Thursday, December 11, 2014

Purity Thursday: Lessons from Mr Lust Policeman

Lust is not a "men only" issue. These Thursday strategies for purity are for men and women. So, even though I originally wrote this one up from the perspective of Mr. Lust Policeman, it's also for Miss/Ms./Mrs. Lust Policewoman, too.

Have you ever observed a man "checking out" an attractive woman? What happened? Unless you are totally calloused and given over to lustful desires, you didn't like it. Did an impulse rise to protect this woman from the hungry, groping eyes of that jerk that couldn't keep his eyes off of her? 

Did you get angry? Did you want to say something to him? Did you start to stare at him, hoping you'd catch his eye and he'd be shamed into turning away?

These reactions can rise up on behalf of women you don’t even know. These dynamics are ratcheted way up if that woman happens to be your wife or daughter or sister or friend. Oh man. Don’t look at my wife that way. Don’t look at my daughter that way. I’ll want to knock you out.


I think there are a few lessons here for us.

First, it ought to give us a taste of the ugliness of our own lust.
What you saw was a parable of your own lust. It's ugliness ought to show and tell you about the ugliness of yours. 

Second, it ought to give us a taste of the holy fire that deserves to break out against our lust.
What if God looked at us lusting like that, and he smiled?! No wonder he says what he says about lust! If we, though we are evil, have this reaction to this evil, how does God hate this hungry, selfish, use-others-for-my-own-personal-pleasure behavior?!

Third, it ought to give us a taste of the cup of wrath that Jesus drank in our place on the cross.
Oh, the holy wrath that JUST our sexual sin deserves! Can you even imagine the raging flood of holy wrath that deserves to break over your life and mine?! (Don't flatter yourself. Think back – late elementary school…jr hi…hi school…college…over this past year.)

Fourth, this ought to put us out of taste for feeding our own lust.
Did seeing that whole episode make you sick? That nausea can serve the holy shaping of your appetites. Does your own lust ever make you sick? 

Fifth, this ought to make us hungry for lust's antithesis: holy love.
Holiness grows as love grows. Lust is not a form of love. It is its antithesis. Notice the natural progression from the prayer of 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 to exhortations in 4:1-8 (emphasis added):
1 Thessalonians 3:12 ... now may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13 so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. 
4:1 Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
May these few lessons from Mr Lust Policeman arrest your attention and help you keep the law - to love God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself. 

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