Sex may sell, but Jesus can save
“No amount of regulation on TV, the internet, or advertisements will ever put an end to our lustful desires.”
At least, that’s what advertisers in magazines and television would tell you. Never before has there been a time in which the average American is exposed to more sexually-based commercials or advertisements than today. We have seen how the exposure of men and women has become so ingrained in our culture that it seems commonplace rather than an exceptional event. Is it any wonder that so many of us get caught up in lust when we have easy and total access to millions upon millions of websites, videos, photos, profile pictures, commercials, television shows, and movies? How do we even begin to approach that biblically?
For the past several weeks, we have discussed the mortification of sin at the Well. This involves putting our sinful nature to death in favor of pursuing a relationship with God that transcends our own worldly strength. This helps us to wrest control away from the sinful longings of our hearts. If we believe that this is true, how do we identify the best way to put our lustful desires to death? Let’s take a crack at it.
What is the cause of our desires to lust after women or men that aren’t our spouses? We have to accept a basic truth to figure this out. The amount of obscene or exposing photos and videos in the media and on our Facebook feeds is not the cause of our struggles with lust. No amount of regulation on TV, the internet, or advertisements will ever put an end to our lustful desires. They may decrease our exposure to it, but we have to understand that these are symptoms of a bigger problem within us. We are a people that covets what we do not have. The sinful nature of our hearts is what feeds our desires and causes our eyes to wander. By understanding that the root of our lust comes from our hearts, we can begin to root out the problem and face our struggles directly.
The best thing we can do to bring our lustful desires under control is to pursue a relationship with God. His daily presence in our lives is a crucial factor in our ability to fight off thoughts or feelings that have no place in our hearts. 2 Timothy 2:22 tells us to “flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” This is accomplished by pursuing Jesus, the true source of love and peace in our lives. Jesus is the starting point with which we can begin to make changes in our lives.
No matter how many boundaries or rules we may set to prevent our wandering eyes or thoughts, nothing is as effective as having a foundation in Christ’s Word.
These rules and boundaries may be crucial or helpful to our struggle with lust. Limiting accessibility to forms of media that may cause us to stumble or having an accountability partner that has access to our thoughts and actions is very wise. However, the change that comes from the inside of our hearts has to come from asking God to change our desires. Without spending time in his Word, we will always fight a losing battle.
By molding our hearts to mirror God’s desires for our own lives, we find that true progress is made in our struggles. Fighting lust is difficult. It is so against our own desires and instincts as sinful humans that we require something supernatural and greater than ourselves to combat our feelings and thoughts. However, it is possible with the strength and power of Jesus Christ. By placing our trust in Him, we have the support we need to put to death the lustful desires of our flesh.