Sinful addictions are like coal-tar-pitch… dark, sticky, and difficult to get rid of. Unless you keep the solution ready to remove the sap off your affected skin as soon as possible, it can discolor your body completely.
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.
It was Friday and I was kinda bored. I thought let me have some intelligent fun competition on FB. So, I posted a thought-provoking picture on my Facebook timeline asking my friends and relatives to write a caption (a word, few words or a sentence) describing that picture. And the results were berserk…
Preeta: “Everything is here, yet it’s incomplete!”
Pradita: “Game of Thrones – Mini!”
Kalpana: “Free Yet Slaves!”
Rima: “Once upon a time…in a faraway land…!”
Ashrita: “Castles can be built when you lose trap of the virtual world and embrace verity!”
Smruti Rekha: “We’d rather be incarcerated in the fortress of virtuality than perceive the reality!”
Aditi: “Building Castles in the Virtual World” – a harsh but real tweak to the old idiom “Building Castles in the air!”
Rain: “Access to the World!”
Gregory: “Where’s the bathroom?”
Kuljeet: “Ok so that’s the virtual castle my kids visit everyday…!”
Parimita: “iCastle on an iPhone: Crush the Castle to unlock!”
Abhinanda: “Imagination – There are no rules of architecture for a castle on the phone!”
All the entries or the captions were excellent and meaningful in their own ways but out of those 15 entries, Preeta Bhatnagar‘s caption moved me. It was absolutely simple, meaningful and well framed. Thus, I chose that as the best and am declaring her as the winner of this contest. I had promised earlier of a surprise reward for the best caption, so she will be receiving a Candles Online Poster Certificate as the winner of the competition.
Congratulations, Preeta Bhatnagar!
Note: The Wining Poster Certificate was set as the featured image of this post and will be displayed on the site’s sidebar as well till the next competition.
This is the commonest question that always pops in our minds – “WHY DID GOD ALLOW SIN TO EXIST IN THE FIRST PLACE?”
It did trouble me too, thinking why really God had to allow sin in this world. He could have easily destroyed that inclination in us or in the fallen angels, but He didn’t do that.
I studied further to find possibly TWO REASONS of the existence of SIN.
A. GOD DIDN’T WANT TO REDUCE US TO BE MERE ROBOTS
God created human beings with a free will, giving them the freedom to choose to exercise their own wishes. He created them as intelligent creatures possessing moral natures who could differentiate between right and wrong and choose the right one.
If God would have stopped human beings a second before their sin – which He could have easily – He would have violated their moral natures and reduced them to mere robots walking in His directions.
So God allowed sin to creep in and destroy His beautiful creation though the repercussions of sin were not taken back.
We had a week discussing about sin in brief and in details, yet I want to let you know few more facades of sin and how it traps us.
Prabhjot shared a video with me a couple of days ago about the now most talked about ‘Blue Whale Game’ and it was really disturbing for me while watching it.
The game goes on like this:
There are 50 tasks in the Blue Whale challenge. And nearly all of them involve waking up at a fixed time, 4:20am. After the wakeup call the second task is to tell your best friend you hate them. Each task has to be proved via Photographic evidence and submitted to an “administrator”. On day three, the teen is asked to watch a scary movie at midnight, usually “the ring”. Task four is complete when the teen makes his intent known to the outside world and updates his status to #IAMAWHALE. Alienation from society begins when they are tasked with watching scary movies through the day and listening to the audio files containing the sounds of breathing for up to three minutes that are sent to them by the administrators. It’s all a mind game until the self-harm begins. The teen is asked to cut the word “yes” or “F40” into their bodies to indicate that they are still in the game. At this stage most of them try to back out. But are usually blackmailed into continuing the game with the threat that personal information from their phones will be released to everyone to ensure that none of the teens begin to have doubts. The tasks now begin seeding the idea of suicide.
After jotting down the inscriptions shown in the video I found the exact picture how SIN entraps its prey. Let’s bring down those words which I marked in “bold” letters and find out how SIN really entraps or treats us.
Tasks – That’s the face of sin… beautiful and challenging because it engages us with its allurements and motivations
Time – Sin takes our time… It keeps us busy
Hate – Sin changes our original attribute of love
Evidence – Sin keeps every record of us
Submitted to an “administrator” – Sin dictates us
Known to the outside world – Sin exposes us
Alienation – Sin alienates us from our own selves
Breathing – Sin attacks our life
A mind game – Sin occupies our mind
Self-harm – Sin prompts us to harm our own-self
“Yes” – Sin makes us agree to it
Try to back out – We try to get rid of it, when we understand we are trapped
But – Sin doesn’t allow us to exit from its trap
Blackmailed – Sin blackmails us
Continuing the game – Sin forces us to continue the dirty game
Threat – Sin threatens us
Suicide – Sin finally kills us
Are you not terrified by this? I am very much.
I tried to go little deeper to find out the severity of sin and what it really can do to us. I found 9 metaphors of Sin mentioned in the Bible for our clear understanding of SIN and how dangerous it can be. They are as follows:
- Sin is POISONOUS like a viper – Think when we lie against each other, spread rumours, assassinate the character of our friends and others.
- Sin is STUBBORN like a mule – Think when we disobey our parents and teachers being so stubborn.
- Sin is CRUEL like a bear – Think how our plans are so devious and cruel when we plot against our own for a piece property or to get a name or fame.
- Sin is DESTRUCTIVE like a canker worm – Think how alcohol and sexual sins slowly eats us up.
- Sin is UNCLEAN like a wild dog – Think what we think and do when we are all alone in a dark room.
- Sin is CUNNING like a fox – Think when we scheme to harm someone and backbite
- Sin is FIERCE like a wolf – Think how sometimes we beat our children or friend in anger.
- Sin DEVOURS like a lion – Think how we murder with such brutality and become cold blooded.
- Sin is FILTHY like a swine – Think the sinfulness we are in which nobody knows except ‘me’ and ‘my God’.
The severity and nature of Sin is very clearly understood considering the self-explanatory features of the above mentioned animals and insect.
B. GOD ALLOWED SIN SO THAT HE CAN DISPLAY HIS LOVE AND GRACE
God allowed man to sin so that He might display His grace. He had been exhibiting all His attributes apart from His Grace before sin came into the picture.
Let’s consider the example of us as parents and elders when we encounter a similar situation when our children show tantrums to allow them something that we know is harmful for them. They plead for their freedom and because of our love for them we allow them liberty to follow their wishes keeping a close eye on them. But we present ourselves at the right time when they are in trouble caused by their freedom. We exhibit our love and grace as God had been doing for us all the time we cry unto Him when we go through sinful crisis, a crisis which Dulls our ears from listening to wise counsels of our God and elders, Darkens our eyes to see things clearly, Diverts our feet from the right path to wrong ones, Defiles our tongues to speak spew venom than blessing people, Deceives our hearts away from God, Devours our moral intellect to make us foolish and finally, Dooms our souls taking us away from His presence to hell.
God is always ready to SAVE us from our –
Sins of Ignorance when we don’t know what is wrong and right and we commit;
Sins of Infirmity when we do commit at times because of our weaknesses;
Sins of Carelessness that we commit out of our slackness and negligence;
Sins of Presumption when we do knowing what is right and wrong;
Unpardonable Sins when we rebelled against Him and deny Him of His existence.
He loves us and He waits for us when we will come near to HEAR His voice, plead for His HELP so that He can HEAL us from the severity of our sins. He is a loving God, He doesn’t force us for anything unless we surrender ourselves in His mighty hands.
“Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”
Sin never comes from outside, it comes from the inside. The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked.
For I was BORN A SINNER–yes, from the moment my mother conceived me
For I THINK SINFUL–everything I think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood
For MY WORKS ARE SINFUL–I have fallen short of God’s glorious standard
For EARTH IS CURSED–God said, the ground is cursed because of you
Above are few interesting facts about sin which we had read earlier in the Mega Article which gave us an overall view of sin. But to be specific we need to know that sin has deadly consequences and when we commit sin we face THREE major consequences that can affect not only our earthly life but also our eternity. Let me explain them one after the other:
1. Strains Our Relationships:
How can I forget the years I wasted living a debauched life. From June 2009 to September 2011 my father never called me “SON” though both of us were under one roof. I was deprived of my father’s love. I was in such malady, my days and nights were spent in wetting my pillow, just to hear the word “SON”. I don’t blame him for not talking to me those days because I was wrong. I faced rejection and broken relationships with every human being and moreover with Jesus. Life seemed to me burdensome, cursed and death was looking like the solution for freedom from all worries.
Sin destroys our relationship with the Environment , with other Human Beings, with Self and above all with GOD. We become hostile to God. Our relationship gets strained as I had with my father because of my sin against him and God.
2. Hostage of Guilt: We suffer with guilt of doing wrong to someone and committing sin against ourselves as well as God. Guilt literally eats us daily. I have another true story to vouch my words.
In the high school, she had friendship with her classmate boy. Though she didn’t like his behavior, she was emotionally very much inclined towards him. In their tender age they did a big mistake. She was the hostage of her sin, depression and guilt started eating her daily. The havoc of time didn’t allow her to express her inner pain to anyone. Though she was living a good life from outside but there was too much of chaos in her. Fear of rejection from her own and the guilt of sin capsized her hope of a better future. Suicide seemed the last option for her. She felt so obsessed by her sin that whatever happened around her, she started blaming herself though most of the time cases were different. It felt her good to lock herself and she thought it was right to stay aloof. Though she was fearful of death but death stood the ultimate choice. And it all happened because she was forced to surrender herself one afternoon.
3. Eternal Death: As we are spiritual beings with a body, mind and spirit we live for eternity. Our body may end when we are dead but our spirit lives for eternity. But when our spirit is soiled by sinful acts of us on this earth we face eternal death. We face eternal death when our sins are not forgiven or blotted out by God Himself. We might try to patch up with good works but it never rescues us from the guilt and condemnation within us.
John Bunyan said, “One leak will sink a ship: and one sin will destroy a sinner.”
Though by birth, by thought, by work and by living we all are sinners yet God has given us the freedom of choice. When we take the freedom of choice in absolute it takes our eternity in account. The creation of human is so enigmatic that God has put eternity in us and alongside He gave us the freedom of its sustainability. Taking freedom as absolute is sin and it ultimately gives pathway to Guilt – Condemnation and Eternal Death.
Friends, the Bible says, “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster.” The choice is ours.
God the one who created us in His image is so loving and gracious that, He always keeps an EXIT door for us from sinning. Whenever we are tempted or about to commit Sin, there is always an EXIT point.
I ignored …. neglected and behaved like a stone.
The act was terrible. but what is done is done. The damage cannot be worked on. Those little eyes looked upon me with broken expectations, enough to drown me in those tears. The pain that propelled in my heart was inseparable. The pain I caused with my deed, my negligence was never an excuse to escape.
The wrongdoing I could have avoided, brought out the agony which she could not bear. It was so inhuman for me to even tell her that. All she did was look at me and weep in silence. Her eyes were haunting my thoughts all along. Even I couldn’t celebrate the victory of my winning argument. The thoughts baffled my head and mind. Finally, I realized how foolish I was to think of winning over a child with a statement. She was just a small girl, how could she ever even reciprocate to her mother.
The next moments were full of disgrace and shame that I could feel all over. The feeling of shame crept into my mind and all I did was weep. It was like I was captured by the devil for a moment and then as the disgrace came over and conquered my mind, the devil left my side. Emotional turmoils were boiling in my heart, all I just wanted was to run back hug her and apologize. But, yes the ego never lets you do it.
Finally, Motherhood angel swept into my heart, I felt like there was the light beyond. I took up all my courage and went down to her apologizing for “behaving childishly”. The little hands wiped my tears and kissed me. I do not know what exactly I caused to her tiny heart, but indeed her heart was big enough to forgive her foolish mommy.
At times we are so childish that, we think we can fool around and mess with our kids. Ignoring them, their simple needs, their fulfill-able demands, and requests. As they fight with us, we just ignore the fact they are little kids, they won’t understand the depth. Still, we fight with them like adults do, as we cannot surrender to our ego.
Ego, temptations, greed etc. land us in bigger sins which we might think is minute but, are bigger mistakes. The sins are committed to hurt others in an immoral way. A sin is a stimulation that leads us to commit wrongdoing to hurt someone just to win over a situation or even the outcome of a chaotic mind. No one can live with a sinful mind, there will be a moment when even the true heart inside you cannot celebrate the joy of victory that you gained with all the sinful act.
As a mom, I commit a lot of mistakes, but it doesn’t mean that I have to live a downtrodden life. The moment we overcome from the shallow minds and understand the needs of our mind, living would be peaceful. Hurting someone to gain something in life is not a righteous act. Many people commit sins knowingly and unknowingly just for the pleasure of seconds. The greatest fears in us lead to the commit crimes that can be avoided with a simple smile or a word of apology, even a hug.
Let us wear the smile on of our face and smile from our heart. No one lives a life to win over. We all live for a purpose. A purpose to keep ourselves and our near and dear ones happy.
“The center of Sin and Pride is ‘I’.”
Five-year old Blessy came back from school scared that day. The Dictation answer sheets had been distributed in class and she had committed two mistakes, thus losing two marks. She thought she had written all correct spellings and hoped to score full marks. Now what awaited her was a nice piece of her mother’s mind. She debated within herself whether to show the answer sheet to her mother or hide it. Finally she decided to show it. After all, her mother was going to find it sooner or later! With shaky hands and lowered eyes, she extended the answer sheet to her mother after dinner – all the time thinking what excuse she could give. Her wise mother brought out the text book from the school bag, turned to the chapter, showed Blessy the correct spellings and explained that anything other than those mentioned spellings, are wrong.
We use these words interchangeably in our everyday lives to indicate any deviation from the norm. Anything that is not correct, is considered incorrect. Anything that is not right, is considered wrong. To declare whether something is incorrect or wrong or erroneous, we need to have the knowledge of what is correct or right or the norm. Absence of standards renders mistakes/errors/wrongs into irrelevance – just as without traffic rules, adherence to / violation of traffic rules is insignificant.
AN UNCHANGEABLE STANDARD
Violation of absolute moral laws put in place by the Creator is called sin. All moral law begins with God. We cannot speak of sin without mentioning God. It is because of the presence of a self-existing and pre-existing God, that there are absolute moral laws in place for the whole of mankind even before civilizations emerged. Culture defines civilizations. Education and development refine human functioning. Awareness empowers the human mind. The Constitution of a country establishes the law of the land. All such standards are very essential for the civilized functioning and growth of the human race. However, they are subject to modifications and amendments according to the changing times. To give an example – today we have Cyber Crime cells in place, in the law and order systems of most countries; decades before, they were non-existent. God’s moral laws, however, are uniformly meant for the entire mankind for all times to come irrespective of nationality, ethnicity, sex, race, caste, language, socio-economic status or occupation. That is why God’s laws are absolute! His standards are unchangeable even in the changing times. This is because, God Himself doesn’t change.
In the Bible, God declares, “For I am the Lord, I change not.”
Hence, violation of God’s standards, is sin.
ALL SIN IS SIN AGAINST GOD
We cannot substitute words like ‘mistake’, ‘error’, ‘wrong’, for sin. These substitute terms hold good for violation of human standards. But, not to refer to the violation of the absolute moral standards of God. Hence, mere euphemisms do not reduce the gravity of violating God’s standards. All sin, whether it harms us or others or no one in particular, is ultimately against the Holy God.
A PERVERSION OF GOD’S DESIGN
Human beings have been created in God’s image to reflect His glory. What a high mandate for us! No sin dwells in God. Hence, no sin ought to find place in our lives. But when we sin, we mar the very image of God and raise our hands against God’s glory. We attempt to distort God’s design!
NO EXCUSE FOR SIN
The legal frameworks of many countries have the provision of not convicting people accused of legal aberrations if they are in the ripe old age. The heads of countries and certain government officials enjoy legal immunity till they are in power, for any action of omission or commission. However, there is no excuse whatsoever for sin against God. A sinful man is without excuse. Sin is sin irrespective of the age at which it is committed or the circumstances under which it may be committed. Because we have been created in the image of God, we have His moral law etched in our hearts. This rules out ignorance / lack of awareness as an excuse for sin.
The Bible says, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
SIN CAN NEVER BE HIDDEN
“For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.”
All sinful deeds committed under the table, behind closed doors, in the darkest corners, in mountain holes or in the deep seas stand exposed before the Omniscient God. People around us may remain ignorant of the petty or humongous misdeeds committed by us. But, you and I can never escape the All-seeing eyes of the One who watches everything.
SIN HAS CONSEQUENCES – ON EARTH AS WELL AS IN ETERNITY
A spelling mistake in exam would result in less marks and scolding from parents/tutors. A typo in an important document would lead an employee to wash his/her hands off the job. A misprint in the wedding invitation card may lead guests to land up at the wrong venue. Similarly, sin’s consequences are inescapable. To give an example – A person fiddling with multiple sexual partners is bound to suffer from STDs, apart from other social and emotional consequences.
“For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing…”
INTENSITY IS NOT THE DEFINING PRINCIPLE OF SIN
A sin is a sin if it violates God’s standards, no matter whether it is measured as big or small by the world. And God’s standards are really high. The Bible says –
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.”
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
So, if we have been categorizing murder, robbery, rape as grave sins and dismissing petty lies, cheating, anger, bribery as circumstantial acts of misdeed, it’s time for a reality check!
As long as we are in the flesh, we are susceptible to sin. The Bible says, “…each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin…”
It is easy to brush aside this whole concept of sin which tends to make one pretty uncomfortable. But, it is not right to live each day ignoring the fact that we may be sinning in multiple ways. Such an understanding would ultimately lead to a doomed eternity, as our sinful thoughts, words and actions are bound to come before us one day. Sin calls for repentance and repentance leads to seeking forgiveness from God and man.
Friends, living in sin equals to dying to God. Let’s not mess with sin. Let’s seek to remove the shadow of sin from our lives.