Matthew 5:27 – 30 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. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go to hell.
Boy, this is a tough one. In our media-crazed culture, it’s just about impossible not to lust. After all, everywhere you look, you see a scantily clad woman beckoning with a come hither look. She is on billboards, plastered on the sides of buses, even in our living rooms when we turn on the television sets.
But God takes our thoughts seriously. Very seriously. He doesn’t want us to just look righteous. He wants us to be righteous. You see, God knows what many of us don’t. He knows that our thoughts are the doorways to our actions. When our thoughts aren’t right, our actions aren’t right.
The man who lusts after a woman who isn’t his wife – even if he doesn’t actually sleep with her – probably isn’t loving His wife the way Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). His thoughts, even if he doesn’t act on them, affects his actions toward his wife.
And it isn’t just men who struggle with their thoughts. Women do it, too, though we may struggle in different ways, and in different areas. But truly, if we allow our minds to dwell on things that are not pleasing to God, it will affect our actions, for our actions are born from our thoughts.
I don’t think that Christ was telling us to literally gouge out our eyes. Even blind people struggle with their thoughts. But He was making the point that we need to guard our thoughts, for if left unchecked, they can send us straight to a hell-on-earth existence. And without Christ, our evil thoughts will send us straight to hell.
So turn the television off, if it causes you to struggle. Don’t talk to that woman or that man who leads your thoughts astray. Keep your eyes straight ahead, and don’t even let yourself look at the person or the thing that leads you away from God-pleasing thoughts. And when the absence of the television or that person leaves a void in your life, fill it back up with God, and your family, and things that will please God, things that will truly give you the abundant life that He wants you to have.
Dear Father, Please forgive me for failing, at times, to control my thoughts. Help me to focus on things that will please You.
Thank you, Renae.
Always we must remember: we are sinners.
In our emotions, in our thoughts.
We can not choose the thoughts or feelings that flit across our hearts and minds.
But we can choose whether to invite them in and make them comfortable.
That’s when we need vigilance.
Do we befriend and chat awhile with thoughts and feelings that entice but only lead to destruction?
Or do we breathe a sigh of thanks that we’re sinners in need of a Savior…
And then show those unwelcome strangers the door.
Thanks, Judi. Good thoughts. I love the way you worded it – “and then show those unwelcome strangers the door.”
Every time I say the same thing… Maybe you are getting tired of it, Renae! 😉 But this is another wonderful post and so true. I think the longer such “unwelcome strangers” are entertained, the harder it is to get rid of them. If we dismiss them immediately, they can’t become habits. (Really insightful comment, too, Judi!)
best wishes and such a great blog site. i will be back some how i found you looking for stuff on our sons birth defect esophageal atresia.
Thanks Jeanette! Actually, I never get tired of being appreciated – does anyone? 😉 You are always so kind and encouraging.
Welcome, Kayla! You probably found us because we have been praying for Chloe, who has biliary atresia. I just visited your site and saw a picture of adorable, precious Lucian. We will pray for him, too!
A great post Renae, and like Judi said, we’re all sinners, one way or another.
Thanks, Jackie. Yes, we are.