A pastor friend of mine gave one of my favorite sermons. He entitled it, "There's No Such Thing as a Secret." Unfortunately, this pastor friend was living a double life. The same week he gave that sermon, he got caught acting out sexually with others and ended up losing his church.
Lust will try to assure you that no one will ever know. Lust is conniving and tells you that it is impossible for anyone to find out. Lust even says you have covered your tracks. I've counseled with men for more than 30 years, and there is one thing I know for sure: There is no such thing as a secret.
Here are a few facts. First, God is omnipresent and He sees you lusting. Second, He can see your heart and thoughts. Third, His Holy Spirit is in you, so there is no place to keep a secret. Fourth, the angels can see what you are doing. Fifth, as Hebrew 12:1 says: "Therefore, since we are encompassed with such a great cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." Sixth, your computer keeps a history of where you have been.
Here's a question I hear often from Christian men: "Is lust really wrong? After all, I'm not hurting anyone." Let me address the first part of this question. Think back to the scene in the Garden of Eden. The serpent asked Eve, "What did God say?" He questioned God's word and has used that tactic successfully since the first sin.
Let's set the record straight before we go any further. The Tenth Commandment is really clear: "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's" (Ex. 20:17). Proverbs also has something to say about lust: "Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, nor let her allure you with her eyelids" (Prov. 6:25).
God did say not to lust. He didn't break it down for you to give you permission to lust after certain things. He was clear. You and I are not to lust—period.
I want to address those of you reading this article that take a literal approach to the Scriptures above. You may believe God means you aren't to lust after your neighbors in your block. I want to remind you that Jesus cleared up who our neighbor is in the story of the Good Samaritan. Every woman is or will be your neighbor's wife. From a biblical perspective, you have absolutely no room to lust. Any permission to lust is self-granted, self-destructive, and self-defeating. Living in God's truth will keep you on the path of a lust-free life.
One of the reasons lust is able to keep growing in your life is because there is no one keeping watch. Think of farmers. When they plant their crops, they don't just leave them. They keep watch to make sure weeds and bugs don't consume their harvest.
Christ has planted His seed, the Holy Spirit, in our lives. Yet many have chosen not to keep watch, and they have allowed the weeds of lust to take over. Many men don't realize how often they lust in a day. They don't realize how they cultivate these lust weeds rather than the Holy Spirit in their lives on a daily basis.
Over the next month, I challenge you to keep a notepad or use your phone to track how often you lust. When I say lust, I mean every time you objectify, scan, double take or fantasize about any woman, either real or in an image. Keep a tally on a piece of paper or on your phone.
You will be amazed at how often you plant new weeds of lust, or cultivate old ones. In 30 days, this tip will help you move out of a place of denial about how often you lust, and let you know if lust is an issue for you.
Remember, Jesus said that our secrets would be shouted from the rooftops (Luke 12:3). If you still believe in secrets, you will get caught and humiliated. Many men who had faith in their secrets rather than faith in God ended up getting caught. Don't believe the lie of a secret. A secret is the perfect growing material for the weed of lust. Remember, you create the seed of lust. You give it the shade of false secrecy, and you can choose to live lust-free instead.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including Lust Free Living. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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