From Lustful Gaze to Awe and Reverence



Do you ever feel like lust and pornography are taking over your life, and you can’t break free from their grasp?

What if I told you that lust isn’t the real issue at hand, but rather our inability to truly see the world and the people around us?

In this eye-opening episode, I share a powerful story from the memoir “The Glass Castle” that illustrates this concept and how it’s not lust that we need to overcome, but our clouded vision.

Join me as I discuss how God doesn’t want us to simply look away from temptation, but rather to open our eyes and truly see the person in front of us, beholding them with awe and reverence.

This transformation of our vision can lead us to a place where we no longer want to degrade others by treating them like sex objects. Our ultimate goal should be to honor one another and elevate our consciousness to recognize the reality of God’s beauty in each other.

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So, let’s embark on this journey together to gain clarity and rediscover the real world through our newly opened eyes.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

What We Discuss:

  • 0:03 – Lust is not your problem. It’s the problem.
  • 3:34 – Our problem isn’t lost pornography.
  • 5:51 – The last thing you want to do is degrade people.
  • 6:45 – God’s heart for us.
  • 8:23 – God wants to restore sight to the blind.
  • 10:49 – The Blind Bartimaeus.
Transcription: From Lustful Gaze to Awe and Reverence

Josh: Welcome back, good people. Guess what? 

Josh: I know that many of you struggle with lust looking at porn, looking at people, checking people out, been there, or else with that, get it. But I want you to know something Lust is not your problem. It’s not quite your problem. I mean, it is your problem but it’s not really the real problem. So let me start explaining that by sharing a story In. There’s a book called ah man. I should have looked this up before. We’ll get this in the show notes. But there’s a memoir called The Glass Castle and I don’t remember the author. but she’s sharing about her life growing up with two mentally ill parents who are also addicts And it’s a astounding story of resilience and just an honest look at some of what some people have to deal with. But in part of the story she shares about her sister I think it was her older sister who for a long time the family understood was just not very outgoing, was very timid, liked to stay at home, especially after dark. She didn’t, like you know, if it was dusk outside, she didn’t want to go out much. And then at one point in the and she was very smart and at one point in the memoir the author recounts how they moved to I think it was Phoenix, and at Phoenix, in Phoenix, there was public health care There was. Somehow they had access to public health care they didn’t have before. And so the kids and at this point her older sister was, i think, late elementary school maybe, maybe even a little older had her first appointment with an optometrist. She had an eye exam And they found out that she was incredibly nearsighted, her vision is horrible, and so suddenly it kind of turns light bulb on for everybody that like wait, maybe she’s not just afraid or timid or homebody or wallflower like or not very smart, maybe there’s something else going on for her that’s really serious with her eyesight. So the day they went and got her glasses they’re kind of like, you know, coke bottle thick glasses The author of the memoir writes that her sister put the glasses on and was just kind of her eyes are open wide. 

Josh: She’s looking around the room with this look of awe on her face, without a word. She gets up and she bolts outside. She runs outside And the author, as a little girl, follows her outside and she finds her like looking all around. She’s like just looking everywhere. And she says what are you doing? And her sister says you see that tree over there. And she’s like, yeah, i see the tree. No, no, no, i mean like, can you see the leaves on the tree? So, yeah, i can see the leaves on the tree. She’s like no, no, i mean like the individual leaves on the tree. I can see the individual leaves on the tree. And the author’s like I know, of course, and it dawns on her older sister that everyone else could see what she hadn’t been able to see for so long. She just begins to weep. Well, she goes on to say that her sister went home and just began to. She became an artist. She couldn’t stop drawing, she was just so taken with the beauty of the world. All right, what is that to do with today’s podcast? 

Josh: I said at the onset that if you struggle with lust, pornography, checking people out, whatever you’re on one sexual behavior, for a lot of us it involves what we do with our eyes. And I said, our problem isn’t lust, that’s not your real problem. Your real problem is that you can’t see. Your real problem is that you can’t see. Something’s wrong with your eyes, like you have very messed up vision, and I want you to hold that picture in your mind, just like that girl who she thought she was seeing things accurately. She went outside and she can see the individual leaves on a tree and all of a sudden she’s struck with like, oh my gosh, i’ve been missing the world around me, I’ve been missing the beauty that’s in front of me to see. Hold that picture. Hold that picture for you as you’re journeying and battling with your own sexual desire and your temptation to lust after people, because I think a lot of times what happens for us is we’ve, you know, somebody attractive walks across our paths, somebody’s not wearing much and we notice their body. 

Josh: We come across an image online, we see a magazine and a girster, whatever it is, and our temptation that moment is to lust, and so, in response, we look away. I can’t look at that. Like you know, i’m not supposed to see those kinds of things. But what if the deeper, better response, what if the response that God is after for us is not turn your face away, don’t look at that person. What if the deeper response, what if the real, the deep, eternal response of the Lord is not that he wants you to look away, but in the end, at some point he wants you to see that person. He wants you to see something in that person, like the individual leaves on a tree, where you see the beauty and are taken with it. Now, like I don’t mean taken in a lustful way, like where you lose control, like that’s lust, that’s addiction, that’s a loss of power, but where you have mastery over your eyes and your eyes are opened to see the real world, the real person in front of you, not just a body part, not just a fictional version of some sex God or goddess, but to see a real human being made in the image of God. What if you were to behold people that way, So much so that you are struck with awe, you are captivated with their beauty, and the last thing you wanted to do was to degrade that person by treating them like a sex object. The last thing you wanna do is to tear down the beauty, to malign or profane or vandalize the beauty of the person by seeing them just as a mere sex object. 

Josh: But I’ve had a few experiences in my life and there are certainly places in scripture where we can look to see that this, in fact, is God’s heart for us. This is what we were intended In the beginning, when Adam and Eve were naked and without shame. They could be without shame because the other person was seeing something glorious in them, seeing the fullness of them in a way that was not degrading, that was not minimalistic, that was not trying to consume or devour them, that was not comparing them to themselves or anybody else. They were not evaluating them with their gaze, they were not trying to suck life from them and take something from their own selfish pleasure. They were looking at each other and beholding one another with awe and reverence and honor. In a way, they wanted to treat the other worshipfully. Not to treat the other one as a God worthy of their worship, but as one who was pointing them, elevating their own consciousness to something more of the reality of God. All they wanted was more good for one another, more blessing for the other, so they could see even more of God’s beauty in them, so they could enjoy and rejoice in the goodness of being in a relationship with this other one. Of course, when they sinned, when they rebelled, they were not able to be naked and unashamed with each other anymore. Now they’ve got to hide themselves. They cover themselves with fig leaves, and we’ve been doing it ever since. The antidote to that is not for us to walk around naked anymore, but certainly, day by day, god wants to restore our eyes. 

Josh: What did Jesus say his mission was? Part of his mission was fulfilling the prophecy in the Old Testament. Part of his mission was to restore sight to the blind. I think oftentimes we automatically categorize that as oh, that’s what he did. He ran across blind people, blind Barthas, for example, and he touched them and healed them. Spit made mud and healed blind people. Yes, he did that. 

Josh: But what if the meaning of that prophecy, what if Jesus’ meaning, was not just people who are physically blind, but people who are spiritually blind, people who can see but can’t see? We know that happens. We know I mean scripturally that’s a reality. We know that there was a group of people that could hear and not perceive, that held Jesus but didn’t really see Jesus. Why couldn’t that happen with one another? Well, friends, it does, it happens all the time. Hold that image of the glass castle, that picture of that girl who finally had glasses on the right lens through which to see the world and she was open to the beauty around her. 

Josh: Consider that the next time that you’re tempted to lust Now it may not be that right away you can just look more closely at the person you’re tempted to lust after, the person you’re tempted to treat as an object, the person you’re tempted to use for your sexual pleasure. It may be that looking away is the right thing to do at first, but don’t look away because you’re trying to get away from something lustful. Look away to try to cultivate in yourself, to try to nurture in yourself that your eyes are made to see someone and behold them with the beauty and love they deserve. And so, until your eyes can be restored to that, you kind of walk this dance And there might be some trial and error in that. 

Josh: One friend of mine. For years, when he was tempted to lust or, in an equivalent way, when he was tempted to look down on somebody, he would practice a prayer like Lord, show me what you see in that person, show me who you see, show me that person, open my eyes to see the truth of that person. And by doing that, not just with people that he was tempted to lust after, but also people that he was tempted to loathe or tempted to look down upon, he was practicing this posture of like my eyes are supposed to see something more here. I’ve been blinded and I need to see. So I hope that’s encouragement to you. 

Josh: Today I’m still on a journey, but man, wouldn’t that be great? And we’ve got to believe. It’s what we’re made for. We’ve got to believe it. Don’t stop believing that. Don’t believe that your eyes are just always going to be lost. That’s not what God intended for them. He came to restore sight to the blind. Jesus, we cry out like blind bar to mass When you ask us what do you want me to do for you, lord? we cry out, lord, we want to see. God, give us experiences of seeing what you see and who you see. We ask for it, lord, for our good, for the good of those around us that we see, and for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, in the name of the Father, son and Holy Spirit, amen.

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By Josh Glaser

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