Lust is defined as “strong or unrestrained sexual hunger” or “an excessive want or craving” by the dictionary. Its primary goal is self-gratification, which results in unhealthy behavior to gratify those desires without considering the repercussions. Lust is motivated by avarice and ownership.
The Christian faith emphasizes selflessness and is characterized by holy behavior. Everybody who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ wants to grow closer to Him every day. This entails giving up the previous way of living, when sin was in charge, and adjusting one’s thinking and behavior to the norm outlined in Scripture. Lust runs counter to this ideal.
What Is Lust?
Lust is defined as an irrational or unlawful desire or appetite. Lust is a strong urge or yearning that is often sexual in nature. The phrase is never used in a proper context; rather, it is always seen negatively, mainly with a strong desire and sinful longing for immoral behavior. However, it has to do with a desire for the illegal, similar to gluttony and greed. It’s an intense or overpowering yearning or desire.
God’s plan for sexuality called for a marriage between one man and one woman. He has always desired that couples share and enjoy sexual intimacy within marriage, and this has not changed. However, God’s plan for sexuality has been subverted by our culture, and much of this desire has become a lust problem.
We tend to view others as objects out of lust. Things that we use to satisfy and enjoy ourselves make us forget about God. It is a terrific area to demonstrate leadership and set a powerful example for your wife and kids in our sex-obsessed culture, from how you speak about your wife to the television series you watch to the degree of restraint you display.
What Is The Meaning Of Lust In The Bible?
Lust requires a decision and deliberate action. To some extent, lust occurs when we continue to pursue a desirable object rather than controlling our own bodies. It involves being prepared to give in to natural inclinations. When David saw Bathsheba taking a bath on the rooftop and decided to take action, he sent messengers to take her to his palace (2 Samuel 11:3–4).
The Bible makes it plain that individuals can exercise self-control. A guy can learn to avoid allowing sensory stimuli to ingrain themselves in his mind and emotions. Similar to the proverb, “You cannot stop birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from making a nest in your hair,” this statement is true. To defeat sexual lust, you must do that.
The Book of Ezekiel contains over half of all occurrences of the word and its variants. It references Israel’s idolatrous worship in every circumstance, and God’s prophet employs the tale of the two adulterous sisters, Oholah and Oholibah, to illustrate this mentality. Though depicting sexual longing, the imagery describes Israel’s spiritual worship.
When it comes to sexual immorality, Job’s rhetoric is powerful. In the other Old Testament instances, the meaning displays an idolatrous relationship, primarily Israel’s desire to be like her surrounding neighbors. Job is prevented from looking “lustfully at a girl” because he knows God’s plan is “ruin for the wicked, disaster for those who do wrong.”
Though no one can ever be sinless or flawless while here on this earth, it is nevertheless a goal that we strive for. Anyone who refuses to live by these standards is not defying human regulations but is rejecting God, who gives His Holy Spirit to you (Thessalonians 4:7-8). Jesus said, “You shall not commit adultery, but I tell you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” ( Matthew 5:27-28 ).
The apostle Paul stated, “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. I have learned the secret of facing plenty, hunger, abundance, and need in every scenario. I can do everything through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11–13). Lust can be replaced with a total reliance on Christ and progress in Him.
If lust has not already captured your heart and head, prepare to resist its attractions by leading a life above reproach. If you battle desire, it is time to be honest with God and seek His help so that holiness might also be a hallmark of your life.
Why Is Lust A Sin?
Lust is an inward sin of inordinate desire that causes a person to turn away from God. Money, luxury, reputation, power, and sexual pleasures are all examples of things that one might desire.
Many have concluded that such inordinate desires, or the lust that motivates them, are fundamentally an unfixable issue, a sin that cannot be eradicated from God’s children. But given the enormous and irreparable harm that lust causes to individuals, families, and communities, this attitude is unacceptable.
Of the seven deadly sins, lust seems to be the most evident. It can also overtake the naive Christian soul like a flash flood. But it is also cunning, worming its way under the skin, sowing seeds of temptation everywhere, and sometimes leading the soul down small paths leading to it before inflicting a deadly wound. It attacks with its temptations like a blitzkrieg and sneaks up on people.
Lust is a sexual propensity outside the parameters of God’s design and does not place the value of people or God at its core. Even though we could be tempted by lust, we can turn from our self-centered behavior and repent. We must treat others with the same love with which we would like to be treated. Selflessness is required by the Christian faith, which is also characterized by virtue and love.
How To Distinguish Sexual Desire From Lust?
While sexual desire includes attraction to the exterior as part of desiring the whole person, lust tends to focus on the external. The actions we take after experiencing attraction are essential in determining the difference between lust and genuine sexual attraction or desire.
Sexual desire can enhance genuine love, whereas lust is fundamentally self-centered and selfish. While sexual desire, especially for someone you genuinely love, comes with a certain tenderness and, at times, even an ache, lust enters the heart and mind with a certain edge, an almost “crazed” sense. It is simple to turn that compassion and ache toward God; in a sense, it lifts the soul above, whereas lust pulls it under.
Sexual desire in a relationship should be rising, especially in the event of committed dating relationships, engagements, or marriage. It’s a sign that our understanding of one another is growing, and that understanding longs for unification.
Whether you are married or not, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be physically joined by the person you love. However, it becomes sinful when lust takes over and tries to lead you to use that person or your unity with them for your pleasure.
If they have battled sexual sin, too many people fear sexual attraction and desire. It is beneficial to your relationships and your healing to distinguish between the motions of your mind, heart, and body that are normal and good and those that are the product of sinfulness. In the end, order is our best defense against passion, not excess or suppression. Healthy sexuality embraces order rather than excess or suppression.
Love is the antithesis of use, according to Pope John Paul II. Love entails responsibility and absolute dedication to the other person. Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church.” Jesus gave us an example of this. He reminds us that, in contrast to the world and its lusts, “the man who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:16–17 ).
2 Ways To Avoid And Overcome Lust
Lust is seen as a mortal sin. Lust is a disordered desire for another person with no consideration for or affection for that person within the confines of marriage. The natural procreative urge and the human need for love and friendship are both distorted by lust.
It is up to you to decide whether or not to overcome lust; it cannot be forced upon you or turned off automatically. Instead, striving for an outcome that masks, supplants, or softens your carnal thoughts would be best.
1. Put an end to your temptation. Stop looking for things that arouse lust in you. This entails developing the ability to resist pornographic temptations, but it may also involve avoiding particular movie theaters and sections of highway when driving. Although it can be difficult, lustful tendencies, like any other harmful habit, can be broken. Be tenacious.
You are not connecting with yourself if lust controls how you interact with people regularly. Instead of letting your head and personality do some of the thinking, you allow your physical desires to dictate who you are and how you behave. Similarly, you are not showing them respect by treating them with this lustful regard. If you care about them, you’ll put a lot of effort into overcoming your feelings and acting in their best interests.
2. Recognize your needs. Don’t feel bad about having sexual wants; most religious writings accept that sexual desire is common. Recognize them because failing to do so can lead to a very unhealthy mentality and intensify those feelings. Allow yourself to experience sexual urges, but do not act on them.
If your lust is harming or threatening to harm another person physically, then sure, there is an issue that needs to be solved. However, it can be okay if your sexual desires are expressed between two consenting adults. It may be time to investigate different religious teachings further if your discomfort with sexual urges is only based on your religious beliefs.
Sexual sensations are normal. Other sects will adopt radically different stances on the issue. Now, put away your young lusts and seek righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the name of the Lord with a sincere heart.
Examine the attractions you have experienced or may experience in the future without hesitation. If it is coming from lust, stop it immediately by praying for the person you are drawn to. It is also possible to offer gratitude to God for all that person’s virtues, including their attractiveness, which flips our own selfish desires.
Turn to gratitude if you have good sexual desires as well. God gives us the ability to want togetherness with one another, especially in marriage. Thank Him for that gift, and seek His protection and cleansing. No one desires our desires to be genuinely ordered more than He does, because when they are, they always bring us back to Him.