Lusting and Pornography

JESUS SPEAKING

             “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’  But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  If your right eye causes you to sin pluck it out and cast it from you, for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish than for your whole body to be cast in to hell” (Mathew 5: 27-30)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                In the Old Testament God told the Israelites that they weren’t to commit adultery.  The focus was on the outward action.  But Jesus does something unheard of; with the authority of God he adds to what was commanded by God in the Old Testament.  Jesus makes the motivation in the heart equal to the action itself.  A person no longer needed to murder his neighbor physically; instead, a strong hatred for another person was the same as murder in the eyes of God.  A person no longer needed to sleep with his neighbor’s wife; a man needed only to look at his neighbor’s wife strongly with a deep desire for her sexually, and God counted that desire to be the same as the physical act of sex.  So what is the heart?  The heart is a place deep down inside of every human being that motivates them; a place that is secret; a place where a person hides their fears, worries, and intentions, but not from God.  God wanted originally to dwell within the hearts of his people.  Instead, they built a temple, and asked him to dwell there.  He wanted their hearts, but they only wanted to give him their actions.  Jesus again redirects everything back to the heart.  He identifies the eyes as a tool that can be used to lust, and tells them to pluck out their eyes if they are causing a person to sin.  He draws a parallel between the eternal and the temporal.  Those things which last forever are far more important than any pleasures a person may indulge in on this earth.  If one places an emphasis on the things in this world, they lose sight of the things that are important in the world to come.  For example, a person can desire money, and so they put their careers before love for their families.  They spend more time at the office than they do at home.  They grow distant from taking care of and nurturing the gift God has given them in their wives.

                When a man receives a wife from God, he is supposed to take care of her, and to love her, and to not commit adultery.  Pornography is adultery.  Pornography is not just a passing glance; it’s not a momentary unconscious glance at a woman that can’t be controlled.  If you are out in the community, and you are a man, although you should try to not look at any women, it is sometimes impractical.  The Pharisees during the time of Jesus would walk around with their heads down everywhere they went to make sure they never looked at a woman.  They would run in to objects and people.  If you live in a monastery, you might be able to avoid looking at a woman, but then you would be useless in reaching other people in the world around you; how could you minister to those who were lost.  Lusting is looking at a woman to desire after her; this is a sustained, repeated, or prolonged focus.  It’s not a thought, or imaginary idea, it’s filling your head and heart with a strong desire for something, which Jesus makes clear here pertains to the eyes (Note:  if you have a wife, lusting after her is not only good, it’s Godly.  You should desire to look at your wife naked, and she should want to do the same with you.)  Pornography destroys marriages, not to mention lives.  Ted Bundy, the day before he died was interviewed.  When asked where it all started, he said that he began to look at the pornography he would find in trash cans.  He saw violent pornography, and from then on he continued to progress down a road that led him to his violent rape and murder of many women.  Pornography is a pathway away from God, away from a wife, and toward something that is not God’s will for a man’s life.

                Today there are many who are addicted to pornography; they can’t seem to stop lusting after women they don’t even know.  Many don’t understand the damage that it is doing in their relationship with God, and with others.  Giving it up can be difficult, but with God’s help, with prayer, and with earnest effort and accountability to others, and to God, what seems impossible, can become possible.  God can take away this desire to lust, if, and only if, a person is willing to let Him.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, we ask and pray that You make us pure in heart, and convict our hearts of any lusting that might be going on in us.  We pray that You will help us to make the changes that need to be made.  If any of us are struggling with addiction to pornography, or any other kind of lusting, remove it from our lives, and give us victory in this area, that we can better serve You, in all that we do.  We love you Lord, we praise you, and we thank you, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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