A Post About Lust

I've never written a post about lust before.

But it was on my mind this morning, because it was on God's mind. He writes about it in James 1:13-15:

"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does He tempt any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death."

While we often think of lust in terms of sexual desire, a more biblical definition of lust is

a desire for something that cannot be rightfully satisfied.

This definition certainly applies to any sexual desire that can't be satisfied within the bonds of marriage. It also applies to many other desires that tempt us.

We can lust for power, respect, possessions, relationships, even ministry positions!

Any desire we can't satisfy in a godly way is lust.

Watch the progression of lust in these verses:

1. We are tempted.
2. We are drawn away by our own lust (desire for something that cannot be rightfully satisfied).
3. We are enticed (further ensnared).
4. Lust conceives and brings forth sin. We commit the act we've been thinking about.
5. Our sin brings forth death.  

Here's one example of how a godly woman can be ensnared by lust:

1. I see my friend's beautiful home. It's always clean. There are no piles of dirty clothes, dishes, or children scattered about. I compare it to my own house. I am tempted to covet her home. (temptation)

2. The more I think about how lovely her home looks, the more dissatisfied I become with my own home, family, and life.(drawn away)

3. Anger rises up in me. If I had her house, her husband, her children, her administrative gifts, her diligence and conscientiousness, then my house wouldn't be such a mess! (enticed)

4.  Walking through the door of my own home, I immediately blast the children who are playing happily on the (messy) living room floor, the husband who is resting in the La Z Boy after a long day at work, and the dog, who just happened to be in the same room. I yell, threaten, berate, and, possibly, throw things. (sin)

5. Through my angry words and actions, I have wounded my husband, damaged my children, and frightened the dog. (death).

Is my desire for a clean house sin? No.

But if I want it so badly that I am willing to sin in order to get it, then I have given in to lust.

And lust, when its work is complete, brings forth death.

Thankfully, there's another option.

"Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (James 1: 16-17).

It's not wrong to want a husband, friends, obedient children who love God, a husband who is the spiritual leader of my home, a neat house, and/or a productive ministry. These are good and perfect gifts. But we cannot disregard God's principles for godly behavior in order to get them. God will never bless our disobedience.

Is there anything you want that you cannot rightfully (in a godly way) have? I challenge you to surrender it to God and trust Him to give you His "good and perfect gifts" in exchange.

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  1. What a great post, Lori! So glad you shared it over at The Alabaster Jar.

  2. so good, Lori, and not the typical examples we have for lust, but right on. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Thank you for such an excellent post. Thank you for sharing it.

  4. You're right. Most of the time we think of lust as referring to sexual desires, but I this puts a whole new light on it. Very convicting, Lori! Thanks for sharing it.

  5. Anonymous9:12 PM

    I really like your definition of lust-- I've never heard it that way, but that's perfect!

  6. Amen amen amen! This is beautiful defined!

  7. Great post! I'm sharing it on my facebook page:

  8. Wow, powerful post!! So true and one that I need to reminded of. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Lori, this is awesome, and very eye-opening when you look at it in that way! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  10. Anonymous10:52 PM

    Great post! You said it all so well. We need to hear this again and again and again. Lust is a word we don't like to talk about but it is so present in all our lives. Your examples were so true.

  11. Thanks for sharing this widened view of lust. I think we often limit it to only sexual temptation when it has such broader application. Thanks for linking up with WIP!