CHASTITY IN THE LAND OF LUST

Understanding Lust:

I have seen people using lust and love as similar meaning words on many occasions. But the meanings of these two words are completely different.

Unlike love, lust is extremely self-centered, it never allows a person to see anyone else but himself or herself, it lets a person focus someone’s physical body than their inner beauty and it lets a person to have physical intimacy than establishing a deep emotional bonding with another.

Let me explain how lust can affect a person…

Have you ever seen a drunkard blabbering on a road tottering from this side to that side of it? Yes, we all must have witnessed it many times on the streets.

Do people take him seriously whatever he says in that fully drunk state? No, because we all know it very well that the drunkard is not in his own control.

Lust is a state something of that kind. It is an experience of intense carnal urges and unbridled sexual craving. Lust is not an emotion, but it involves the experience of fleshly enjoyment with anticipation of sexual pleasure.

Mary C. Lamia, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, and psychoanalyst says, “Lust provides a rare window through which you can view your vulnerabilities as you are swept away by your imagination.”

But the condition is, only if we can realise about our vulnerabilities then we can learn from it for a future reference otherwise we move towards destruction gradually.

Depth of Lust:

We all know, how different companies produce different products for their customers according to what they wished in their minds. In the same way, the media produces different films and series basing on the mindsets and desires of people of this world today.

Would you believe that the psychological disorders which I had studied while doing a counselling degree are now slowly being accepted as sexual preferences or choices?

Let me explain…

BDSM which has been unknown to most of the people previously has become popular among many today. I feel very scared to even think about it even.

I watched a series recently on the same subject and was amazed how it ended. A married woman who loves her husband a lot. The husband is a very good man and loves his wife as well. They didn’t have any problems whatsoever. But the woman always feels very lonely staying all the time at home when her husband is at work. She eventually meets a man on a chatting site who insists her to meet him at his place. She doesn’t agree initially but thought of giving a try as she is attracted to what the man used to write about sexual submission and dominance. And finally, she visits him and submits to his dominance. She suffers from a psychological issue later on and to help her out, her husband comes to know about her secret life. The story ends with the husband releasing his wife to that man. Message of the story was – Lust won over the chastity of marriage.

Examples like the above, are many, I can’t list them out all here.

Famous psychiatrist and author Judith Orloff, M.D. rightly says, “As a psychiatrist, I’ve seen how intense sexual attraction is notorious for obliterating common sense and intuition in the most sensible people.”

Crimes Led By Lust:

Lust is an intense mental state which leads a person to commit heinous and soul stirring crimes.

The Bible mentions a good king who fell for a beautiful woman, slept with her and to marry her, he murdered her husband craftily.

We are aware of the crimes against women and children in the forms of sexual abuses, molestations, rapes caused by lust.

Have you ever heard about ‘Lust Murder’? Wikipedia explains, “A lust murder is a homicide in which the offender searches for erotic satisfaction by killing someone”. I was shaken literally when I read this sentence.

Apart from strong sexual urges, lust can also depict intense cravings for food, money and power as well which ultimately leads to various small and big crimes happening daily around us. Lust of money leads people to rob things from others. Lust of food makes people sick and obese. Lust of power creates disparity in the country and war situations around the world.

Chastity against lust:

In this context of lust, talking about Chastity seems meaningless and impossible. Isn’t it? It looks like Chastity has been swallowed up by the lust of human beings in this world. But we all are aware of the consequences; lust can only lead us to destruction.

The Bible stirs our minds with few thought-provoking questions –

“Can a man take fire in his bosom
And his clothes not be burned?
Or can a man walk on hot coals
And his feet not be scorched?”

We know the answer very well. Lust is like fire, like burning hot coals that can burn our chest, our body if we embrace onto it. It can burn our feet if we walk on its path.

Chastity is also a state or practice of refraining from extramarital, or especially from all, sexual intercourse. Basically, chastity means sexual purity.

So, as human we can live in one or other way – live a life of purity or lead an impure life. We can’t stay in a 50-50 condition because, a tiny bit of impurity soils and spoils everything. Yes, I understand that we as human are not perfect, we have weaknesses but there have to have a constant striving within us for perfection – moving from impurity to purity. When we stay stagnant at a point, we stay impurity of lust.

In short, I want to mention a few helpful points for our striving towards Chastity in the land of lust. They are as under:

Guarding my eyes: The Bible says, ““I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman”. There’s a tendency in us to look at another person of the opposite sex with lust but when we prayerfully practice it not to do so, one day we see the result ourselves. Practice makes a man perfect. But there has to have goal setting and willingness to strive for a life of purity.

Guarding my mind: The Bible says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”The Bible verse doesn’t contradict the natural instinct of human beings getting attracted to the physical bodies of people of the opposite gender. In fact, that is how we are made! But, lust in the mind creates a craving for adultery in action – “a thought of having physical or sexual relationship with the woman I am looking at.”The eyes look at the woman, sends the message back and there’s a thought evolves in the mind instructing the eyes to look at the woman again and again. But when we guard our mind by constant striving, we can help stopping the lustful thought process and ultimately, we can hope for a positive result one day.

Guarding my steps: I always need to know whom I am following, what I am following. Am I feeding myself with filthy stuffs or feeding myself with good things? I can’t expect to be pure if I keep watching pornography. I can’t expect to be compassionate if I rear hatred in my heart. I can’t strive for chastity if I keep looking at this woman or that.

The Bible says,Don’t imitate the behavior and patterns of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” If I want to change the mindset of my community and the people around me then I have to first change myself. That is possible if I do what is right. I can do what is right if I know and understand what is right. If I follow what people are doing then I will surely be faltering sooner or later. I need to know where and how I am walking in my life.

Friends! Preaching is easy, practicing is very hard, and living it, is all the more difficult. It is a challenge for all of us to maintain Chastity in the midst of a lustful world but it is not impossible and also beneficial for us. Let’s keep guarding our eyes, our minds, and our steps.

Stay Blessed!

LOOKING AT A WOMAN LUSTFULLY

Finally, the ‘Lustful Week’ has come to an end… 😉

Throughout the week we have addressed teenagers and adolescents with regards to the issue of ‘Attraction & Lust.’ But are we, adults free from lust? Do we guard our eyes effectively?

I remember an incident described by my cousin when we were teenagers. He & his friend went to their coaching class. While returning they saw a known uncle coming out of an adult Movie Theatre. These two mischievous creatures went right in front of him and greeted him. The Uncle! Huh! Literally ran away from them feeling ashamed.

One Bible verse really struck me.  I could not proceed further when my eyes fell on this Bible verse in Matthew 5:28 (NIV) where it says, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

I started searching for the parallel versions of the same verse to see the synonyms of the word ‘lustfully.’ I found the verse in different translations which are taken from ‘biblelexicon(dot)org’ as follows:

New American Standard (©1995)
‘but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.’

King James Bible
‘But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.’

Young’s Literal Translation
‘but I — I say to you, that every one who is looking on a woman to desire her, did already commit adultery with her in his heart.’

What does the word ‘lust’ really mean? Is it looking at a woman’s breasts? Is it admiring the curves of a woman? Or is it thinking of going to bed with the woman I am looking at? The word ‘lust’ really confused me.

Google search gives the meaning/meanings as under:

Noun: Very strong sexual desire.

Verb: Have a very strong sexual desire for someone.

Synonyms: Noun. desire – craving – longing – passion – concupiscence

Verb: crave – hanker – desire – yearn – covet – thirst – long

The Lexicon online Bible says, the original word in Greek is: epithumeó 

It describes the word in English further as: ‘to show focused passion,’ ‘greatly desire to do or have something.’

Before I could conclude on the meaning of the word ‘lust,’ the article which we read few days ago on last Sunday came into my mind suddenly.

Yeah! I am talking about the Mega Article written by Prabhjot which clearly states that it is a natural instinct of men to look at the curves, breasts etc., of women to whom they ultimately get attracted to marry. That is how we are created.

I found two conflicting thoughts within my mind. Both the Bible verse and the article seemed alright to me yet, why there seemed to be a contradiction? Or was I missing the difference somewhere?

I decided to do an in-depth study on the word ‘adultery,’ because that’s the result of our natural instinct.

The web meaning says: “voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not his or her spouse.”

The Lexicon online Bible confirms it with a definition: I commit adultery (of a man with a married woman, but also of a married man).

Adultery involves illicit relationship between a married man or woman. The Bible verse doesn’t contradict the natural instinct of human beings getting attracted to the physical bodies of people of the opposite gender. In fact, that is how we are made! But, lust in the mind creates a craving for adultery in action – “a thought of having physical or sexual relationship with the woman I am looking at.”

There is a big difference between ‘a thought of having physical or sexual relationship with the woman’ and ‘just getting attracted to the physical beauty of a woman.’ The natural instinct of a man to get attracted to a woman is for choosing a life partner which is not needed for married men anymore.  So, as a married man I simply cannot have both kinds of thoughts running in my mind at the same time.

This is really a struggle many of us go through today. We need to improve not just to show our spirituality but also to show our faithfulness and love for our beloved spouses. This is a practical and a day-to-day issue for all irrespective of our beliefs. We need to improve and grow daily as ‘complete men,’ physically, mentally and spiritually.

(NOTE: Please be open and feel free to comment in support of or against my views. Please also provide your view points on this issue. This article is not for the Christians but for the all to read, comment and share their view points.)

Author’s Bio: Chiradeep Patra is a finance man who works in a NGO at Kolkata. He is a writer, motivator & counselor. 

IF WE CAN CONDEMN PRIDE, GREED, ANGER… THEN WHY NOT LUST?

God created humans in his image. From times immemorial it has been conceived that we are called to be one and one with God but given the present circumstances that is far from being true. This week’s topic talks about ‘Attraction and Lust’. This is something that has been dealt in each one of our lives.

While interacting with people, individuals come across the members of the opposite sex and during their growth years, experience major changes which have already been discussed earlier. Now the changes have been experienced by everyone but not all of us know the emotional and ethical folds that are in this. Attraction here deals with something that happens between two individuals and that can be considered a step further than friendship but later on leads to two broad pathways, Love and Lust.

To talk about something like this one has to have an uninhibited mentality as these topics are seldom discussed in the public forum. But it does not mean it is less important.

Love and Lust are two separate entities and by no means have they overlapped each other. While I was attending a seminar on Following God in an X-rated World I was enlightened by the following which I really think needs to be shared. This is how love and lust differ from each other. But before going about it I would like to say that Lust is listed under the seven deadly Sins of the world and Love as we all know is a gift from God.

When individuals indulge in Lust they look forward to using their partner while in love they care. This destroys the partner while in love it nurtures. Love is sharing a life with the partner while Lust is just a mere action. Lust involves separation in every way while in love a person emotionally bonds. Lust is visual and genital but love involves the mind, body and soul. Lust most importantly curses the image of God in the partner whereas in Love the image is honoured. Lust later on leads to depravity as it never completes but is temporary. Love on the other hand is a sign of sanctification. Lustful people are always irresponsible and are concerned about their own pleasure. People in love take up the responsibility. Actions done in lust are an act of rebellion against the Almighty while love is an expression of the joy of obedience to Him.

Therefore, friends we all get attracted but the choice is ours. Where do we want to go, the way of Lust or the way of Love? Through this, I don’t wish to condemn or judge anyone as we are all judged for something or the other committed. On another perspective if we can condemn Pride, Greed, Anger, Gluttony, Sloth and Envy, why not Lust?