Let’s talk about lust, shall we?
No one really talks about the sin of lust anymore. It’s so normal in this generation. In fact, if you google it, you’d see articles telling you how lust can boost your immune system or increase your life span.
As a young child, whenever I saw someone I found attractive, I would look away immediately and ask God to forgive me for lustful thoughts. I didn’t want any smoke (quite literally – hell, but also from God). Thinking about it makes me laugh. If I could go back, I’d tell younger me to calm down because God wasn’t going to strike her for thinking Tolani had nice eyes.
I had read the bible a little too stiffly and wrong. ‘If you look at another woman/man and want her/him, you’ve commited adultery/fornication’. The key clause was ‘and want her/him’ but then again, I’m the person who would have considered cutting off her hand because it caused her to sin so don’t be too surprised.
As usual, I found a way around it later in my life. Something to tell myself so the sin wouldn’t look so serious. It’s not bad to look at God’s creation, is it? We sing about how beautiful the stars and trees are. Even Songs of Solomon talks about the woman’s breasts and her kisses. Surely, there’s nothing wrong in admiring God’s work if you’re giving him the glory. Boy did I RUN with this mantle!
I scanned each person from head to toe with very precise attention to detail and when I was done, I thanked God for ‘creating such wonderful people’. It started with my eyes just lingering and then staring and then imagining what their lips would feel like and at one point, I wouldn’t even see them with their clothes on anymore. I welcomed it at first – it was exciting to me. It was when I realized I couldn’t stop that I panicked. I shook my head whenever the thought came and tried to think of something else.
At what point does truly ‘admiring God’s work’ turn into lust? One minute you’re telling God he did a fantastic job in creation and the next minute you’re in Bali on vacation with somebody’s son.
I’m still not immune to lust. I get caught up in the hype and the world and I forget that those thoughts and words are sinful regardless of if I act on them or not. In Matthew 7, the bible let’s us know that it’s what we think in our hearts that defile us. It’s also lowkey very disrespectful to the person that is being lust over. Even if they don’t know and therefore can’t be hurt by it, we should see people as truly God’s creation who are here for a purpose and not reduce them to ‘meat’.
It’s from lusting that we get to the stage of regret. I don’t have a recipe for you to combat lust and I am not going to try to get one because as you have probably noticed, I’m a pro at finding loopholes. Drowning yourself in the word of God is a sure thing though.