Created May 8, 2001, Updated Aug 14, 2016
The Wisdom of Release
We can not control what comes up into the heart. That is what being born in sin is all about. Those things are part of our inherited fallen nature. They happen and we can't control them or the things in them. But when we are awake, can we really control them any better than when we are asleep? I don't believe so. They are in our hearts. To deny them and try to suppress them is dishonest and doesn't work. It actually causes us to obsess about them and create excessive guilt and drives us to sin. This has been aptly demonstrated and understood in psychology. They call them obsessive/compulsive disorders. We have to come to grips with the monsters inside us. We are sinners and God is not unaware of our inherited condition. So He does not judge us as severely as some of us judge our selves and/or each other. God is more realistic and reasonable about what to expect of us. It is time for us to do the same.
I bring this up because honesty is very important to God. It is wrong to pretend we are holier than thou and that we do not commit sin. If we claim not to commit sin, John (the 1st letter of) says we are liars. To pretend to be what we are not is to act and that is where we get the word hypocrite, which is a Greek word for actors. He, who confesses his sins is forgiven by God. He who does not confess will not be forgiven. We don't need to get too specific but we do need to acknowledge to God and to each other in what sort of ways there are that we all sin in. It will relieve a lot of people who might be under the impression that they are somehow more wicked or guilty than the rest of the crowd. It may not be so. And of course, you have read my article on Our Sinful Condition, right?
I am often accused of promoting the flesh or perhaps using freedom as an excuse for excess and sin. Many would have me discredited due to my other articles, particularly on prophecy, that really expose and hurt God's and our enemies. Others just can't see what my main point and objective is, despite all the articles in existence here. But this topic of what lust really is, is vitally important to many aspects of sin and sexual issues. Many seek simple, easy, pat answers to problems that are far more complex and deserve far more thought and attention than people are willing to give. They take the easy way out and just slander me. God wants to see true effort and diligence in our words and teachings. Most don't want to rise to that challenge. Its easy just to settle for easy answers that require no thought or serous study. But God will judge all lazy people who do not care enough to get it right, at whatever the cost.
I dare you to face what being human and born of sin really means for us. Set
some priorities and be reasonable with what you expect of yourself or anyone
Men and the Power of the Visual
Wants You https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlZsGpWJmos
Men and the Power of the Visual https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9WZFeA4FzI
He Wants You https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlZsGpWJmos
What is Lust?
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I know of many who will bring this up when I say it does not matter what you feel inside. I know it is coming so I will address that now. Jesus said in Matthew 5:28:
Matthew 5:28 "But I say to you, Everyone looking at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
What does it mean to "look at a woman to lust after her?" Is lusting after her a thought or does it indicate some sort of pursuit? I recommend caution for if we claim it only requires a thought to come up into our hearts, then all are doomed, immediately, regardless of the blood of Jesus. We certainly have no control over our dreams and we do terrible things in those dreams. Some might say that though it comes into our hearts we should dismiss it and not dwell on it. How many of you tried that? Did it work? I doubt it. As I mentioned earlier, that tends to only make us obsess about it. We can't control that much, either. Could it be that what Jesus was/is saying is more like what Job described in Job 31?
Job 31:9 "If my heart has been enticed to a woman, and I have lain in wait at my neighbor's door; 10 then let my wife grind for another, and let others bow down upon her. 11 For that would be a heinous crime; that would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges;
Job was describing things he could have done that would have merited attention and punishment by God. One was laying in wait at his neighbor's door, hoping for an opportunity with his neighbor's wife. He didn't actually have her, but merely attempting or waiting for the opportunity would have made him guilty. For had the opportunity arrived, he would have indulged. So intent is all that is necessary. Actually doing it is not necessary if the intent was there. Even in our courts, attempted murder is nearly as bad as murder. Proven intent is considered nearly as bad. This is what I believe Jesus was referring to when he spoke of lusting after a woman. Not lusting about but lusting after. It sort of suggests action in my mind.
Notice what Justin, the 2nd century martyr, had to say about Matthew 5:28. JUSTIN MARTYR, THE FIRST APOLOGY OF JUSTIN, CHAP. 15:
"So that all who, by human law, are twice married, are, in the eye of our Master, sinners, and those who look upon a woman to lust after her. For not only he who in act commits adultery is rejected by Him, but also he who desires to commit adultery: since not only our works, but also our thoughts, are open before God. And many, both men and women, who have been Christ's disciples from childhood, remain pure at the age of sixty or seventy years; and I boast that I could produce such from every race of men. For what shall I say, too, of the countless multitude of those who have reformed intemperate habits, and learned these things?"
Justin associates it with desiring to do bad, not just a passing thought or fantasy but a willingness and desire to commit adultery or whatever. We all often fantasize about things we would never really do. That is why we have the dreams we have where we find ourselves doing things we would never dare to contemplate when awake.
Tertullian in his treatise "On The Soul," chap. 40, had this to say about the same scripture.
""Accordingly the flesh is blamed in the Scriptures, because nothing is done by the soul without the flesh in operations of concupiscence, appetite, drunkenness, cruelty, idolatry, and other works of the flesh, -- operations, I mean, which are not confined to sensations, but result in effects. The emotions of sin, indeed, when not resulting in effects, are usually imputed to the soul: "Whosoever looks on a woman to lust after, has already in his heart committed adultery with her." But what has the flesh alone, without the soul, ever done in operations of virtue, righteousness, endurance, or chastity?""
Tertullian also connects this scripture as things that "result in effects." There has to be some sort of result or intention, not just a passing whim or fantasy but something that lingers and motivates, causing a decision in the mind, though not acted out yet or not acted out without opportunity. But a genuine desire to do something, a willingness, is the same as doing it. That is what Jesus was pointing out. An example would be if I saw a woman and determined in my heart that I would go with her if she would ask or if I really thought I had a chance. I have already agreed, even if I do not do it, perhaps due to her not being willing. Whether I actually ask or not, I was willing so I have as good as done it. God knows my thoughts. He knows my willingness or lack of it. True intentions matter. But if I absolutely would not do it but did fantasize about it; that is not the same. It is not willingness but mere flightful fantasy. No true intent to actually do it is there. It seems simple enough but most Christians are happy to readily embrace any old idea without giving good thought to it implications and consequences. The very best way to say we don't give an damn and do not care is to simply not bother to give an idea any proper and just amount of time and effort.
Added Aug. 13, 2016 I came across this Bible account the other day, reading a religious newsletter. It dawned on me in a new way and I thought it belonged here as well.
NKJV) Romans 8:
For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God
did by sending His own Son
in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,
>>Our flesh inherited sin or what we could call a continual breakdown that causes us to age and die.<<
that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do
according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
>>I am going to test your wisdom throughout this. Paul mentions "us who do not walk in the flesh." Walk means act or obey. If we do not walk in the flesh, then are we perfect? No! We are still imperfect and still die. But verse 3 above shows that Jesus as a sacrifice nullifies the sin of Adam held against us. So the sin of Adam can not be held against us anymore. When we sin, that sin was caused by Adam. We have the option to have that sin removed and our flesh perfected or brought up into heaven as spirits, if we willingly try to live according to God's rules, which obviously, we can not do perfectly but the imperfection is no longer held against us. That sin is no longer something we deserved since Jesus paid for that sin with his own innocence and obedience even to the point of dying.<<
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things
of the flesh,
but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
>>Contrasted above are living in the flesh and living in the Spirit. What we think about is determined by what we choose for a life style, you might say, or an orientation. So how do we mind the flesh or give it priority? And how do we mind the spirit and give it priority?
If we mind the flesh, does that mean we never think or do anything that a spiritual person might do? No! Even those who mind the flesh and favor it, can have spiritual thoughts and use their intellect and reason rather than their instinctive impulses that we sort of share with the animal kingdom.
And do spiritual people never commit acts of the flesh? No. For one, to hunger or thirst is of the flesh. To long for sex is a natural drive and desire that makes us want to marry and breed. Spiritual people can do these things legitimately. But they can not pursue them in excessive ways, that we commonly might call obsessive/compulsive or addictive. We might say unbridled and unrestrained or outside of law, God's law.
But in general, fleshly people give far more attention to fleshly pursuits than they do to any spiritual pursuits. And in general, spiritual people give far more attention to things of the spirit rather than the flesh. Things of the spirit are like law, kindness, thoughtfulness, giving attention to our behavior and reflecting on it, and trying to bring our actions into harmony with our desires to please God's spirit. Paul is referring to what it is we focus on the most.
We all have proper fleshly needs that can be satisfied. But we can become obsessed with food or status, recognition, glory, ego, greed, wealth, power, sex and the like. People of the spirit turn away from bad desires. Now all us us want to fit in and be accepted and even be appreciated and respected. It would be nice to have enough wealth to live easy but Satan makes that impossible. We can marry if we want, but we are limited to one wife only. To venture outside the boundaries sex is where it becomes a sin of the flesh as any sins are.
But some will argue that mere thoughts or desires are themselves, a great sin, misunderstanding what Jesus indicated about "lusting after" a woman. I can not convince that many that this is so. They insist on burdening themselves with impossible expectations of not having any desire for sex, which is an impossibility. Choose this and you will make Kingdom of God impossible to obtain. So why do it?<<
6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
>>Being "carnally" minded is a poor translation of the original Greek which I supply further down this page in green text. It should read fleshly or something like that. I think most people take "carnally" to be predominantly sexual and that is not the case.
But as regards to what Paul wrote, being mindful of the flesh, a life choice, leads to death. On the other hand, being mindful of the spirit is life and peace as well. The big mistake I see is that people generally just focus on sex with this language. But when Paul lists the fruits of the flesh and those of the spirit, he lists all sorts of things.
But what I suggest is that the flesh is the attention to our immediately instinctive urges and needs, that often do not lead to good places and choices. We need to eat but we are not allowed to be gluttons, either. We need money to live, but we can not be greedy. Paul refers to contrasts in choices and decisions. He speak really, of temperance and balance.
He tries to lead us away from addiction and toward self-control and self-reflection. The fleshly mind falls into an instinctive out-of-control mode. Listen, even married couples can be excessive about sex. In defining the flesh vs the spirit, Paul asks us, indirectly, to consider how each one turns out. The fruits of the flesh lead to not using the brain and functioning like an instinctive animal on autopilot. The fruits of the spirit lead to self-control, reflection, calmness, peace, tranquility.
Our inner minds, that so called animal reptilian instinct, is often out of control. It was and is something that gets programmed by life experience and is not prone to reflection. We need to use our intellectual minds to analyze and reflect on our behavior, whether it is rational or crazy and out of control.<<
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
>>As you may notice, Paul contrasts the flesh with the spirit, which I believe, is the contrast between intellect and instinctual primitive urges. the two are sort of in opposition to each other. Not because that was God's intention, but because when we are emotionally or psychologically injured. It is the instinctive sub-conscious side of us that suffers damage. The intellect is our means to analyze and reflect on our behavior and feelings and what we pursue. Too many walk around on "auto-pilot," not given any thought or reflection to our choices and behaviors.
As I see it, it is the exercise of the intellect that makes us more like God, the image of God. Animals do not think, ponder, or question. They just react out of instinct. But we have a choice, unlike the animals. We can think and examine ourselves. This is the image of God, who ponders all things deeply.<<
But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of
God dwells in you.
Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
>>In essence, suggests I, the intellect lets us take control of ourselves and point and aim ourselves in good productive directions so that we can think and act in our own best long-term interests. We all fight a war inside us and Paul uses that metaphor as well, elsewhere in his writings. But I am going to focus on his letter to the Galatians next.<<
Below is the Greek word translated as Carnally. It normally is translated as flesh 147 times and only 2 as carnal twice.
4561 σαρξ sarx sarx
probably from the base of 4563; TDNT-7:98,1000; n f
AV-flesh 147, carnal 2, carnally minded + 5427 1, fleshly 1; 151
1) flesh (the soft substance of the living body, which covers the bones and is permeated with blood) of both man and beasts
2) the body
2a) the body of a man
2b) used of natural or physical origin, generation or relationship
2b1) born of natural generation
2c) the sensuous nature of man, "the animal nature"
2c1) without any suggestion of depravity
2c2) the animal nature with cravings which incite to sin
2c3) the physical nature of man as subject to suffering
3) a living creature (because possessed of a body of flesh) whether man or beast
4) the flesh, denotes mere human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God
NKJV) Galatians 5:
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
>>Notice the war-struggle-battle between the flesh and spirit. A contrast for us to think about.<<
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
>>I am going to put it another way. If you make choices in harmony with the Spirit, then you are not under the law. That is to say, you are not judged by the law. You have made it clear that you want to do things God's way. And so the fallen flesh we got from Adam is not held against us as would normally be the case.<<
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,
21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
>>The works of the flesh is another way of saying the "results of choosing the ways of the flesh." We can see the long list of bad results of minding the flesh.
Below are the results of minding the Spirit.<<
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
>>Those who choose Christ and the Spirit are not overwhelmed and possessed by passions and desires, those in an out-of-control state, with no limits or boundaries. They try to regulate themselves and their appetites. They recognize that those appetites can get out of hand and be disastrous.<<
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
My goal in this section was to show how early post-Apostolic writers saw lust and more carefully consider wthat "lust" really is and is not. And what is that? That lust is not the desire, which we all have and need, really, but is the unwillingness to bridle and limit the desire and appetite in harmony with God's laws. So while in the case of a man, he is intoxicated with a woman's body and beauty, he does not run off and pursue those things without limit. Instead, he conforms to God's will and law and either goes without a woman or he marries a woman and only satisfies his desires thru her and not with just any woman who appeals to his eyes.
What this does not do, is forbid the engagement of a fantasy of what our impulses might be set off by. We can not avoid getting set off. God would take the blame for that. He made us attracted to the opposite sex. But we can relieve the hungers of the flesh by engaging in the manipulation of our own bodies, the genitals in particular. No one gets hurt doing this. But to engage without restraint, with any good looking or appealing partner would be a serious sin.
What I find odd is that many Christians are more upset with masturbation than they are with fornication. They care more about our thoughts than they do about our actions. They have lost all sense of proportion and priority. This is one of those occasions where we need to reflect more on what lust is and what it is not. Masturbation is a wonderful way to relieve sexual desires. But to hold it in and let desire build is going to result in disaster. Masturbation is relief, protection, and good awareness and respect for not engaging with the opposite sex outside of God's law.
Put yet another way, wisdom is proved righteous by its works/results. We seek to limit and regulate sexual desire so that we do not do something stupid and reckless. And masturbation is a very wise and prudent way to stay within God's law.
Anyone who can not see this, is not being moved by God's spirit. If we ponder and reflect, we should be able to see the impossibility of preventing desire and the wisdom of relieving desire in healthy safe ways. God's spirit also grants better wisdom and understand of what God's son was saying about lust. Do we seek that out, or do we continue down the road of stupidity and blindness? The Spirit always guides us toward wisdom and understanding. The Spirit is always reasonable and rational.
Let us look at some other places where translators use lust, lusted, or lusting in converting Hebrew words to see if we might get a better idea of the meaning of that Hebrew word in the Old Testament. The first instance I quote is from Numbers.
(KJV) Numbers 11:4 And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting (Strong's 8378): and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?
(GLT) Numbers 11: 4 And the mixed multitude among them lusted with a great lust; and the sons of Israel also turned back and wept, and said, Who shall cause us to eat flesh?
The lusting/ lusted/ lust that appears here in this verse in these two translations comes from the Hebrew word hwattaavah also spelled hattaavah. But lust here is not talking about sex, but merely with cravings, in this case, for meat. But if you read the account, the lust or greed for this meat was ridiculous. They went nuts for this meat and violated God's law on how much they were to gather of it. Lust here applied to an extreme appetite that went beyond what was appropriate. It does not mean that all craving for food or meat was wrong. Do we all understand that??? This, by the way, is the typical word that we translate as lust from Hebrew.
Also, notice how they craved meat and disobeyed God's order not to take more than they could eat for the day. But they gathered enough for a week or more. It was an excessive gathering and greed, as well as disobedience. It was a wicked pursuit and it ended in sinful action, not just sinful thoughts or fantasies.
How it is translated and what it means follows from Strong's Hebrew Dictionary and BDB Hebrew Lexicon.
Strong's 08378. hwat ta'avah tah-av-aw'; from 0183 (abbreviated); a longing; by implication, a delight (subjectively, satisfaction, objectively, a charm):-- dainty, desire, X exceedingly, X greedily, lust(ing), pleasant. See also 06914.
BDB Lexicon 08378 hwat ta'avah tah-av-aw', from 0183
(abbrev); TWOT - 40d; n f
KJV - desire 13, lust 1, greedily 1, pleasant 1, misc. 4; 20
1a) desire, wish, longings of one's heart
1a1) lust, appetite, covetousness (bad sense)
1b) thing desired, object of desire.
I bring up the next scripture to show that the Hebrew word Hattaavah is also translated in a positive sense sometimes. Notice the word "pleasant" in the next scripture. It basically means appealing, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
(KJV) Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant (Strong's 8378) to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
This, in my mind, shows how translators see the word. They recognize from its use that it can mean more than one thing. Which definition is indicated depends on context. Keep this in mind as we go on here. The next scripture shows another word that is the root Hebrew word from which hattaavah comes from. It is hwaavah or haavah.
(KJV) Numbers 11:34 And he called the name of that place
Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that
lusted (Strong's 183).
35 And the people journeyed from Kibrothhattaavah unto Hazeroth; and abode at Hazeroth.
(GLT) Numbers 11:34 And one called the name of that place, The
Graves of Lust (Strong's 8378);
for there they buried the people who lusted
35 From the Graves of Lust (Strong's 8378) the people pulled up to go to Hazeroth, and they remained in Hazeroth.
Strong's 183 is the Hebrew word in English letters Strong's 0183. hwa 'avah aw-vaw'; a primitive root; to wish for:-- covet, (greatly) desire, be desirous, long, lust (after).
BDB Lexicon 0183 hwa 'avah aw-vaw', a primitive root; TWOT
- 40; v
KJV - desire 17, lust 4, longed 3, covet 2; 26
1) desire, incline, covet, wait longingly, wish, sigh, want, be greedy, prefer
1a) (Piel) to desire, crave (food and drink)
1b) (Hithpael) to desire, long for, lust after (of bodily appetites)
Please notice that this word is usually (17 times), translated as desire. Desire is not, of itself, wrong. But excessive or obsessive desire is, as well as desire for that which we are not entitled to. Desire or lust as in appetite or desire by itself is no sin. Graves of lust, which the KJV keeps as Hebrew letters and names, rather than translating it into English meanings, which is not wrong, but does not convey that those words do have meanings which it might be helpful for us to know. The name Kibrothhattaavah is actually two Hebrew words put together. Strong's shows their breakdown. The 2nd word is lust. GLT actually gives us the meaning of those two words where you can clearly see the lust. Kibroth-hattaavah = "graves of lust." The definitions are below.
Strong's 06914. hwath twrbq Qibrowth hat-Ta'avah kib-roth' hat-tah-av-aw'; from the feminine plural of 06913 and 08378 with the article interposed; graves of the longing; Kibroth-hat-Taavh, a place in the Desert:-- Kibroth-hattaavah.
BDB 06914 hwath twrbq Qibrowth hat-Ta'avah kib-roth'
from the fem. pl. of 06913 and 08378 with the article interposed;; n pr loc
KJV - Kibrothhattaavah 5; 5
1) a station of Israel in the wilderness 3 campsites away from Sinai near the gulf of Akabah
Next up is a Hebrew word that is more of a sexual meaning, rather than simply appetite or desire.
(GLT) De 31:16 And Jehovah said to Moses, Behold, you shall sleep with your fathers, and this people shall rise up and go lusting (Strong's 2181) after the gods of the strangers of the land into which they are going, and shall forsake Me, and shall break My covenant which I made with it.
The KJV says whoring in this instance where GLT says lusting. In fact, in the KJV, it is never translated as lusting, but usually as something to do with harlot or whoring (prostitution). That is to say, the KJV and its translators recognized actions and pursuit, not mere appetites or inclinations.
Strong's 02181. hnz zanah zaw-naw'; a primitive root [highly-fed and therefore wanton]; to commit adultery (usually of the female, and less often of simple fornication, rarely of involuntary ravishment); figuratively, to commit idolatry (the Jewish people being regarded as the spouse of Jehovah):-- (cause to) commit fornication, X continually, X great, (be an, play the) harlot, (cause to be, play the) whore, (commit, fall to) whoredom, (cause to) go a-whoring, whorish.
BDB 02181 hnz zanah zaw-naw'
a primitive root [highly-fed and therefore wanton]; TWOT - 563; v
KJV - ...harlot 36, go a whoring 19, ...whoredom 15, whore 11, commit fornication 3, whorish 3, harlot + 0802 2, commit 1, continually 1, great 1, whore's + 0802 1; 93
1) to commit fornication, be a harlot, play the harlot
1a1) to be a harlot, act as a harlot, commit fornication
1a2) to commit adultery
1a3) to be a cult prostitute
1a4) to be unfaithful (to God) (fig.)
1b) (Pual) to play the harlot
1c1) to cause to commit adultery
1c2) to force into prostitution
1c3) to commit fornication
It could not be more clear in the above definitions how important actual deeds, actions, and behavior are and not just an attraction or fantasy.
My point in covering these things is to show a wide range of uses translators make of these Hebrew words. Lusting does not always even apply to sex. It is an appetite, but one that is in some way out of control. But there absolutely needs to be some distinction between normal proper appetite and desire as opposed to uncontrolled, extreme, unreasonable, excessive, or inappropriate appetite or desire that one refuses to bridle or intends to let loose. For after all, we all have and need some appetite for food, water, and sex and love, too. When is the desire or appetite for sex inappropriate? There absolutely has to be an answer for that. You need to come up with one before you can say that lust condemns even mere thoughts, impulses, inclinations, or fantasies. Admiring and being attracted to beauty is natural and not unreasonable. In fact, it was put in us by God. Shall we make Him improper for what He did? I think not!
People who do not care, do not put forth effort in the formation of their ideas. It would be as if someone was serving as a judge in a trial and did not care or pay attention to what was being said or presented and just rendered some arbitrary decision. We would find a judge like that to be wicked and neglecting the solemn duties and responsibility of his position. But as Christians, we all have a solemn duty and responsibility to give all the thought and care we can possibly muster to make sure our ideas and understandings are correct. Why? Because they could seriously impact people and affect their lives by what we think and teach to them.
Knowing that our words and teachings can have such dramatic consequences as respects guilt, proper conduct, and salvation, we never want to be found as being lazy, thoughtless, or careless about what we believe and pass on to others. For as James makes clear in the scriptures: "3:1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness. 2 For we all make many mistakes, and if any one makes no mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also." (James 3:1 GLT).
Put another way, we want to walk ever so carefully when we are teachers for we must be aware that we all make many mistakes in our lifetime and mistakes in teaching have a more dramatic effect, so extra caution is definitely required when we profess to know and therefore, teach. To simply declare that all bad thoughts merit damnation is stupid and irresponsible and shall receive the utmost judgment, you can be assured. None of us can avoid them or even resist thinking about them at times. You have been warned.
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But consider this. Is gluttony not wrong? The Bible does condemn it. But does that make all eating wrong? If it did, we would all die of starvation. Obviously, we need to eat. Eating by itself, does not constitute gluttony. Gluttony is when we eat more than we need to, much more. It is when our appetites and desires become insatiable and out of control. That is when eating becomes a sin.
Drinking wine or other alcohol is not a sin. But drinking too much certainly is. We can overdo many things and become obsessed with them or get out of control. The problem is moderation and balance. When we loose moderation and balance, we get into trouble.
It is absolutely essential that we have appetites. Hunger tells us to eat so we do not die. Thirst tells us to drink so we do not die. Sleepiness tells us to sleep so we can rejuvenate. And in addition, God, Himself, placed within us a strong desire for the opposite sex so that we would be certain to marry and reproduce. That was God's will and desire that we do so, according to the rules He set out for us.
So having a desire for the opposite sex, or being attracted to the opposite sex and finding them desirable and appealing, finding their forms beautiful and compelling, or desiring sexual activities, are not wrong or improper desires. They were placed there by God. The problem is keeping them in balance and control.
If they get out of control or obsessive, then we have a real problem. That is when a healthy appetite or interest in the opposite sex constitutes lust. Lust is the extreme appetite for sex and sex activity. In particular, the craving for sexual activity that is forbidden such as adultery. Not merely fantasizing about it, but actually pursuing it, whether successful or not. In fact, activity is the real essence of lust. Let me explain.
If something truly exists in your heart, whether love, faith, or other good things, or anything bad, too, such as lust, hate, anger, or whatever, then it will be manifest in your actions. What is in your heart will soon be in your actions. Notice what James says about works in James 2:14:
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food,
16 and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?
17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
18 But some one will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.
19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder.
20 Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren?
26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.
One can in no way claim faith if they are not producing good works, not to be confused with works of the law which are of no profit. James points out that even the demons believe in God and know Him as the only one. But they do not obey God; they shudder and tremble just thinking about Him. Knowledge is not enough. One must be moved to action. Action is the sign that something is in your heart.
So it is with lust. It has to do with action. If you merely have sex with your wife or husband, you are committing no sin. But if your appetite drives you to seek out others in addition to your mate, now you have lust, similar to greed. Your appetite is unreasonable and causes you to ignore the laws of God. An archaic word that used to mean lust was concupiscence. The "concu" is also part of the word concubine. You will come across it in the writings of the early centuries of the Christian faith. Concupiscence or Lust is not any inclination whatsoever or none of us would ever have a prayer in hell of being saved.
But on the other hand, if you had fantasies about a married woman, or multiple partners or such similar fantasies in the mind, but never pursued those and maybe even had the chance to be offered those and you turn it down, then this is proof that your fantasies were not "in your heart," but more in your mind. When I say that, heart is where our appetites and craving are, so to speak, but if they never become actions, then they are not deep in your heart, to the point that you are motivated to carry out those fantasies in the real world with real actions. A lack of actions is evidence the lust, so called, is not in the heart, waiting and hoping to be let out or given a chance.
This is a very important distinction that Christians do not make, but should! If it is a real danger, then it will be evident in our actions. If it is not evident in our actions, then it is not a real danger. Listen, we got enough to worry about with real sinful actions so that we do not need to get all upset over mere thoughts or fantasies, what some might call today, virtual crimes. There are no such things as virtual crimes in God's Book. You are either in pursuit or you are not.
One should keep in mind that the Bible often makes statements that if taken in an absolute sense, would contradict each other. It is left to us to figure out that some things are only spoken of in a relative sense. When one considers all the scriptures together, then one can arrive at a reasonable conclusion about what God intended. It is that way with Jesus' statement. It needs to be balanced with other things mentioned. I wrote an article about interpreting the Bible that you might want to have a look at for more on this.
So if you would like to kill someone, then Jesus says you are in serious trouble and you need to get control of yourself. There is little left between you and actual murder. If you have a strong hatred, perhaps an obsessive hatred for a person, then you are in serious trouble for you could easily end up killing that person. It begins with hate and intense desire in the heart. It is the strength of the emotion that can be dangerous. So if you look at a woman so as to desire a chance to be with her, and would accept a chance if one were available, that would constitute adultery. You have already made the decision in your heart. All that is left is the opportunity. That is sin and that is wrong. Of if your feeling for a woman was not merely a passing fantasy but involved serious or intense longings lasting long past a fleeting fantasy, bordering on obsessive or compulsive, perhaps, then you could be in serious danger for adultery would not be far behind.
It is that intensity of feeling and long duration of feeling that Jesus was getting at. A playful fantasy about someone on an occasion could hardly compare. And usually, those who fantasize hardly keep to just one person. They often imagine several or many different persons who have an appeal. So there is little danger or fixation there. and even if one or two of those we fantasize about become a frequently recurring fantasy, what we might call a temporary or mild fixation on the person, it is only till the next one comes along. Normal desires are usually quite fickle and constantly desiring new and different experiences or partners.
We also have quite a number of different ideas about lust. We use that term in a number of different ways. But the way Jesus spoke of must have had the idea of intensity and duration, even desire and intent, if not determination to make is happen. The lust he did not mean is the one I might use if I were to speak of lustful fantasies of various women. This is not the same sense of lust that Jesus referred to. It is much the same for the words spirit or heaven, which can used to refer to a number of different things. Those lustful fantasies are short and fleeting, lasting long enough to experience a climax and then they are gone as is the case in dreams.
If you look at the other things Jesus condemned around Matthew 5:28, you will see that this is a common theme. It is what is abundant, that is, very strong in the heart that matters. Actions do not just happen. They start as ideas and plans in the heart that grow into actions. Jesus wanted us to examine our hearts and be careful of what we allow to grow. We will come back to this idea more, later.
And when we are asked to examine our hearts, what Jesus means is that we take that deep dark look into our hearts and be real honest with ourselves. We tend to lie to ourselves and deny certain desires or intentions. But Jesus begs us to not do that and to get tough with ourselves and what really does on deep inside us. We must look there if we are to prevent ideas or craving from becoming real actual sin.
But we can hardly confuse a passing fantasy with an obsession or fixation upon one women all the time. There is a definite difference in degree and duration. If the mind is fixed upon someone all the time, then we have problems and are close to adultery. A fleeting fantasy about someone's wife for the purpose of a quick climax will hardly qualify. The fantasy is quickly exorcised from the mind. Only the person with the desire of fantasy can know when it has gone too far. And that is why Jesus brought it up. We do need to be aware of our thoughts and feelings and make sure they do not get out of control. That is what he was telling us, for they can and will lead to worse things if we do not control them. When God's word says something is wrong, such as having another man's wife, then we must accept that and not allow ourselves to pursue such a thing. No means no, right?
I will only add that the appeal of a beautiful and perhaps charming woman will usually only progress to worse if we have some deep seated problems that we have not looked into and resolved. We need to take a good deep look into our hearts and find out what is causing such problem if we have them. We have to be willing to find internal guilt and evil. We all have it and we must confront and resist it.
But as regards beauty, it should be known and understood that science has proved beyond nearly any shadow of a doubt, that we are affected by beauty at the deepest level of our brains. Even infants show a preoccupation with beauty. We react to it automatically. Our brains do not distinguish between married or single, young or old, or one race from another. If they look good, they will make an impression and affect us, right to our core. We do not need to feel overly complexed or guilty about that. That is the way God made beauty. So it should not be any surprise that we might be affected by a beautiful, but married, woman. It would be odd not to. We simply accept God's command that we not pursue her. Find another to pursue, who is not already taken as a wife.
I believe that God made beauty so powerful because He intended it to cause all men to feel deeper and yet more gentle and caring feelings for all women, giving them all a special place and advantage with all men they come into contact with. This would, in theory, bring out tenderness and compassion in abundance toward a woman so that we would show her greater attentiveness when she sought justice, refuge, help, or whatever. That we are not always moved is the result of Adam's sin that we all inherited.
We mistakenly think that the only thing a woman's beauty stimulates is sexual desire. Not so! There are a wealth of subtle emotions that are generated. Among them, tenderness, caring, nurturing, brotherly affection, general excitement, inspiration, etc. They all sort of get mixed in together so that we often do not distinguish the many different feelings but lump them together in the category which is strongest and most prevalent, that of sexual excitement and desire. That is our mistake. We need to correct it.
It is always a pleasant experience to encounter a beautiful charming woman in our daily activities. By encounter, I merely mean interacting with, in normal healthy, non-sinful ways. This is part of the "magic" of the opposite sexes and their effect on each other. In some sort or way or another, we are all sort of stimulated by our encounters with the opposite sex. I think this is just natural and healthy, but also must be watched to make sure we do not let it go further than it should.
Now some may try to claim that they banish all thoughts when they come up into their heads. Yes, they may, though I question it. Here's why! How do men dream up building and engineering projects? How do they write songs, stories, plays, or movies? How do comedians come up with their funny points of view and jokes? They all do it with imagination.
Our minds are able to play with thoughts and ideas and come up with solutions or creations. Our minds naturally play with ideas and images. It is only natural for our minds to play. It is an automatic process that we don't even have to think about. It would be pretty much unavoidable to not be aware of possibilities that exist when we see an attractive person. Given our playful nature, we might do a little playing in our minds in regards to the possibilities even though we would have no intention of carrying them out. But what takes place in the mind is not fully within our control. Desires can be, for brief periods of time, from minutes to maybe weeks, very powerful. But if we play with them in our head and give them vent in private, they will lose their power and fascination. What takes place only in the imagination is not harmful by itself. This territory is free game. We do not get judged for this. But if we cease to accept God's limits and start to pursue, then we have crossed the line. When God says no, we had best obey.
These are not the only things that might occur to normal imaginations. After Kleybold and Harris killed 13 students at Columbine High in Littleton, Colorado, everyone condemned the movie "Basketball Diaries" for inspiring the two boy killers. But couldn't they imagine it on their own? Really, haven't we all been mad at one time or another and fantasized about killing an enemy or 2. Really, I am surprised that it took as long as it did for some kids to snap and cut loose on others. It was an idea waiting to be fulfilled by someone who took their anger too far.
May I point out that the movie starring Christian Slater and Winona Ryder called "Heathers" also was a story about blowing up and killing everyone at the school. But because it didn't use the same scenario, no one criticized that movie. There was a similar sort of movie from about 1976 where a student was finding unique and creative ways to do in bad students. The movie was called "Massacre at Central High." How about Steven King's "Carrie," where she destroys the school and nearly everyone in it at the prom? Such ideas have been around quite a while so no one need blame "Basketball Diaries" for the Columbine murders. The human imagination is fertile ground for all sorts of things, both good and bad.
But if bad thoughts come up at all, then it is a sin, isn't it? Or is it just our inability to cope with them and refrain from them? I don't know since I have never been perfect. But neither has anyone else, so no one else can say, either. Besides, what they are doing is suppressing it or maybe even lying about what goes on in their own heads, actors and pretenders like the hypocritical Pharisees. But this often just makes it worse as many can testify from experience.
What Newton is pointing out here is that trying to banish sexual thought and suppress the sex drive directly does not work. And he is right! So he says to occupy yourself with something unrelated. I might add, not only different, but interesting, even exciting, if possible so that your mind is sufficiently stimulated to keep you intrigued and with your attention ever alert. Only problem is that it will be impossible to do this all the time and never have it drop. There will be times of minimal focus and attention and the mind will wander and the appetite will arise and make its presence felt. This is just not something that will go away. Sooner or later it will get you on occasion. The thing is, it is not such a bad thing. There are far more important things to be concerned with.
I'll go even further. I propose that sexual appetite is something that is generated at a fairly even rate, with that rate varying in people where some generate more quickly and some not as quickly. But the more we abstain, the more it builds, with or without outside stimulation such as seeing beautiful women around. After sex, most experience relief and satisfaction and the desire temporarily abates. But then it starts to build again. Perhaps enough to try again in half an hour or maybe not for a day or two. But over a couple days or so, it will reach levels that will beg for the appetite to be satisfied. So we need to do nothing and yet it will still build. If we are very involved in matters that interest us, it will often cause times to go by without concern for sex but it will not last for long times. Eventually, we will have to give it attention.
This is why I propose that masturbation will be and is, an essential part of managing desires if one is not married. That is why I wrote an article on it. Newton could not easily avoid thinking of women. God never wanted us to ignore women. He wanted us to marry one and breed. He made it quite compelling and it worked. But if I am right about lust then we need not be concerned of fleeting fantasies or relief sought out in self stimulation of our bodies. It is harmless. Of course, I would say that marriage is the best solution but sometimes the best solution is not available and then it falls to the 2nd best solution to remedy the situation.
Some people are also in denial about what is really inside them. These are the ones who will resist what I suggest in this article. They are too ashamed of what is inside them. They need not be that way. There really isn't anything to be ashamed of. That is why I am writing about this. But it does take personal courage to face our inner selves. So this article will scare some. It's unavoidable. Some people do not possess courage. It is a gift.
So I hope it can be agreed that a bad thought coming up into our hearts/heads is not a serious matter. For one, I question if a playful musing about what it would be like to have sex with so and so's wife is really all that bad, anyway. What would be dangerous is if one allowed themselves to be overcome by the idea and started to plot a sexual encounter. That would be going way too far with the thought. Possibilities are always there. Playing with them briefly seems harmless enough. But we have to draw careful lines.
But even if a thought is judged bad, it is the natural result of Adam's actions in the Garden of Eden which Jesus atoned for with his death. So we don't have to feel overly ashamed or guilty. What is potentially dangerous is what we do with our thoughts from there. There are any number of options.
Still not convinced? Let me ask you, how much control do you have over your dreams? I have no control, myself. A lot of times, my dreams are bizarre and don't even make sense. I have no control over them. No one does. And dreams can get pretty wild, too. Crazy lustful sex can often come up into the heart and dreams. You do things in dreams you would never dream of doing when you are awake. I don't even like some of the things I do in dreams. Shall we be condemned by our dreams?
If not, then we might want to go easy on our minds when we are awake, too. The fact is that when someone is stimulating themselves and imagining some sort of elicit sex, it is something only taking place in their head. It is not actually taking place in the real world. I have already discussed what Jesus meant about things starting in the heart and leading to sin. The distinction is intention and degree. What is your intention toward someone that you may have in mind, when you are stimulating yourself? Would you really do it with them if you had an opportunity or is it just something you flirt with in your head to get you over the top, so to speak? That is the important difference in my thinking.
So if one imagines sex with a married woman, maybe (its not certain, though, and I would disagree) he is committing a small trivial sin, but not the kind that would condemn him in the eyes of God. If one has a sexual thought about a woman, surely you can not condemn him! For how long must he hold that thought before it becomes a great sin? What if I just undress a woman for only a few seconds in my head? What if one holds a thought or image long enough to get aroused and cause himself to climax in the privacy and isolation of his room, has he then gone over the line? Does the degree really matter? Are any fantasies at all, wrong? Not in the big sense in my thinking! It is just a playful imagination at work. It is a natural process.
But if a man starts to plot a means of getting to a woman, and later hung out somewhere hoping to encounter and ask her to bed, then he has certainly sinned in a big way even if he does not succeed at what he intends. Or if he thinks about her all day long, all the time, he is in trouble. But if things only stay in his imagination for a brief time, and there is no plot or intention, then there is no real harm that I can see. It is merely an automatic response to beauty that we are all born with.
I want to point out what Tertullian, a Christians writer in the mid to late 200's AD had to day about dreams from his "On the Soul" treatise, chap. 45:
"The sleep came on his body to cause it to rest, but the ecstasy fell on his soul to remove rest: from that very circumstance it still happens ordinarily (and from the order results the nature of the case) that sleep is combined with ecstasy. In fact, with what real feeling, and anxiety, and suffering do we experience joy, and sorrow, and alarm in our dreams! Whereas we should not be moved by any such emotions, by what would be the merest fantasies of course, if when we dream we were masters of ourselves, (unaffected by ecstasy.) In these dreams, indeed, good actions are useless, and crimes harmless; for we shall no more be condemned for visionary acts of sin, than we shall be crowned for imaginary martyrdom."
Do you get it? I want to make you keenly aware that Tertullian was quite extreme in some of his puritanical views and yet he expresses what I do. Tertullian also suggests that we are not accountable for what might go on in our dreams, either good or bad. He also states that crimes in our heads or dream are harmless; that is, they do not condemn us. At most, these are the artifacts of Adam's sin and not anything more. It is not something we can control. Some might argue that we can while awake. But what ever drives those dreams also drives us while awake. Our minds will wander and day dream. We need not feel overly shamed. this is not the lust Jesus refers to. But some really want it to be wrong. They want to find fault with us if at all possible, while denying they do any such thing. They are liars, I can assure you, pretending to holiness that is unattainable. From these keep away.
Now for the life of me, I don't know or understand how anyone can read Tertullian and not get what I am saying. It is so obvious, isn't it? I do not see how it is not! Isn't the logic quite sound?
But does imagining sex with someone lead to committing sin? I really don't think so. I believe it allows us to exorcise (as in exorcism) something from our minds. It gets it out of our systems, lets off steam, relieves pressure and build up of the desire. I and many like me have found that when we tried to deny and suppress thoughts or feelings that came up into our hearts, it only made it worse and stayed there in our minds. Only when we stopped lying to ourselves and accepted what was in us due to Adam, were we free to rid ourselves of the things in our heads.
Jesus said in Luke 7:35 "Yet wisdom is justified by all her children."
What he basically said in other words was - that wisdom is proved wisdom by the results it gets. If you are bothered by the thoughts in your head, and they only get worse when you don't "relieve" yourself, then you are headed for trouble. ON the other hand, if something makes it possible to relieve pressure and make urges manageable and controllable so that we are not driven toward fornication and adultery, is that not a good thing? If it is much easier to behave as a result of masturbation; then I would say that self stimulation is proven to be the wise course to take. I definitely believe that. Wisdom becomes obvious. Of course, if it could be clearly shown that masturbation was clearly wrong in the Bible, then this would be no solution. But I know for a fact you would never be able to use the Bible to show it was wrong. Check out my article on it at the end of this article.
Really folks, we are talking about something akin to what we might call in the computer world, virtual sex and virtual sin. If it only takes place in the head, then no harm is done. It is like killing in a video game. Nothing really happened. And since nearly all kids have played video games and killed in them and yet most of them do not go on to murder, then we would have to conclude that virtual sin (if it even is a sin) remains virtual and harmless. We give what goes on in our heads too much concern. We have enough to worry about on the outside without getting all bent out of shape about what goes on, on our insides.
This would be a good time to reinforce my idea of priorities. In the long list of highest priorities to the lowest, masturbation would be way down at the bottom compared to fornication or adultery. There are so may more important things to be concerned with. Worry about the big ones and let the little ones be. We have enough to contend with in avoiding the big one and my 2dn important principle would be avoiding being too righteous about too much, and guaranteeing that you will fail in trying to keep too much.
When one considers these many things, pornography suddenly doesn't seem as harmful. It is what I will call a virtual sin. It is not fornication or adultery. It is a picture and you can't sin with a picture and what is in your head is not of that much concern. Yes, much may go on in the head but as long as that is where it stays, there is no big problem. And curiosity and attraction to such material is only natural. I can't find a whole lot of fault with such curiosity and intrigue. It sort of allows us to explore ourselves and our desires and curiosity without crossing the line. Besides, beauty is a drug. It affects us at the root of our brains, our built in instinct. We are drawn to beauty, instinctively. It is absolutely compelling. We either masturbate or we go get our mates and relieve ourselves with them. But we can not ignore that we are affected by beauty. We simply have to seek a proper outlet.
Was it not God that said about Adam at one point when Adam noticed all the creatures had mates that "it is not good that man continue alone." In essence, what God meant was, now has come the time to create a mate for Adam as the longing has begun to become strong in him even as I had intended, so now we must accommodate that longing. And God did and He said it was good!
So even at worst, if it was and is a sin, we still don't have lot to worry about because there are far greater sins to concern ourselves with as I pointed out in my article on "Our Sinful Condition."
Think of this, folks! For those that are married, have you ever imagined that your partner was someone else, even for a moment? How long did you hold the thought? Did you indulge it at all? If you have, and you take the strict stance that any sin in the head is wrong, then what can you say about what went on in your head during sex with your mate? You were an adulterer and are going to hell. You don't also want to be a hypocrite, too, do you? If you have done it, then show some mercy to others who might do something in their head. In fact, I would suggest that it is particularly normal to think of other women for we are prone to notice and be affected by all feminine beauty. I also suspect it normal that your wife might also think of other men while being with you. Instead of condemning each other, why not recognize you are both prone to this and it is not your faults and not harmful. Just accept it and even enjoy this aspect. Pretend to be other roles and people. Be playful and understanding of each other. Maybe they even both agree to some sort of role-playing. The things we play with in our minds are just that. They are play. They are not a big deal.
Now some will ask, shouldn't we aim for the highest form of conduct? Certainly we should. The highest form possible! But of conduct, not what is in our minds or imaginations. But how possible is it that you will never consider sexual things in your head? How much will you be able to resist or control what might go on in your brain? How likely is it that you will never be stimulated by what you see and hear? If you are like most, you will not have a lot of control or ability to resist, no more than you can control your dreams.
You might want to consider my article on Porn next for a further
discussion of these issues at the end of this article. But now I address another
aspect which I have just brought up and I thought it deserved much more
consideration in how it affects the topic of Lust. It started out as a letter to
a Christians site but it works here as well.
Lust in Marriage
Mar. 27, 2010
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I saw an article on marriage and relationships that stated: "Keeping learning about your body and your mate’s!" Here was my thought: "It is more about the mind than the body!" Most sex takes place in the mind, primarily and only secondarily in the body.
Lets get rid of the guilt and free our minds and spirits between each other to act out what would otherwise not be allowable and indulge the nature where it is safe, just as it does naturally when we sleep and dream. We need to get it out, exorcise the demons, so to speak.
The article also stated: "—Keep coming up with surprises to keep sex from becoming boring. Leave a love note on your spouse's pillow, light a candle, buy new sheets or change your position in bed."
I think that if a couple plays in the bedroom, allowing their fantasies to come out in this context, that they will never need the other theatrics listed above. If you always talk to your spouse in a warm loving way and the tender touches liberally given, along with talking and communicating, then the sex will always be good. You won’t even have to work at it.
But imagine how much stronger and more passionate and enjoyable a sexual relationship would be if each partner was open and accepting of the odd desires that other has and is willing to indulge them and play with them. That open honesty and acceptance of each others fallen nature we all inherit from Adam and not having to hide those or be ashamed of them! To not have to lie and pretend you never fantasize. To be perfectly or nearly so, open, you will feel a kind of intimacy and security that few others could or will experience. You will better understand each other’s needs by sharing this info.
Of course, there are perhaps still a few things that might offend. A mate who might have some latent homosexual desires, something that is not their fault but obviously could be problematic, might scare some. Whether one confesses this or not, one might want to be careful about bringing this up. But on the other hand, if their mate is mature in the faith and understands that such inclinations are not the result of choices but of things of genetic disturbances and perhaps events at extremely young ages that affect our instinct in ways one could never imagine.
The inherited sin of Adam is certainly a mystery. The flesh is delicate and easily disturbed and confounded. The flesh deserves compassion and understanding. How it works itself out is still beyond much of our comprehension but none of us has a lot of control over where it feels inclined or how. But since none of us wants to be judged severely by our flesh and its sin, neither do we want to be harsh with the inherited sin of others. For many, it is merely being able to confess and have someone who will be understanding and compassionate and not ascribe blame to them personally and be understanding of what they struggle with.
We imagine that some sins are worse than others. But all sin is sin and brings death. Any sin condemns us and we only avoid the condemnation because of the blood of the Christ. But each person struggles over their own particular sinful inclinations and can be better helped if they can talk about their struggle and have someone listen without condemnation and with understanding and acceptance of the sin that exists within their mate, as long as it is not breached by actually doing the sin.
It is one thing to say we have sin. But we all get very nervous about actually admitting specifically what sin we have. And we all have lots of it. But what we do not admit or confront can really hurt us. If we do not admit it to ourselves, then we are in denial and it might very well catch up to us. Somewhere, with someone, it helps to have a confidant that we can go to and confess our sins, that is, our inclinations that we struggle with.
If we admit them, then we can better find strategies to cope with and handle them. A mate is a perfect sort of confidant for this type of thing. And just as we can not control our dreams and where they go, we can not control what comes up into our hearts, our minds. We can not always banish it as we would like, either. Suppression does not work. But the bedroom of a couple and what takes place between a couple is their own private affair, as it should be. They can confess to each other and even indulge the fantasies with each other that they might otherwise have to restrain.
It is an outlet, a release of our sinful nature, so that it does not build and get to be too much to try to hold in and deny. Conventional Christian wisdom says we must not admit and give vent to sinful inclinations. But I challenge that “wisdom” and doctrinal interpretation and would insist, supported by psychological studies and experience as well, and, I believe, also supported by Scriptural wisdom as well.
I believe that if one can imagine a sin and can carry it out in some manner that is not a sin, such as sex with your partner, then the “sin” of their inclination of the mind, which the Bible calls the flesh, can be indulged indirectly and released so that it does not build. Sin tends to build and accumulate over time. Every once in a while it has to be vented, released, exorcised. The “desire” is fused together with sexual drives and urges. The 2 are not separate or distinguishable. So masturbation or sex with your husband or wife can be the outlet by which the sinful inclinations can be given an outlet and release so that they are never allowed to build to dangerous levels.
Earthquakes happen because pressure builds in the tectonic plates till the pressure gets to be too much and it snaps and releases that violent energy in the form of an earthquake of various magnitudes.
Sin is like that, too. It builds and if we do not siphon off pressure before it gets to be too much, then we have spiritual earthquakes and eruptions in our souls and disaster results. It is learning the method of controlling sin and bring it to manageable levels so that it does not all burst out at once in a frenzy. Married couples can be of great help to each other in enabling each other to release some of this fleshly tendency stuff so that we are not in danger of having the pent up inclinations get too overpowering. I understand this is not even something that many would ever consider as possible yet I believe the wisdom of it is flawless and our understanding of lust is very flawed and has been for far too many years. The wrong must be righted and now, not later.
Jesus said that the sons of this age, the sons of darkness, are wiser, in a practical sense, that as are the sons of light. The Sons of light get hung up on things that are not actually the real essence of what we are truly dealing with. Once we truly understand what we are dealing with and approach it from a more practical and merciful angle, we can better cope with sin and with unhappy or frustrating marriages.
Treat the Cause,
Not the Symptom Mar.
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Part of why marriage has become so difficult is that we are not really addressing the cause as much as the symptom. We are not treating the real problem and situation. So, to no surprise, we are not having good success because we are not prescribing the right treatment to the right place. We have run and hid from sin rather than face it head on. We keep it buried and suppressed rather than bringing it into the light and letting the rays of light illuminate the solution to the darkness within. We are sons of light and should act like it. Darkness if not befitting or becoming in us.
Our sin is nothing to be ashamed of and hide. We should bring it out into the open and learn to deal with it properly. Jesus paid for our inherited sin. It is bought and paid for. It is not our fault. But we still have to deal with it until Christ returns to claim us and restore us to a lean pure perfect condition, free of sin. Till that time, we must learn to cope with sin by bringing it into the light and handling it, managing it, properly.
When we take a hot pan out of the oven, we wear mittens so we do not get burned, right? Likewise, there is a proper way to handle sin so that it does not burn us or get the best of us. At the same time, we do not let the sin come out in the wrong way. We find a unique way to let it out without serious damage.
Christ will fix our hearts and inclinations someday. Till then, we have to find ways that we can diffuse the sin so that it does not become a monster we can no longer control. Practical wisdom. That is what we seek. We want to bring sin into manageable levels that will allow us to be relatively free; free of serious sin but not absolutely free of any sin, for we would have to be perfect and that is just not possible. Anyone who says it is, is a liar and a heretic.
I pray and I beg that you approach as many wise and respected spiritual leaders of Biblical knowledge and marriage counselors as well and see take a good close look at what I suggest. I say that lust as Jesus referred to it, does have to do with action and pursuit of the real thing, even if it does not lead to success. Action and pursuit of real tangible adultery is the real danger, not having "imaginary adultery" with your wife as your “accomplice,” in a fantasy act out. One who pursues the real thing has already sinned, even if they did not succeed at it. That they tried or asked, is sin, even if the one they asked, refused.
But if your wife pretends to be Mrs. Jones, or just some stranger on the street, then it is merely a playful fantasy between the 2 and which concerns no one else.
A couple can safely let out the things that bubble up into our consciousness and allow them a safe release into the air, so to speak, where they can do no harm and leave the person relieved and safe for a while till it begins to build again, even as normal health sexual desire does.
But this level of honesty and intimacy requires that both partners fully recognize the sin we all carry around at that it is no person slight to them or a result of any deficiency in them. It is sin that we do not control as it comes up into our hearts and it is best to allow it a release so that it does not build. Couples represent a tremendous protection and salvation to each other if they can accept this understanding of sin. They can now open up to each other as never before and give to each other as never before.
What this also does is have both partners admit that others outside the marriage are still attractive, and that we are still affected by the beauty around us from others. So we can indulge each other's fantasies or play out roles and situations for each other's entertainment and pleasure without guilt, shame, or having to lie about what we really are as humans with natural appetites for beauty, even apart from sex. Playfulness is very important in our lives. A marriage should have some fun in it. Its nice to be light-hearted once in a while, if not often.
I do not have a shred of doubt that most all problems in a marriage can disappear when we finally treat sin as it truly ought to be treated. Again, we struggle because we have mishandled this sin for so long, by reason of a doctrinal misunderstanding of the words of our Lord and his Apostles as well.
But I do believe this sort of theory should be explored with the help of spiritual counselors who know the Bible well and can help a couple come face to face with their natural inclinations of the flesh, what ever they may be. Couples may have problems admitting to each other what they find themselves inclined toward and a good counselor can help them keep everything in perspective. Some are bound to find this radical and scary. A 3rd party would be essential in keeping emotions down and guiding people toward a rational understanding of the situation.
But since spiritual counselors are not likely up to the task, couples will have to proceed on their own and there is nothing wrong with that, either. They should be able to do it alone. Just forget about how you were raised or taught. Those who have come before us have not bothered to figure any of this out and they have been following a well worn path to nowhere. So we are breaking new territory.
AS couples begin to open up to each other and experience that profound and seldom ever experienced before openness, acceptance, trust, and freedom, they will be hooked and amazed a how transforming and healing it is. Many have sexual hang ups and this begins a process that brings it all out into the open to be fixed, rather than ran from and avoided so that it always remains a problem. As problems get fixed, everything becomes easier.
Perhaps you can get some professionals or pastors who can try this with some couples willing to give it a try, believing it to be the right thing to do, and working out the kinks and gaining experience from trying to drag sin out of the darkness and into the light of resolution and healing. But don't hold your breath on this one.
It is funny that many Christians seek physical healing from the Lord when the Lord has been waiting for us to wake up and come into the light of his real wisdom and heal ourselves. It is every bit miraculous as is the resurrection of the dead. But we tend to slight the healing wisdom of God and the transforming power of His Wisdom and His spirit. Some times we look for miracles in the wrong places.
After this type of treatment or “therapy” (counseling really) has been conducted enough, it could be unveiled to the broader public exposure and ministry. Time to put sin in its place and stop letting it push us around. Jesus said the truth will set you free and to no surprise, he was not lying. Literally, we can be freed from the worst effects of sin, with the help of a little honesty and courage as we face our worst enemy, ourselves and our inner darkness we received from Adam.
We should not have to go around pretending we are what we
are not. The Pharisees did this. But we can not lie like the devil does. We have
to be honest and admit what we really are inside and not be actors and
pretenders any more. Lets expose our inner demons and cast them out into the
light so that they can do us no harm no longer. God gave us a way to handle sin
successfully, if we dare. The time has come for a new Revelation, a new
understanding as we prepare ourselves to enter into the
The sin we have inherited or otherwise come by, is a part of who we really are, to some degree. We have to accept that all our brothers and sisters in the faith have sin and so do our wives and husbands. We must learn to deal with who people really are. If we have a car that does not run well, we may have to treat it differently from a car that runs good and is well kept. We might have to drive slower, turn corners easier, fill the oil more often, use a higher grade of gas, align the tires, and whatever else to get that car to serve us till the “great mechanic” fixes it up better.
Likewise, we are broken units that need special handling to work right. So lets see if we can not approach our sin with a better strategy that we have up to this point in time so that we may honor God by showing mercy toward our brothers and sisters by showing them love, mercy, understanding, and compassion as we take their sin into account.
New Mar. 8, 014
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I came across this on Yahoo! News:
Why it’s natural for men to notice other women
By Alan Goldsher http://yahoo.match.com/y/article.aspx?articleid=5949&TrackingID=526103&BannerID=1964752
I am going to condense and paraphrase this, but you have the link above to consider the source directly. It first brings up how a couple is out dating and the guy notices the waitress or another woman going by or something similar. The woman with him it a little put off about it. The article suggests that a fairly brief look is normal but that a sustained intense look is very bad, disrespectful, in the opinion of most. I agree with those sentiments. I need to quote the next 2 paragraphs of the article.
scientific reason why a guy’s eye wanders
A study conducted by Duke University suggests that we’re biologically compelled to stare at sexy and powerful people. Researchers monitored the eye movements of male rhesus monkeys as they looked at photographs of their fellow primates. When a monkey fixed his gaze on an image, he was rewarded with a squirt of fruit juice. What they found was that the monkeys were drawn to power and sex, choosing to look at the faces of alpha monkeys of both genders and the hindquarters of potential female mates. (The sight of a female monkey’s rear signals sexual availability.) The test subjects showed this preference even though they were given more juice to entice them to look at lower-ranking, less attractive monkeys.
According to the study’s co-author, Robert Deaner, Ph.D., humans — like our simian cousins — are probably hard-wired to act this way. “In both human and rhesus monkey societies, individuals vary in their influence and reproductive potential,” explains Dr. Deaner. “So for both humans and rhesus monkeys, natural selection would have favored individuals that valued such information accordingly.” In other words, evolutionarily speaking, paying attention to whoever’s most powerful and eager to mate can really pay off in the long run."
Truth1 again! I have long been saying its instinct and it should have been very self-evident. Now 1 more quote.
real question is, can you live with it?
Appreciating another’s beauty shouldn’t be a problem, so long as you’re both feeling secure in your relationship. “Trust is really important,” Lavinthal says. “If you know your man isn’t a cheater, then let him have a little fun by looking at other people. It comes down to the old ‘look but don’t touch’ adage. As long as he keeps his hands to himself, I don’t see a problem. If this issue really upsets you, then it’s best to be honest and let your partner know that his fascination with others is neither appreciated nor acceptable. If he continues to do so and it’s driving you crazy, then it’s probably best to break up,” advises Lavinthal."
Truth1: The Bible does not allow a break-up (divorce) for merely looking. That is not adultery. Even committing adultery in one's heart or mind is not grounds for divorce. It must be real actual physical sexual contact that justifies divorce. A man is very visual by nature and God, as I have said before. We simply do not want to accept the facts. Is it reasonable to ask a man to stop being a man and stop appreciating beauty? Whether it is or not, you will not change a man. This is what God made. Fact! Why not learn to live with it?
Now, I do believe it is wise for men to be fairly restrained if their eyes tend to glance in the wrong directions if you get my drift. You wife does deserve respect. But sometimes some things catch our eyes which are by any man's standards, simply outstanding, if not mind blowing. Ladies, you ought to have a little mercy on a man in such predicaments. He is what he is and we are what we are.
I am not approving of men who look over and often, at nearly anything walking by. In theory, they should be happy with their wives and not be needing to always be checking all the women out. But as I said, there are some remarkable exceptions of extreme beauty that any man who is not dead yet is going to gawk at. I make no apologies for myself or any other man. I have always believed that as you judge others, so you will be judged. So in this case, I will excuse myself from the jury or declare innocence.
The real problem is that women can not accept what men really are. Men are governed and controlled by beauty just as we are by drugs or alcohol. It is in our instinct and core/heart. Women might tend to say, men are shallow creatures. Whether so or not, we are certainly susceptible to beauty. Find fault with us if you like, but in essence you might also be finding fault with God. On that one, you might want to proceed with great caution and reserve.
I'm done with the article quoted. But I want to make a few other observations. I have noted one site, a branch of "Christianity Today," (CT) a very mainstream publication, dealing with women and sex/marriage issues, showing some interesting trends. First, I pay my respects to them for I have not encountered any other site of Christian persuasion, that handles, as of recent months or a year or so, begun to come to grips with many sexual aspects of Christian belief and conduct. Although still quite a bit more cautious and careful than yours truly at Truth1, they have essentially embraced most of my ideas, to some extent. Why, that makes them nearly brilliant ;-) I couldn't resist.
But when it comes to lust, they are still lagging behind some. But I want to point out something in this fact. They have entered an article that agrees with my position that one can have homosexual inclinations but as long as they do not act on them, they have not sinned against God. For really, many hetero men have drooled over a number of beautiful women, including a number of married ones. So if we can excuse homosexual inclinations that are not acted upon in obedience to God, and I do, and CT does, too, from what I have read on their site; then how is it that we can still condemn heteros who have inclinations that they do not act on?
Surely, you should be aware that if one is condemned for mere internal impulses, then we have shut them off from God's Kingdom and I don't think God is going to take to that too well. Just a hunch! For one with so called lustful inclinations believes they have committed fornication or adultery for those inclinations, then they could properly conclude that they have no chance of pleasing God and receiving salvation. I would never leave them thinking that they had actually committed fornication or adultery. I would insist that in order to do that, they would have to involve their genitalia with another real person, first. I do not want to have to stand before God, accused of shutting people out of His Kingdom. I'd rather take my chances with a bolt of lightning or a den of lions, if its alright with you.
It is a serious thing to intrude upon the inner thoughts of people and judge them as if they had total complete control of their impulses, as if sin had passed them by. I would suggest that anyone saying that by our impulses we commit the equivalent sin of fornication or adultery, is not fit for God's kingdom, first, by being such a harsh judge of human nature, and 2nd, by having so little wit and wisdom about them that they can not see the stupidity of what they are suggesting and were not able to come up with better, more sound conclusions than they have. God can't stand idiots and will not have any in His Kingdom. You can take that to the bank. Why?
Because God gives wisdom to any that ask. And if you are not receiving it then God has likely judged you as not worthy of His wisdom. God wants to see how much effort we put into our thoughts. Those not producing the proper fruit of thinking, will have no place in God's Kingdom. Food for thought!
And again, I think Christianity Today's Womens Marriage Newsletter and Topics have done the most outstanding job and example of any mainstream denominational religion in existence today. Their courage, when one considers the rest of the lame-stream denominational peers, is so praiseworthy. Listen, there is a lot to risk in telling the truth about such delicate scary topics in Christianity, as sex is. Most denominations, in my opinion, deliberately like to preach the wrong things to create the appearance of not having credibility, which they do succeed at. Why? Because they are controlled by powerful malevolent people who want a credibility gap which encourages the young to ignore the Bible's advice. That is to say, they unwittingly serve the devil. That's right! They are devil worshippers. You thought I was just kidding, didn't you?
So a big shout of praise to CT, for taking their responsibility seriously and being much more realistic and reasonable on subjects governing sex. Its a rare thing indeed, to behold.
Diffusing a Bomb!
Sep. 30, 2010
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I have understood this most important of principles for a long time, since 1986, a pivotal break through in understanding for me. It became even better understood perhaps around 2004 but I had nothing to back it up till recently. It helps this whole subject here considerably. I also put it in my "Our Sinfulness" article as well.
The principle is this: That we can diffuse some of the energy or power of our desires or frustrations. If we let it out at the appropriate time, place, and circumstance, it can release a good portion of what has built in us so that we are not in as much danger of being over powered by the desires or frustrations that mount in us either internally or touched of by external stimuli. We might call this a pressure release valve that prevents an explosion or diffuses a potential bomb.
I came across this first short article in a blog by Dr. Arthur Janov, who promotes a theory of psychology that I strongly believe is the basis of understanding sin and its mechanisms. I feel it is important to print it here and then comment on it myself.
Posted by Dr. Janov: Thursday, July 15, 2010 On Avoiding Murder (rewritten)
There is a story in the press today about Raoul Moat. He just killed himself after a police chase for over a week. Before this final confrontation he managed to wound his ex-girlfriend and a policeman, and to kill her boyfriend. Just before he killed himself, as the police were closing in, he said, I had no dad and nobody cares about me. To me that is the beginning of a primal. He was sure it was their fault that he suffered. Maybe if the police could have said, We care about you, Raoul, it would have helped, and maybe not. But instead of shooting him there are options if we only we consider them. One option is to let the family talk to him and express their caring, which the police seemed not to allow. While the dialogue was going on Raoul was holding a shotgun to his chin. His brother told the police that Raoul was having a nervous breakdown. That is an old notion to explain that his defenses were breaking down; in a way, there was a breakdown, and it involved nerves but it was the defense system that was crashing. Let me explain.
How many times have we seen in a pre-primal
session the patient pound the wall and cry in anger, I hate you. I want to kill
you! This releases some of the pressure and can prevent killing.
It can then lead the patient to the real need and feeling of not getting it. You
cannot get there if you are not immersed inside the feeling. Feeling the need
with all one's body is the best antidote. Releasing rage in a benign way
is obviously preferable to releasing it on the unsuspecting. The force of
the rage may be childhood neglect. It is forceful because lack of love as an
infant and young child is devastating. To compound the pain his girlfriend gave
her love to someone else. If we put all this in its original context we could
understand the problem better; we would see that it isn't enough to cry and
scream; it has to be done in context, the early context; going back to that
early need. It means going back to origins, and only the embedded feeling knows
where that is. No one else can possibly know. Raoul would have to go back in
time to what went wrong. It sounds banal, a cliche, but he needed a loving
parent. There is no real life without it.
>>End of Blog<<
I have posted links (websites) and recommended books on Dr. Janov and his ideas on my links pages and Book recommendation pages on the Home page. But I hope you notice the bold type above. I have seen so many people who hold feelings in like a pressure cooker until they are ready to blow or do blow like a major volcano. They would be far better off to let it out and get rid of it so that they do not go around ready to go off at any time. Sometimes we can not help get provoked to anger, fear, or whatever. But it is our safest bet to let off some steam in private and often there is nothing better the extremely vulgar four letter words to help that cause. But not on people. Into the air private air where no one can hear but letting it rip from your lungs can do wonders. Call it letting off steam if you like. Arthur refers to it as "releasing it in a benign way." We don't take it out on people. But we do let it out.
Yes, we say how much we hate and we can even scream it out. It might ever be against our parents, spouse, boss, or whoever. If we do it in private out of the ear of anyone, God will understand. He knows our makeup and nature better than we do. This also applies to desires such as lust. Maybe we feel an intense desire for someone who is married or that we have no chance with. We can be tempted. It could get out of hand, couldn't it? How do we release the tension, the build up, the pressure? Its easy.
When we are alone, we can indulge the fantasy to its full in our minds, in private, through self stimulation, known also as masturbation. Now of course, many will say that is lust. Wrong you are. It is venting lust, appetite, desire, thereby, at least temporarily reducing the hunger and need. I also propose, through personal experience, that either quickly or eventually, the desires will fade and become nothing. We exorcise the demons, so to speak. Anything you do a lot will lose its novelty and some of its excitement and will become more common and mundane.
On the other hand, if we hold it in and do not release the powerful urges, they will drive us with brutal force, to do what we do not want to do or have happen. We will go out and commit the fornication or adultery. But in order to make our desires become controllable, (which we so often have little to no control over what they are or how they grow or come about), we give vent to those desires in our head fully and completely. Doing this will release tons of pressure and over time will minimize or eliminate the unhealthy and dangerous desires we struggle with.
A little over a month later, I see the following on TV:
Myth Busters - Maybe Monday Aug 30, 2010 - Discovery Channel
They did a test to see if swearing/shouting profanities would help people to endure pain longer. They filled a tub with water and ice so it would be brutally cold. I think it was 5 to 7 subjects they tested, people from their crew, who were willing. First they tested each subject without swearing and measured how long they kept their arm in ice cold water. Then after warming up again, they had the subjects put their arms in ice cold water again but allowed them to swear their heads off when it really started to hurt and timed it again. The results were that swearing enabled them to endure for 30% more time than when not swearing. Verbally expressing aguish, suffering, or anger does seem to release some pain and/or stress. Because they released some stress, they were able to endure more than without. I would say that any verbal expression has the potential to release some stress or make it easier to endure but that it obviously has limits.
We humans are creatures who express or should express what we feel. We need to let things out, not hide them, deny them, or hold them in. It is not healthy or wise. In fact, it is very dangerous. Wisdom dictates that we do what will allow the best overall outcome. It is better to masturbate than to commit adultery, is it not? Further, it is next to impossible to show that masturbation is wrong. I even challenge the idea of lust being what it has come to be commonly a gross sin. We have misunderstood the words of our Lord.
There is justified anger. we need to get rid of it if possible. There is a sexual hunger and appetite in each of us and we can not control what it is or where it will go. But we can give it vent so that it does not become too powerful and beyond our control. We have an escape hatch if we want to use it but too many like their silly ways of thinking about lust and anger.
Indeed, if we are mad at our brother, we also want to try to make amends and resolve the anger so that it does not lead to worse. But at the same time, we might need to wait till we cool down a little or maybe we take a friend or two who will keep us in line. And we still might need to cuss and swear about them in private and get it out of our system. And indulging a fantasy about the neighbor's wife by ourselves will at least lessen the desires so that we are not moved to commit adultery. We may even (I think it likely) eventually destroy the desire for her or make it so small that there is no chance it can over power us and make us do stupid things.
The whole idea is to release some of the power or desire so that it is within manageable controllable limits within our hearts and minds so that we are not moved or driven to sin. This is an idea completely foreign and unheard of in modern mainstream Christianity, though why I can not figure out. But I think most Christians, those who call themselves Christians, do not like to take a serious look or give deep thought to anything. This is why they miss this extremely important aspect.
So in the next section, I am going to show some scriptures that relate deep overwhelming feelings, principally from the Psalms, so full of emotional expression, to consider the aspects of private feelings and getting some th8ings off our chests and unburdening ourselves. For what we experience in life can be a huge burden, whether the burden is anger, fear, depression, lust or whatever else you want to throw in. We are susceptible to it all.
Powerful Private Feelings
Sep. 30, 2010
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Psalm 37:8 Abstain from anger and cease from fury; also do not inflame yourself to do evil.
>> Well, I guess what I said was all wrong - right? Hah! I would not have written it if I was not prepared for this. This is like my article on Lust discusses. The words "anger" and "fury" denote actions, not mere feelings alone. In particular, anger toward someone, right to their face, even. We do not want to express anger openly and directly to someone. This is how things escalate and get out of hand, possibly leading to permanent hurt and alienation or worse, even fights, injuries, or killing.
Inn fact, the 2nd part of that verse reinforces this when it says "do not inflame yourself to do evil." That is, do not increase anger and fuel the fire. Put the fire out as soon as possible. And anger can lead, not only to unjustified revenge, since revenge belongs principally to God; but it can also lead to seeing people in a poor light and justifying becoming like them since they do not seem to care about you so why should you care about them. We do not want to let anger make us evil as well.
But now I need to point out what should be very obvious but is completely missed. If you have a concordance or is you have a Bible program on your computer, you can do a search for the word anger. And guess who gets angry all the time? GOD!!! Yes, God! He is always angry. But He has very good reason to be angry as people ignore His commands and hurt one another and kill one another without thought, care, or remorse.
What about God's servants, us? Do we ever have any reason to be angry? Do we ever !!! We get screwed by life and people all the time. It angers God and it should anger us, too. BUT --- We can not afford to let the anger drive us crazy and it can and does. We need to put a hold on our emotions and feelings long enough to give some serious thought about how to best handle what is angering us and find a way to diffuse the bomb, so to speak, and stabilize our minds and hearts. We don't want to let anger grow, and fester. This is why Jesus urged us to get control of anger and not let the sun set in a provoked state. its is not that you have no right or reason to be angry but that you can't let anger get the best of you, which it certainly can do.
Recall Cain and Abel in the Garden of Eden. Cain was jealous of Abel because Abel's sacrifice was acceptable to God, because of Abel's spirit and attitude in his sacrifice, where as Cain's was not of a good pure attitude and spirit and so his sacrifice was not pleasing. God said to him that if he turned around to doing good, he would be accepted to, but then God warned Cain that his anger and jealousy were getting the best of him and if he did not get control, he was going to kill his brother. But Cain ignored God and did kill his brother out of resentment and jealousy because Abel was righteous and Cain was not. So say s the Apostle Paul.
But in diffusing the anger, it
does not mean we are not steaming a little for a while. It means we are going to
get rid of that anger. Cussing and swearing about something in private just
might help in that goal, as I have offered evidence to show and this idea of
letting off steam has been around since time immemorial. It is not new or
unheard of. Only to so called Christians is such a concept new or foreign,
having given most things so little thought. So lets look at some scriptures!
1 To the chief musician, for stringed instruments, A Psalm of David. Answer me when I call, God of my righteousness.
You gave room to me in distress. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
2 O sons of men, until when shall My glory be for a reproach? Will you love vanity? Will you run after a lie? Selah.
3 But know that Jehovah has set apart the godly for Himself. Jehovah hears when I call to Him.
4 Tremble and do not sin. Speak within your own heart on your bed and be still. Selah.
5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness and trust in Jehovah.
>> God gave "room" to David in his distress. That is, God was understanding and merciful. Was David in fear or dread? Maybe at times even angry? Yes. Did God say, "Oh, that does it! David's a dead man now. Where are My lightning bolts? Send an angel to squash him right now!" The heavenly Father is the one who made us with emotions, made un in His image. He expects us to feel things and even feel them deeply. He is reasonable in what He expects. He gives us room and allowance. Its a fact!
Tremble if you need to, but don't let your emotions lead to sin, which is always possible. David says to speak within your own heart on your own bed. Typically, this is where we are alone with our thoughts and words and have time and place to give thought to our situations, holding back emotions while we think calmly and rationally about what we are experiencing and what to do. We are not to rage or even tremble uncontrollably. As the Dog Whisperer (Caesar Milan on NatGeo channel) might say, be calm and submissive. Our state of mind is critical and all the more so in a crisis. This is the situation being described by David in his song/psalm. And when we read the words to these psalms, we are seeing David think things out carefully, rationally, with God in mind.
We won't get to see or hear all his emotions he went through while in private to himself. But you can be certain he had them! But in his song he puts to paper after, he gives us that broad long-term, long-suffering view and attitude of it all, when it is all said and done. This is the goal we need to pursue as well. But there is a way to get there and getting the emotions out of us and off our chests, so to speak, is important. We don't get to see David do it but we know he does. We don't get to see him have sex, do we? But we know he does. His struggles with his feelings are sometimes expressed in the Bible but most of the time, they are veiled from us, even as we might seek to keep our own feelings to ourselves.
And long term means trusting in Jehovah and knowing He will ultimately right all wrongs, even if it might have to wait till Judgment Day. Trusting God and waiting on Him helps diffuse the bomb as well.<<
Psalm 38:9 My Lord, all my desire is before You, and my sighing is not hidden from You.
>> OK, class, let me ask! Since all our desire if before God, both good and bad, is God unaware of our struggles with the flesh, which include rivalry, competition, anger, and fear as well as lust - sexual appetite? Of course not. He see all, all the time. He knows we are flesh. He gives us room. It is He who gave us the appetite for sex in the first place and a sense of defensiveness that provoked, naturally leads to anger. And He knows we will have to cope with it. Doesn't He?
So let me ask you, what kind of God is it you imagine you serve? Is He a realistic and compassionate God who understands. Or is He a petty nit picking extremely demanding God? Well, the devil would prefer you think the latter one. But I will have nothing to do with that. God knows we are flesh and allows for us to vent our emotions and re-stabilize ourselves so that we can stay within realistic borders and boundaries of His laws. He can not and does not expect perfection. He asks, primarily, that we avoid the big sins, like fornication, adultery, and murder. Is that so much to ask? So He knows we need to blow off steam and get things out of our system. If anyone anywhere knows that, He does! Now its time for us to accept it, too.<<
Psalm 69:3 I am weary from my crying, my throat is scorched; my eyes fail while I wait for my God.
>> Ah, the depths of despair! David describes what must have been a very deep anguish, awaiting on God while in some sort of crisis. So David does feel and express deep powerful emotions, even as we all do at times. We need not doubt it, right? But despair is not the only emotion David feels. I am sure he felt anger more than once. and I know he experienced lust for he did have a few wives and he did steal another man's wife and had the husband killed. I would say there was a little lust there and David lost control of it. Maybe he would have been a lot better off masturbating or waking up one of his wives for relief or something. But he got a glimpse of something very desirable and failed to take appropriate action somewhere.
Do you also want to make the
same mistake? Wouldn't a little lusty imagination with your hand be better than
adultery and killing? I'm just asking! Can you really not see any difference
between something going on in your head and hand and committing adultery and
murder? Are we that stuck in our narrow minds and hearts that we have become
just like the Pharisees? I hope not.<<
2 In the day of my distress I sought the Lord; my hand was open in the night and did not grow numb; my soul refused to be comforted.
3 I remember God and am troubled; I meditate and my spirit faints. Selah.
4 You seized the watches of my eyes; I am troubled, and I cannot speak.
5 I thought upon the days of old, the years of bygone ages.
6 I will remember my song in the night; I will speak with my own heart, and my spirit carefully searches.
7 Will the lord cast off forever; and will He not add to be pleased any more?
8 Is His mercy gone forever? Has His word failed for all generations?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious; has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah.
>> This one is important
to show what David often went through and I am sure we all have as well - if we
are honest and unpretentious. But David gives lots of thought, meditates, looks
back on the past, remembers, his spirit carefully searches. No quick easy
answers here so we can immediately feel better about ourselves when we have no
right to. David ponders and wonders. That is my point in this Psalm. He does a
lot of thinking and praying in private and likely lots of talking to himself and
getting things off his chest. We are reading it now. He has told us.<<
Psalm 88:9 My eye mourns because of affliction; O Jehovah, I have called on You every day; I have spread out my hands to You.
3 For my days are finished in smoke, and my bones glow like a firebrand.
4 My heart is stricken and dried like grass, so that I forget to eat my bread.
5 Because of the voice of my sighing, my bones cleave to my flesh.
Psalm 143:4 And my spirit within me has fainted; my heart within me is stunned.
Psalm 143:7 O Jehovah, answer me quickly; my spirit is failing; do not hide Your face from me lest I be like the ones who go down to the Pit.
>> Just a few more
expressions of deep agony on the part of David. Feelings are very powerful, very
strong and we should not expect them to be easy to deal with. We need to find
ways to vent our emotions and release them or at least greatly diminish them,
exorcising the demons in our flesh, in a figure of speech. But now when it comes
to emotions and heartbreak, Job is not stranger, either. He is next. I
could throw in Jeremiah, too, but Job should suffice. <<
Job 7:3 so I am caused to inherit months of vanity; and weary nights are appointed to me.
Job 10:1 My soul loathes my life; I will leave my complaint on myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
Job 23:2 Even today my complaint is bitter; my hand is heavy over my groaning.
>> Its just my words from here on in. <<
Now I just gotta ask, have you ever spoken in the bitterness of your soul? Do you know what that is? Deep bitterness can lead to foul ugly speech. Four letter words and other harsh speech! It was not enough that Job lost his kids and fortune. He had 3 so called comforters who did nothing but insult him, falsely accuse him, and torment him. The text recorded, while transmitting the meaning correctly, may have been toned down, although God has been know in a few places to let it rip.
But being bitter of heart and soul, to complain,
which the Psalmists often do, and groan, loathe, despise; these are traits of
Godly men. God Himself calls Job righteous. Who are we to argue. Job hated his
life at this time. Jeremiah expresses much of the same sentiment in his book.
This is what we should expect of God fearing people. They are human and have
feelings. Powerful Private Feelings. What is done by others in privacy is no
ones business. Feelings must be allowed to be felt and expressed, whether pain
with crying, anger with yelling or swearing, or lust with self stimulation. Its
all the same. If it does not come out, then much worse may follow.
I Told You So!
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From Discovery News:
"Virtual Girl Busts Webcam Sex Predators
"The organization, Terre des Hommes, designed the virtual child so that, on screen, it looked and moved like a real 10-year-old Filipino girl. The group worked remotely in a warehouse in Amsterdam and posed as Sweetie by signing in to public sex cam chat rooms. Over 10 weeks, the realistic avatar was solicited by more than 20,000 sexual predators."
The bottom line is that men were traced down through info they gave the imaginary "digital" girl ( I say they have other ways of tracing, but are keeping that secret to lure more later). These men were then turned over to Interpol to prosecute. I guess the webcam porn has become very popular.
You can see the YouTube presentation of "Sweetie bragging
about what "she" did to get the "bad guys."
Stop webcam child sex tourism!
Here are a couple of notable quotes from this site:
“Virtually raping them”
How do you perform a "virtual" rape? Really, aren't we talking about thought crimes and imaginations crimes here? First, there was no real girl and no real victim of any crime. 2nd, there was no real rape, either. Laws are meant to protect real people from real crimes, not imaginary or virtual ones. This organization has lost all its senses and lines of distinction. They don't know up from down. Look how bad they supposedly want to stop guys from having "dirty" thoughts while viewing girls through web cams, which in truth, is far better than having to perform as real actual prostitutes, which is very common in the Philippines and many south east Asian countries.
But worst of all is this dirty little secret. Most child porn out there is created by secret government agencies or their corporate fronts. How do you think they get the bait to attract men in the first place? Then they put it out as bait to catch those they are interested in silencing, due to their representing real threats to the status quo powers that be. So if you really want to punish pedophiles, you can do not better than to raid the FBI, CIA, NSA, and other such clandestine organizations. Many wealthy powerful people also enjoy children sexually and make porn of them as well. These are the very ones casting their nets to see who they might ensnare. The ultimate hypocrisy!
But now imagine a guy who struggles with his attraction to young girls, even as some struggle with other temptations like food, drugs, adult sex, money, greed, corruption, etc. The guy is behaving himself but still might be induced in a moment of weakness to embrace something like a webcam, since no one is directly hurt, he might reason. He visits and then get arrested and prosecuted. Would you tempt someone struggling with excess weight by waving a cake in front of them? Offer a bribe to a poor person having troubles getting by? Offer drugs to an addict trying to resist such things?
Entrapment is pure evil. There is no justification for it. But worse, now we are talking about arrests or prosecution for crimes that are not even real. Evil upon evil! They do not even know what a crime is anymore. Surely there can be no good motive for such twisted logic and unjust actions. Such desperate attempts to lure men with fallen thoughts for which they may not bear any direct guilt for having in the 1st place, is surely no way to make the world safe. The enforcers have now become predators themselves, trying to get men to do something they would be better off not doing. Those attempting to tempt, become accessories and accomplices to these crimes. Send them to prison, too!
No one belongs in any of our heads. Further, the fact that computers can create visual images realistic enough to please men, might give us pause to wonder if this might no be a potentially healthy legal outlet for men to "exercise" the "demons" in their heads. By the way, I was not impressed by the virtual realism claimed. but if it works for men, I would think letting them view this would be far better than having them out search for the real thing in video. No one gets hurt in a virtual presentation. If the virtual children were satisfactory to the men, then those who force real kids into doing this, would not be able to make much money anymore, perhaps. The value would go down considerably and the risk far too high and the virtual competition just too much to keep up with. But I am a practical man, not someone who is overly righteous so as to bring desolation to myself and others all around me.
With so much corruption among wealth and power, whose very power threatens far more children that the poor perverts ever could, surely efforts could be better spent exposing what the powerful and wealthy do in secret. Now that would be fun to watch. But for sure, I think this group promoting this sick enterprise should themselves be prosecuted for entrapment, as well as prosecuting non-crimes.
Now if some of you out there are those who find young girls attractive and are trying hard to avoid such things, you need to consider that while there are claims that there are ways to avoid being tracked while online, such as through encrypted proxy servers and the like, I assure you that that is not the case. Even proxy servers can put code it to track you if thee want and I am sure they all want to and do. We know about recent NSA activities exposed by Mr. Snowden, so none should be so stupid as to imagine that they can not be tracked. You are being tracked all the time. Satan would have it no other way. You can take that to the bank.
God can heal our minds in time, if they need healed. But for the present, you have to make due with your imagination. But you would be smart not to brag about your weaknesses or go looking for trouble if you are a Christian. The Devil is on the constant prowl for anyone foolish enough to ignore the nations that their hypocritical power.
For the rest of us, we need not fear thoughts. We need to fear actions that violate every good sense of decency and morals such as trying to tempt people to break laws, in order to catch criminals. If you knew the real causes behind most crime and criminals, you might be shocked to realize that most of them are cultivated and are not just mistakes. Those who cult-ivate such ones, are themselves more evil than those they cult-ivate.
Our Sinful Condition
Is Pornography Wrong?
Is Mastrubation Wrong?
Vulgar and Sexual language in the Bible
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