This past Sunday, as we continue to seek first God's righteousness, I taught that desire needs direction. "The Seven Deadly Sins" are an example because each begins with desire. Over the next few weeks, using the Seven Deadly Sins and their accompanying virtues, I will show how desire can go one of two ways: toward sin or toward virtue (righteousness).
Sin, as Neal Plantinga defines it in his book: "Not the Way It's Supposed to Be" is "culpable Shalom-breaking". Shalom is the world as God intends it to be; everything right; all people reconciled; true peace.
Lust is one of the seven deadly sins. It begins with desire, a natural God-given desire, which gets twisted, misdirected, and leads toward sin; the breaking of Shalom.
The accompanying virtue to "lust" is "chastity". Chastity is purity. It is rightly directed desire, which leads to respect for oneself and others. "Chastity" is a virtue that begins in the heart with respect and leads us more toward the world as God intended.
Respect means acknowledging each person as uniquely created in God's image, and thereby each person has inherent value and worth. Thus, each person is a person first, not an object to be used for one's own purposes.
Lust twists our natural, God-given desire into something selfish and disrespectful.
If each person would realize the inherent value of every other person, and see each person as a person first rather than an object, we would have a more respectful society.
Pornography would not be welcome, although permissible under the law (freedom of speech and expression), it would not have a following. In addition, sex-trafficking would become a thing of the past. People would realize that other people are someone's child, sister, brother, mother, father, etc.
No one is a commodity to be bought and sold at a price. It is inhumane and very disrespectful.
So ultimately Shalom (the world as God intended it to be) is broken by lust because it degrades the other person into an object, and mars the true identity of a person.
However, Shalom can be restored through respect which leads to chastity and makes God's already present kingdom come more alive for all to see.
I encourage each of us to consider how we might ask God to lead us toward mutual respect and chastity, and away from Shalom-breaking lust.
These are my thoughts, now I invite you to share yours, as we journey together along the Way ...