Last night at The Conversation (Mt Vernon’s Wednesday night Bible study) we talked about practical ways to fight lust (Matthew 5:27-30). In a world overflowing with lust, how can we as Christians protect ourselves? Here are the highlights from last night. If you struggle with lust, I pray that these truths will help you towards freedom.
1. First, admit that lust is a cancer to cut out, not a sickness to cope with. Lust isn’t a low grade fever. It isn’t something to medicate and cope with. Lust is a stage 2 cancer. If left unchecked, lust can literally destroy your life. The first step to defeating lust is to get serious about it. See it for what it really is: a cancerous sin that threatens your whole way of life.
2. Know where you struggle and go to the extreme to cut the cancer out. You don’t put a band-aid on cancer. You cut it out. You remove it, whatever it takes. People will undergo chemotherapy, radiation, and invasive surgery to remove cancer from their bodies. Shouldn’t we be the same way about sin?
Satan doesn’t have to be creative in the way he gets you to sin. All he has to do is find one thing that works, and keep pounding away at it until he’s destroyed you. You know where you struggle. If you struggle with lusting after nudity in movies, you should never have pay channels. If you struggle with internet porn, get rid of the internet. Wherever the cancer is, go to the extreme to cut it out.
3. Put guardrails in your life to protect yourself. Guardrails exist on the sides of dangerous roads to protect you. The idea is, if you make a mistake and crash, better to endure minor damage against a guardrail rather than fall off the cliff and pay the ultimate price. Put guardrails in your life in your fight with lust. Here are a few guardrails I use personally:
- No pay channels on Directv.
- Parental controls on Directv to avoid sexual content.
- Use internet filter on everything that accesses the internet. I use this not only to protect myself, but my boys (even at this young age) from questionable images. I’ve used x3watch for years and love it. They have filters for computers, iphones and ipads. Check them out!
- Guardrails even extend to how I interact with women. I’ll never ride alone in a car with another woman, even if it’s down the street. I don’t want anyone driving by to see me riding with another woman and make a bad insinuation.
4. Put guardrails in your family’s life to protect them from the evil one. If you have kids (or a husband) in the house, then you need filters on everything. NEVER underestimate what kids can discover on their own. It’s better to be the mean parent now then to discover twenty years later that they’re addicted to porn.
5. Choose mild embarrassment now over major embarrassment later. If you’ve got a problem with lust, get help now. Yes, it’s embarrassing to admit that you struggle with lust/porn, but it’s better to get help now while it’s still treatable. If left unchecked, lust will grow until it consumes you. At that point, the truth will come out, but it will be too late for you. Get help now if you need it.
We live in a world filled with lust, but that doesn’t mean that we have to be consumed by it. Through the power of the Christ and the wisdom he’s given us, we can conquer lust rather than be conquered by it.
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