What is lust? There could be many answers to this question but I am going to answer it in a Christian way, because I feel like the Bible has the best explanation to what is lust AND how to handle lust. Because I am a typical person I am not going to explain lust to you in an “oh ye where art thou” King James Version type of way. That is not going to help you understand what is lust nor will it help you overcome it.
Let’s Get Into What Is Lust and How You Can Fix It.
What is Lust the straight forward answer
The straight forward answer is that lust falls into the works of the flesh. You can also read my blog here on works of the flesh.
Galatians 5:19-21 New International Version (NIV)
“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Although lust is not specifically mention one can assume it is works of the flesh because among the works of the flesh are sexual immorality and the King James Version says (adultery) and orgies, all of which are sexual deeds.
According to Matthew 5:27-28
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.’”
Meaning that if you lust after someone then you are pretty much already having sex with them. I know the Bible can be so harsh when it comes to these thing. You may be thinking, “okay well is it not better to just think about someone in a sexual way and NOT have sex with them.” In your mind, lusting after someone may be keeping you from having sex with them, but there is still a danger to it.
Which brings me to my next point.
What is Lust and Why is It a Sin
One thing that the Bible teaches us, is what a man think in his heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7). Meaning that whatever you think is what you become. Which is why thinking about lust is so bad because once you think about it so much then you are
going to act on it. Which is why when you continue the verse in
Matthew 5: 29 it states
“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”
What this verse says is that if your eye causes you to lust then it is best to remove it from your head and walk around and be without one eye, then to have it and it cause you to sin. Lust or any type sin is not some fantasy in your head that allows you to sin in your mind without acting on it.
When you think about the some of the serial killers or even pedophiles, more often than not they start off with fantasies about killing people or molesting children, then they start to plan it out in their head on how they are going to do it, and then they do it. That is because your mind as a lot of power and allowing thoughts to fester in your brain, including lust, gives it the power to grow and grow and grow. And sooner or later you act on it, then you act on it again, and your lust grows stronger and stronger and soon you are just sleeping with everyone. You quickly become what you thought, and it manifested itself into something bigger. So big, that you then have a hard time controlling it and soon it is controlling you.
That is when we you get things like sexual addiction, married men who say they love their wives but they cannot help but to have sex with every woman they see, or all these weird sexual desires that continue to get more and more outrageous because it started with a small lust and now the lust has an appetite that cannot be fulfilled. As a result you are now having orgies and going to swing clubs, passing yourself around and sharing your body with everyone.
If it seems extreme, I can tell you that I have seen it, I have worked with people like that. And as someone who USED to suffer from lust, I know how it can grow if you do not get it under control. Which you can read in my works on the devil post.
What is Lust and How to Deal With It
Lust is something that you can cure so to speak. I know this because I use to suffer from it and now I don’t. I will tell you how I personally dealt with it.
Fasting. I have an entire blog on spiritual fasting, and for me this is the best way to get rid of lust. For myself I went on a water fast for three days. And it was hard. Not just the fast but a fast from lustful thoughts. On top of fasting, I listened so spiritual music, and I pushed out any lustful thoughts that came into my head.
When you fast you are telling your flesh that you have control over your body. Over what it wants and over what it does. That is why spiritual fasting has been used so many times in the Bible (click here to read my blog). It is like saying I do not care if I am hungry or what my body is saying I control my body, not the other way around.
Remove the Temptation. I am celibate (read my blog here on why). There are spiritual benefits to celibacy which I spoke about in my blog here. BUT when it comes to lust there is a reason why you must remove the temptation, meaning that you stop having sex all together unless you are married.
Matthew 12:43-45 States
“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it
says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”
When it comes to driving out something such as lust, you must always keep it under control. It is like alcoholism. Once a person is an alcoholic, most of the time they cannot drink again because even a small drink is like poison to them and will turn them back into an alcoholic.
It is the same thing with lust, once it is removed, it will try to come back. And if you are allowing yourself to still be tempted by the flesh, it will come back 10 times worse than before. Because like the parable the lust will try to return, and it won’t be by itself but with a whole lot of other issues that will make you worse than before.
Like fasting, celibacy is controlling your flesh. It is making your flesh stronger by allowing you to understand that you do not have to be ruled by you think and what you feel. Once you get rid of the temptation then you will not give in to the lust. You would never take a recovering heroin addict to a place where they sell drugs. Because once that addiction has happened, even though the person is recovered they still are highly susceptible to slipping. Especially when put in the wrong situation.
If there is some where you go and you see certain people that are causing you to lust, then do not go there. If there is a guy at work that you talk to and he causes you to lust, then don’t talk to him anymore. In fact avoid him at all cost.
Now that you know what lust is, you know how you can control, and you know that it should not be your way of life. It is like a drug that will have control over you if you do not conquer it. Trust me, I know. In fact I did not know I had a problem until my friend (who is Christian told me!). In fact before hearing it from her, I did not even know anything was wrong. But once I realized it for myself then that is when I saw I had an issue. Now that I am free, it is so hard to think that I allowed lust to consume too much of my thoughts and how much control it had over me.