Troublesome Topic: Several Short Points about Lust

1. “Doing something bad is more attractive when we imagine it than when we do it; doing something good is more attractive when we do it than when we imagine it.” (Dave Eberhard)

“Temptation always over-promises and under-delivers.”  I heard this from Tyler Allen, but he may have gotten it from someone else.

This is the economy of lust.

The price tag associated with following sexual stimuli is higher than anyone can afford.

I love old pickup trucks, but I don’t have one because I don’t have the time or money to fix one up. I like seeing them, but I don’t “lust” for one (lust means “strong desire”) for two reasons – I have what I need, and the price tag would be more than I can afford.

Satan tells us we can have something for nothing (e.g. pornography) then he tacks on various fees and charges, and we realize down the road that it was not free after all.

2. Lust is a form of idolatry because we are putting something else in first place, the place that only God deserves.

3. Lust weakens a man; it makes his less capable of concentrating on what he should be doing. I tested this out while I was working as an assistant manager of a pizza restaurant and I found that, yes, specific and identifiable sexual stimuli made it harder for me to concentrate on what I was doing. (It should have been obvious, but I tested it anyway, and found it to be more powerful than I had realized.) So constantly ask yourself if you want to be weaker, or stronger, if you want to live in victory or in defeat.

4. Preparation of the mind is important. If you anticipate sexual stimuli, and you go into a situation saying to yourself, “I might see something fun here,” you will not be able to resist the urge to look a second and third and fourth time. But if you go in there prepared saying, “I will need extra strength from God to resist the temptations I know I will face in here,” that will give you the strength to resist those temptations. It is almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy; whatever we go in their looking for we will find.

5. Consider how, each time we take a second and third glance, it displeases and offends the Spirit of God. We cannot get close to God and His Spirit if we are always offending Him. And we cannot listen well to His Spirit if we are not close to him.

6. Take captive every thought to a place of being obedient to God (2 Cor 10:5). The best time to stop a thought is when it just starts down the pathway to lust. We should not let a thought stay on the pathway of lust, rather, we should yank it from that path and send it down the pathway of God’s word.

7. Don’t reinforce lustful thoughts through masturbation. There appears to be something else about the human brain that relates to this issue. Certain things seem to be engraved in the memory more deeply than others. The things that do the engraving can be strong emotion, spiritual or relational significance, or action taken that is built upon that thought. Masturbation is an action that involves strong physical and chemical responses that reinforces the foundation they are built on—a lustful thought (Episodic memory).

8. Become dead to the allure of sin (Rom 6:6).

9. Flee youthful lusts (2 Tim 2:22).

10. Find an accountability partner. Ask a man who is more spiritually mature than you are to be your mentor and to walk with you in this area. This can be a powerful source of encouragement, guidance, and support.

11. Celebrate all your victories, even the small ones. This can be as simple as telling God “Thank you” for a small victory. Doing something to acknowledge the victory cements it in our minds. We tend to focus on our failures and by focusing mental attention on them we make them bigger; we give them power. We need to stop doing that for our failures and start doing that for our victories. Let’s purposefully make our victories the center of our attention; let’s make them bigger by calling attention to them; let’s give them more power by focusing on them; let’s glorify God by thanking Him for them.

The next lesson is: Points of Encouragement for Someone Fighting Lust