Dealing With Lust
Something interesting has happened this week. A number of bloggers have suddenly noticed that pagans don't have a monopoly on lust - many of us Christians are just as guilty.
Let me give you some examples. A blogger named David Bayly has recognized that stat counters have turned many of us bloggers into statistics-addicted influence seekers. Marla over at Intellectuelle has noticed that a lot of Christians dress like tramps.
Both of these posts do an excellent job of exposing ways we lust for things we do not have. We are sluts, harlots, whores - in heart if not in deed. And if the ensuing discussions are any indication, the problems they unearth seem to resonate with many.
What I find fascinating in all this is not the fact that so many of us struggle in these areas; what is interesting to me is how people respond to these struggles.
Almost without exception (you'll have to read the articles yourself if you want to fact check me on this), all of the advice and comments generated in these discussions seems to center on coping strategies: Find yourself craving more hits on your blog? Try turning off your stats counters, try "fasting" from posting. Find yourself looking at all that cleavage in church? Women, you need to dress differently; men, you need to try not to be around them, and if you must, then stare at the ceiling. Got a problem? Try this, try that...
Now listen - I'm not suggesting that we don't need to be serious in our efforts to combat our desires. Scripture is practical and we should be too. It just strikes me as interesting that almost no one is talking about how to eliminate the underlying desires. Almost no one is talking about where those lusts come from.
Wouldn't it be best if I didn't crave the attention and influence that blogging seems to promise? Wouldn't it be better if a woman in a bikini didn't even register on my radar because I am so in love with my own wife? Wouldn't it be best if I could actually overcome my lust altogether, rather than merely trying to control the sinful behavior that results from it?
How come no one's talking about how to change the heart? Hmmm?
(I have some suggestions, but I think I'll let you ponder the question for a while first).