Lust is a growing problem in our world. If it’s a problem in your life, I have good and bad news:
Lust is using your imagination.
First, here’s how: Lust requires your imagination to either create or to cooperate with a fiction. Behind every lustful image is a real person with a heart, mind, body, and soul. Lust uses your imagination to hide most of the person, so you only see a fictionalized version of the person—a small part to be used for sexual pleasure.
Or to borrow from a familiar passage, lust creates objects for lust in man’s image, in his (or her) likeness lust creates them.
So here’s the good news: Because lust requires the use of your imagination, you can choose to see more. Or at least, you can choose to begin the journey to be able to see more over time.
The bad news is learning to see a whole person is a difficult process and there are tremendous forces that will work against you as you seek to realign your mind with what is real (and often painful) rather than what is false (but pleasurable).
To succeed, you’ll need a better motivation than what feels good in the moment. You’ll need love. You’ll need Jesus.
Here are five ways to engage your imagination in the process:
- Imagine yourself at the cross, embracing Jesus, receiving his love for you and for those you’re tempted to lust after.
- Picture the person you’re tempted to lust after as the needy little child he or she was.
- If tempted by porn, imagine what degradation or trauma he or she must have experienced that led them to give away such an intimate part of themselves to strangers.
- Contemplate what life must be like for this person after the cameras are turned off and he or she leaves for home. Do they have a husband or wife? Children? Any friends?
- Picture Jesus with this person. What is the expression on his loving face? How do his eyes look at him or her?
God gave your imagination to you for good. Jesus died and rose again to reclaim it from the grip of lust. Imagine that.
Question: What other ways can you use your imagination to combat lust and embrace love?