Confession: All throughout school, I purposefully avoided any science class that included dissecting a frog. I didn’t want to be the guy passed out on the floor, because the thought of cutting through any body makes me a bit queasy.

But this is also one of the reasons I became motivated to overcome lust.

Lust dissects a man or woman against their will. It disassembles a person, cutting away any part that doesn’t produce romantic or sexual pleasure in you in the moment.

Lust (which is the gateway to all other sexual sin, by the way) is a heartless surgeon, leaving reality—history, hearts, hopes, family, fears, flaws—discarded on the floor.

Consider the last time lust tempted you. Did it point out the complete, real person? Or just parts, idealized images, and fictionalized versions of the person?

It’s impossible to lust when seeing an actual, intact person. Lust requires unplugging from the reality that this is a real man or woman, just like you.

  • The man or woman in porn has a real name—not the inane provocative one assigned to them by the men behind the camera.
  • The flirtatious woman at the bar is actually an insecure little girl inside, longing to be known, secure, and loved like everybody else.
  • The celebrity sex symbol worries about what people think of him, has quirky habits, and gets morning breath, just like you do.
  • And those who have sex for pay rely on a bottle or a needle to quiet the memories of where they’ve come from and to numb the pain of what life has become.

In the midst of lust, we don’t think of these things. Lust won’t allow it.

But love does. Love insists on it.

On our path from lust to love, we can practice remembering each one’s unique humanity. Sometimes, this will mean running the other way, averting our eyes no matter what, and saying, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ, and for the sake of my brother/sister, No!”

And day by day, we can invite Jesus to put people back together in our eyes and minds, to retrain us to see everyone, no matter what they look like, as a whole person again. Just like He sees them.

Just like He sees you.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below.

More than meets the eye,

Thanks For Reading.

You can receive more like this when you join Regen’s weekly newsletter, which includes 1 article, and 2 new Podcasts exploring God’s good, holy, and beautiful design for sexuality. Over 3,000 people subscribe. Enter your email now and join us.


  • This applies to so much more than lust. It applies to all of the ways that we see only part of a person. All of the ways that we are able to use people for our own purposes when we see only part of them. Very perceptive.

  • When you said “Lust is a heartless surgeon, leaving reality—history, hearts, hopes, family, fears, flaws—discarded on the floor,” I can’t agree more. Lust is selfish in its nature conceived in wickedness which leads to destruction. That’s why is associated with fantasies. True love is the complete opposite when we love we care about people. Love does not discard reality as lust; thus, history, hearts, hopes, family, fears, flaws take so much meaning. I really want to love people as God loves me! Thanks for putting this great piece, Josh!

    • Ed, you bring up a really important point when you say, “I want to love people as God loves me.” I think that’s the beginning, the starting point of how we begin to love instead of lust. We can’t begin by just knowing what love is and then trying to do what love requires (although knowing and trying are important), we also have to be recipients of Christ’s love.

      Great to hear from you!

  • I relate to this statement, “In the name of Jesus Christ, and for the sake of my brother/sister, No!”
    I am learning that, in Christ, I really do have the will and strength to say a firm “NO” to lust and to fantasy.

By Josh Glaser

Our Latest Offerings