Monday, February 22, 2010

The Love Dare Part 24: Every Man's Battle(give me a break)

End it now.  Identify every object of lust in your life and remove it.  Single out every lie you've swallowed in pursuing forbidden pleasure and reject it.  Lust cannot be allowed to live in a back bedroom.  It must be killed and destroyed - today - and replaced with the sure promises of God and a heart filled with His perfect love.

I've heard this argument before.  In books like Every Man's Battle.  In youth group.  And I've come to believe that it's bull.  You can't just kill it, you can't just destroy it.  You can't put it out of yourself any more than you can put out the sun.  It is a part of you, a part that can cause damage, that can be dangerous and painful, but a part of you none the less.  You have to learn to live with it, to control it.  Thinking that you can destroy it just leads to self-hatred and frustration.  You have to come to understand that lust is a fallen version of the urges that were created perfect in humans, by God.  Lust isn't the urge itself, it is an expression of it.

I read a really great book once, a really fascinating one.  It's called I Loved A Girl, a collection letters between two men about sex & God.  It is the most honest and open Christian book about sex I've ever read.  But it has a fantastic description of lust.  Lust is a lion, and you live in a room with it all your life.  If you are in control, the way that a lion tamer can be in a circus, you can walk up to the lion and place your head into its mouth without fear or danger.  If you're out of control, the lion will sense it and you're finished.  THAT, is how to deal with lust.

Just don't think too much about the metaphorical implications of taking control of lust to the point you can stick your head into its mouth.

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Sarah said...

I agree.

A speaker who came to Biola, who used to be gay, put it this way:

"People don't go to hell for being gay. There is one reason why anybody goes to hell: they are not reconciled to God through Christ . . . God doesn't take away feelings and attractions. They represent something, usually damage and unmet needs. And God doesn't take away damage, He heals it; and He doesn't take away need, He satisfies it rightly."

Too often people, Christian or non-Christian, think that the feeling, or the desire, or the urge that's sometimes impossible to just "not feel" anymore is the sin itself. But a sinful person is just an unreconciled person, and more than anything, these things are evidence of our need for God's grace through the power of Christ.

Frogstar said...

Interesting thought, you have. It might be splitting hairs, but I think the real truth of the love dare lies in the second sentence. Sure, no man will ever completely remove lust from his heart, but you can remove every THING that incites or encourages lust. It's like the two dogs analogy. Get rid of all lust-food.

You write, "You have to learn to live with it, to control it." That is the crux, but how do you do it?

I have my thoughts, but I want to hear yours.