What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the word "lust"?
I think many of us think of a man drooling inappropriately over a woman... Or if you're me, maybe the color red.... (honestly, that's what popped into my mind!)
How is lust defined? The Greek word most commonly used in the New Testament is epithymia which is defined as "desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust."
What does lust include? Obviously, a man fantasizing over a woman who isn't his wife is included, but it also can include so much more. Jesus, in the parable of the sower,described how the lust of this world, our greed, etc. can choke out the Gospel to those it has been sown to (Mark 9:18-19). Throughout the letters of the New Testament, the authors speak of the lusts of our flesh (some examples include Galatians 5:16, James 1:14-15, and 1 John 2:16).
Where does lust come from? Colossians 3:5 says, "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry." So lust is one of those characteristics of our old, nasty selves. Though it can be encouraged by the world or by the Deceiver himself, it is something that comes from us naturally.
I have a friend who even while she was married to an amazing man, loved Jesus a lot and was actively serving Him, she found herself attracted to another man. The more she let her mind think about him, the more her thoughts about him consumed her. Our flesh is never satisfied so she then wanted to try to run into him and ended up crossing the boundaries she and her husband had set up.
Her story points out how marriage and a heart to follow Jesus doesn’t necessarily protect you from the lusts of our earthly and sinful nature that we are all born to.
Overall, what is lust? Lust is a sin. So what are you lusting after? What are you desiring other than God? Is there an area that is something you can't have but have been going after it anyway?
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Leah works with Master Plan Ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Other than watching college students' lives change, she enjoys getting her mind blown by God and His Word, watching sci fi, baking cupcakes, and spending time with her hunky husband.
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