dog? Similarly, God poured his riches upon us by giving us sex within the context of a loving relationship, and we turn around and we use it to bring pleasure to ourselves to harm to God’s children. As Christians, we need to transcend that. As children of God, we need to let our light shine so that the world may see our discipline, love, and glorify God because of it (Matthew 5:16).
2 – Draw lines for yourself. If you were building a fence to prevent somebody from falling down a dangerous hill, where would you build the fence? Would it be on incline? Right at the border of the incline? Ten feet away? Fifty feet away? Build your fence fifty feet away. The moment you step over that fifty feet barrier, you know that you are in dangerous and can step back before you go too far. If you have to, avoid talking to the wrong person at all. Avoid looking at pictures that might tempt you. You know your habits better than I do. Build your fence fifty feet away.
3 – Stop lying to yourself. When we enter into a conversation with somebody, we tend to lie to ourselves. We have secret motivations that even we do not admit to ourselves. If you are talking with a girl that you usually flirt with or the conversation will lead in that direction, stop lying to yourself. Stop lying about your motivations. You know why you are talking to them. Stop lying to yourself about it. Be honest with yourself. When you confront the fact that you are only talking to them for lustful reasons, then you will not be able to justify beginning a conversation.
4 – Share with others. What an intimidating prospect! Share your deepest secret with others? Share the most embarassing struggle that you could ever have with others? Let me tell you something. Everybody else is thinking the very same thing. They cannot share with anybody because nobody else has this problem. It is just them. Everybody else is holy and righteous, and then there is them. If you reveal yourself, you will be a blessing to them, because they will have somebody to whom they can relate, and you will help yourself, because you will have fellowship with a brother or sister in Christ and encourage each other. You will be able to be accountable to each other.
5 – Know your strength. Probably the main complaint is that you feel as though you just cannot overcome this. But let me tell you something. You can. Let me put it this way. Suppose a group of ten children were staying in your home, and they were with every second of every day. Would you watch pornography? Would you flirt? Or would you abstain for the sake of the children? I suggest to you that you would abstain. You would find the strength within you and abstain. Why are you willing to find the strength for children but not for God? How much more strength will God give you?
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