Why is it so hard not to lust?

Matthew 5:27-29

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You are not to commit adultery.’ 28  But I say to you, anyone who stares at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29  So if your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your body parts than to have your whole body thrown into hell.

Lust is something most people have to deal with on a daily basis, but it can become somewhat hard to fight against.  When you read when Jesus said “just the thought of lust in your mind you have already committed adultery in your hearts” and then you turn on your television and see half naked men and woman almost every channel can become difficult to apply it in your life.  Seriously have you ever seen a Spanish Pepsi commercial? To the average Christian it can be difficult for your mind not to stray.  

Have you ever thought to yourself why do people make such commercials and television shows? I have heard many times that “sex sells,” but why does it have to? Since when has it become the normal in our society?  We have failed and allowed worldly influences into our lives and justify it by saying “well it can be worse.” As Christians by having this mindset we have already lost the battle.

Now how fair is it for your spouse when you lust for another? When you get married or are in a relationship there is three people in this party.  God should always be in the center of all your relationships as the foundation since He is love. When you have lustful desires for others in your mind can usually tend to lead to future actions.  Now can you start to see the bigger picture on why a lot of relationships fail?

I always hear that peoples desires have led them to further sinning such as watching pornography or cheating on their partners.  Half of the time they didn’t even want to do it, but they felt like they couldn’t stop themselves.  The common denominator I have found is that they had a very worldly perspective in their lives.

Now what can we do about stopping lustful thoughts from coming in your minds and hearts in the first place? Jesus gave us the answer when He said “so if your eye- even your good one, causes you to lust, gauge out and throw it away.”  Jesus was not telling others to cause physical harm to their body, but He was letting everyone know to quickly get rid of anything that causes them to lust.  Even if it is something or someone special in your lives you need to get rid of them. 

I can’t say it better than Jesus did. It is better to get rid of something special in your life then sinning and ending up in hell for eternity. So my best advice to anyone struggling with lust is to do what Jesus teaches us we should do.  

If you struggle with watching pornography; get rid of your televisions, computers or any other devices that you can watch it on.  If you have a relationship that has you having lustful thoughts, end it.  If you have lust in the center of your marriage or relationship, put God back in the center and you will see how much it will blossom. Since God is love, what better center can their be in your life?

It is hard enough for everyone to fight against our personal sins of the flesh, but if we constantly let the world into our lives we will end up drowning in sin.  So I pray this lesson helps someone today realize they can fight against sin. We are called to be different.  We are called to stand firm against sinful desires and if we do not it can destroy our relationships with our friends and family. So I leave you with one last piece of scripture for encouragement.

John 17:14-16

I have given them your word, and the world has hated them, because they do not belong to the world, just as I don’t belong to the world. 15  I’m not asking you to take them out of the world but to protect them from the evil one. 16  They don’t belong to the world, just as I don’t belong to the world.

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Jesus teaches us about anger

While conducting my bible study last night I was reading the scriptures about Jesus teaching other about anger.  I want to share this scripture with you all today and write more about the significance of it and how we can apply it to our lives today.  I also want to write a little about what to do if you are anger with someone or even yourself.  

Matthew 5:21-22

“You have heard that it was said to an older generation, ‘Do not murder,’ and ‘whoever murders will be subjected to judgment.’ 22  But I say to you that anyone who is angry with a brother will be subjected to judgment. And whoever insults a brother will be brought before the council, and whoever says ‘Fool’ will be sent to fiery hell.

When Jesus was stating that the peoples ancestors taught them not to murder, then He added that even being angry at someone can cause your to be doomed to a fiery hell.  Jesus was not adding His two cents into what was passed down by the generations, but He was clarifying the root of the problem of murder.

It is easy to overlook the significance of this and chalk this scripture up to work on not being angry.  I have honestly done this in the past and this is a wrong approach to this important lesson Jesus is teaching us all.  I can testify to this because anger is something that I struggle with.  I have blamed my anger on the 10 plus years I spent in the Marine Corps and the anxiety it causes me. I have blamed my anger on being raised in a crazy Cuban household and I even blamed it on the possibility of a generational curse. That being said, I have pointed the finger outwardly like many have done before me before.  I have been focused on the symptoms of the sickness, but not the underlining problem.

Many times when we are angry we tend to lash out at our loved ones and become numb to what we say and even do. When we are reminded of this we think to ourselves how could I have said or done that. What we need to honestly think about is why am I angry and what do I do with it?  Since this is something I battle with daily this lesson is tugging at my heart as I share it with everyone today.

Now going back to the scriptures and what Jesus is teaching is that anger is the root to murder.  If you are not angry with someone, how can you murder them? Someone has to be extremely angry with someone to even contemplate murder.   This is why Jesus said that even being angry with someone is just as bad as committing murder.  This is because anger effects us not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually.  When we hold on to negativity it tends to be the only thing we think about and this violates God’s command to love one another.  Anger can cause you to slowly spiritually die and can lead you to your own personal hell.

So what should we do when we are angry?

Matthew 5:23-24

So then, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24  leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother and then come and present your gift.

It is so important to the Lord to deal with your anger that when you even think of someone or something that is causing you to anger you should stop what your doing and reconcile the situation.  I believe the reasoning behind this is because anger tends to cloud our judgement and being honest, when you are mad at someone it tends to be the only thing you can focus on. 

Jesus gives us the answer if we open our hearts to listen to it.  We need to focus on the root of the conflict that is causing our anger and focus on resolving it and making peace.  If you focus on the symptoms of the sickness, you will never cure your disease.  The problem with having the disease of anger is that it drains you spiritually and does not allow you to fully worship the Lord.  The Lord wants all of you.  He does not want anything distracting you from Him and He deserves that.  So if you have conflict with someone, don’t let it fester and make peace before anger destroys a relationship.

If your anger is pointed inwards because of a past sin or something you did, try to focus on why you did it.  Don’t beat around the bush, but find the root of the problem.  If you do not do this you can lash out at the ones who love you and they do not deserve it. It has happened to me in the past and it is almost impossible to mend a broken mirror with tape.  

It is only when you fully give yourself to the Lord that He will be able to fully work in your life.  When you humble yourself and understand how weak you are, then you understand how much you need to rely on the Lord for strength and guidance over every aspect of your life.  This is the only true way to fight against anger and Jesus understood this.

I pray that this lesson helps someone today and please have a blessed day!

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