Let’s start with Adam. God went into the garden and asked him a question. Adam pointed to Eve in shame.
Are you pointing fingers when it comes to your lust? Are you pointing to the pop up ad? To the woman at the bar?
As you are trying to break free from lust, consider what it could look like for you to stop accusing others around you and start acknowledging what’s within you.
You are designed out of love and for love, not lust.
While you’re working towards sexual wholeness, remember this: God went into the garden looking for Adam and Eve in His love not because of their lust.
Jesus takes lust seriously. And, there’s no where in His words that a man is not responsible for his own adultery.
God made our eyes for love not lust. The God-given design of our eyes is to love, to see others and love them.
Why do you blame others for your lost? Shame. Shame that we can not control ourselves, that we are so powerless in the face of beauty, that we are so weak when it comes to seeing the beauty of another’s body.
If we want to be people who begin to recognize and live with the reality that our eyes are made for love and not for lust, we have to reckon with the reality of how much shame we experience at the fact that we are so out of control, that we are so weak.
“Anatomy of the Soul: Surprising Connections between Neuroscience and Spiritual Practices That Can Transform Your Life and Relationships
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This Episode’s Transcription
Hey, everybody, hope you’re doing well today, I want to dive into a topic today, I think that is pretty entrenched in our culture and maybe has been entrenched in our culture for a long, long time or many cultures for long, long time. And it comes in different flavors, different stripes, but it’s all really kind of one fabric. And the the general idea behind it all is that is that men can’t control their their lust, especially if they’re confronted with a, somebody who’s dressed provocatively or who’s coming on to them, or they’re in a situation where it would just be expected they would last in some way. The idea, again, take many different stripes of it on the on the maybe the lighter end of things would be people who say things like, Look, guys are wired visually. And so if you put a certain something or someone in front of them, they’re gonna look. And what they mean by that is, if you if a man sees a woman in a, you know, a skimpy bikini or something like that, they’re going to lust after her. That’s just the way they are, there is no question about it, it’s just how they are. Another strike may be of the same fabric is, in some cultures, where women are really expected to dress kind of head to toe cover their skin, in some cultures even cover their faces, in order to prevent men from losting, or to keep men from lacing. And if they don’t, then they are to borrow from scripture, they’re quote, unquote, putting a stumbling block in front of the men, which the underlying assumption there is that that men are not responsible for their lusts. And then, of course, one final expression of this that I think is probably the most this the saddest is is, is when a man takes advantage of a woman sexual exploits a woman or a young woman, or even when rape is involved. And they’re kind of just given a slap on the wrist like, well, you know, okay, but what did you expect? They were both inebriated. It was a tempting situation, or she had been flirting with him all night. And so, you know, where did you really expect him to go with all that pent up sexual energy, which again, boils down to the message of men are not responsible for their own lusts. And women are? This I think that last ideas gotten a good a significant bit of pushback. But I hope you hear in all these, the the general idea that underlying ideas still kind of it just is in the airwaves around us, both in the world, but also, more sadly, I think, in Christian contexts. Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount, that if anyone lusts after someone, they’ve already committed adultery with them in their hearts, the man lust after a woman has already committed adultery, Jesus takes lust very seriously. And there’s nowhere in Jesus’s words where he would suggest in any way that a man is not responsible for his own adultery. And so if we were to take him at his word, it also means that men, you are responsible for your own lust. Now, let me let me just express some compassion. Here I am a man who has who has wrestled significantly in his life with the temptation to last. And I cannot say that it is absolutely defeated in my life. But I can say that I, I’m able to walk in a way that I couldn’t for a long, long time. But I do think that if we’re going to have any freedom from loss whatsoever, we need to start not with the assumption that we can’t not lust, or that there’ll be situations where we won’t be able to resist lust, and that we have to start with the assumption, whether we feel it or not, whether we’ve experienced or not, whether there’s anybody around us who is living this out or not, we have to start with the assumption that men, you do not have to last, no matter the situation, you do not have to last. Once we start with that assumption, the assumption that God has made our eyes for love, and not for lost, that the natural movement of our eyes, the natural inclination of our eyes, the God given design of our eyes, the default mode of our eyes, is actually always been intended to love to see others and love them. If we assume that to start with, we are in a much better place to make progress, moving away from last. But before we get there, we have to face this tendency of blaming others. Why do we do that? What’s underneath that? I’d like to suggest to you the reason is nothing other than shame. Why do you blame others for your lust? Why do you point at someone say well,
you know that Papa bad just happened on my computer like what was I supposed to do? Or you know if if women dress a certain way I know men are just going to look they’re gonna last. Why do we do that? Why do we say those kinds of things? Shame. Men were tempted to go that way because of shame. What kind of shame, shame that we could not control ourselves. Shame that we are so powerless in the face of beauty, shame that we are so weak when it comes to seeing the beauty of another’s body. Shame. Dr. Kurt Thompson, in his book anatomy, the soul unpacks what he believes might may have been going on neurologically for Adam and Eve, when they were attempted in the garden and inevitably sent and then when God came to talk with him about it. And he raises this idea that that Adam, when God confronted Adam, when God asked Adam, who told you that you were naked, and did you eat from that tree, that Adams response of pointing at the woman, Thompson suggest that his response is pointing at the woman he didn’t answer Jesus, or God’s question. God just asked him like, Why? Why did you? Who told you you’re naked? And did you eat from the tree I told you not to? And two simple questions. Adam didn’t answer either one. And Kurt Thompson suggests the reason he didn’t answer was because of shame. He was riddled with shame at his own failure to obey God, his own failure to trust God, his own failure, to say no to what his wife was doing. And yes to God, in His command, yes, to God’s goodness, yes, to God’s love, yes to God’s presence even. And his own failure to do that caused him shame and the shame was too much for him to bear. He didn’t know how to deal with it. He didn’t know what to do with it. And so in his fear and his shame, he pointed at his wife. And he said, The woman you put here with me, she gave me the the fruit and I ate. Sound familiar? The woman you put here with with me? It was her. She gave me the fruit and ate. The woman you you put here with with me. She was dressed provocatively and dancing provocatively, and flirting with me all night. And we had had one too many. It was her. The pop of ad just showed up on my computer. It was her. She wasn’t wearing much clothing, and she walked right in front of me. What did you expect? It was her? The woman you gave me, Lord, the beautiful people you put on this earth? In other words, not just her. But you got You did this to me? Why do we do that? Why do we go that direction in our thoughts, because we are, we are ashamed. So man, if we want to be people who begin to recognize and live with the reality that our eyes are made for love and not for lost, we have to reckon with the reality of how much shame we experience at the fact that we are so out of control, that we are so weak, that our knees, tremble and buckle under temptation. Now, we don’t do that. Because God wants to point a finger at us and send us away any more than God coming to the garden and saying, Who told you you’re naked? Did you eat from the tree? He wasn’t his voice wasn’t raising when he said that he wait a minute, who told you you’re you’re naked Did you eat from the tree, that wasn’t his tone. His tone was inviting Adam to face the truth of what he did, to come out of hiding come out of fear to come out of his shame, and to be in communion with God again. Now, I’m not saying there aren’t consequences, there would have been consequences for Adam then. But I am suggesting that God was coming looking for Adam and Eve in his love and compassion for them. Not because he wanted to nail them the wall. And so we do not need to be afraid to face our own shame about how weak we’ve been. how poorly we do in this area. We start there, acknowledging our shame so that we don’t, we don’t displace our shame by putting it on someone else. So Kurt Thompson says this in his book, he says, In Adams, shame, he shamed Eve, in his shame, he shames her. That’s what he did. And we are prone to do the same thing. Men let’s lay down, blaming anyone else for our last except ourselves.
And as we do that, let’s do so recognizing that sensation of fear and shame. We have over our own weakness, our own inability, our own temptation, or the power of our of our sexual desire. Let’s face that, and be honest with God and others about it, that we might heal, and come to grow and self mastery of those parts of our lives. As the Spirit of God unites with us in those places where we need him to bring form and strength and courage and love, where there’s just been weakness and last, Lord, would you do this for us? We need you We confess, Lord, that it’s not any other person, whether male or female, it’s not their skin, it’s not their body. It’s not the way they’re dressed. It’s not a computer algorithms fault. And, Lord, it’s not your fault. Or we have lusted because of our own weakness, our own inability, our own sin, Lord, to borrow the words from Brother Tom, brother, Lawrence, and such we will always be unless you change us. We don’t say that as an excuse. We say these requests are coming to this place of our weakness or our fear of our shame of our last and heal us. Or we pray it for our sake for the sake of men and women around us everywhere. For the sake of our world and for your glory, Lord Jesus Christ now and forever. Amen.
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