Let’s read Matthew 5:28, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”  First, we see that this verse does not limit this warning to those in a relationship or married.  “Whosoever” means anyone.  It is against God’s holy will that we should lower the dignity of women to consider them only in a sexual manner.

So, what exactly is lust?  One dictionary defined it as “The basic definition of lust is having a self-absorbed desire for an object, person, or experience.”  The Greek word for lust in Matthew 5:28 is ‘epithymeo’.  That same word is translated ‘desired’ in Matthew 13:17, and ‘covet’ in Romans 13:9.  The word itself is not always describing something evil for the Lord Himself said, “With desire I HAVE DESIRED to eat this passover with you before I suffer. (Luke 22:15).  We read in 1 Timothy 3:1, “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he DESIRETH a good work.”  It is the context in which the word is used that determines whether it is describing an evil act.  In Matthew 5:8, it is certainly describing an evil act.

In the case before us, to lust means to look upon a woman with a desire to have sex with her.  Lust disregards the character of the woman, it disregards the sanctity of the marital relationship, it considers only personal satisfaction.  I don’t believe that looking upon a woman and considering her to be attractive is an act of lust.  We can appreciate beauty in so many things, but lust is that desire to have her sexually.  Beauty does not have to be tempting, but it will if we let it.

Obviously, we can control this, or the Lord would not forbid us and warn us about it.  Would it upset you to observe someone obviously lusting after your wife, your daughter, or your mom?  I think it would, because we realize how inappropriate and wrong it is.  Yet, we somehow try to vindicate it by telling ourselves that it is natural and that everyone does it.  Does that make it right?  Absolutely not!

Let’s consider the words of 2 Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and BRINGING INTO CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHT TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST.”  “Bringing into captivity” gives the thought of taking prisoner.  We are called upon to take control of our thoughts.  We do not have to be slaves of a ‘wandering eye.’  One has said that “we must present our minds to Christ empty that he may fill them.”  We control our thoughts by giving ourselves over to Christ and letting Him lead us in our thoughts.

There is an old adage about lust.  It says, “Just because a bird lands on your head doesn’t mean you have to let him build a nest there.”  If a fleeting thought of lust should run through our minds, we should immediately dismiss it, not dwell upon it.  Ask the Lord to lead your thoughts away from any ungodly thoughts.  Bring your thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ!

I will end these thoughts with these verses, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, IS NOT OF THE FATHER, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:16-17).  (372.2)