Four Tips on Sexual Purity from Jesus
You have heard that it was said, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.
Breaking news! Sexual purity is very, very important to Jesus. Modern culture may be pretty relaxed about it but not Jesus. And sexual purity isn’t just about what we do. It’s about what we think—especially for those who tend to be aroused more by images and imagination!
Here’s help from Jesus:
1. Remember, the first look is free. Don’t feel guilty if you notice another attractive person. It’s normal for us to notice others. It’s part of our primal wiring and our DNA.
2. But beware when you look again—and then again. When you look a second time and a third and a fourth and so on, that’s a clear sign you’re heading into troublesome territory. This repeated looking is what Jesus meant by lustful-looking.
3. Remember, the stakes are high. “There’s hell to pay,” says Jesus. And the hell isn’t confined to the next world but to this world. This isn’t a threat; it’s a statement of fact. Sexual perversions lead to all sorts of physical, social, and emotional miseries.
4. Always remember that Jesus loves one-eyed amputees—the people who are taking the challenge of sexual purity seriously. No one is more sympathetic to this battle than Jesus. Flood your mind with heavenly light. Memorize scripture passages, and train yourself to remember them when lustful thoughts come. Pretty soon, the lustful thought will actually trigger the light of heaven in your mind.
When I was in my teens, a neighbor friend brought some magazines (you know the kind I’m referring to) and left them in my bedroom. I knew I had to get them out of the house, so I tucked them under my shirt and tried to walk nonchalantly out the door. But my mother was blessed with a kind of NORAD radar system about such things, and she demanded to know what was under my shirt. Talk about humiliating! You can’t enjoy material like that with your mother standing over you. All the more so with Jesus.
Look for every way to welcome Jesus into your inner world. His inner presence is your best protection from impurity.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Would you agree or disagree that there is a lot of sexual confusion in the world today? What are some of its signs? Some of its consequences? Why do you think Jesus commands such a demanding standard from his disciples?
PRAYER: Almighty God, your Word says that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Nowhere is that more evident than in our sexuality. Sexual intimacy is one of your wonderful gifts, but when it moves outside the boundaries of your design, it brings fearful consequences. Guard the borders of my imagination with your pure, holy light so that I will be able to take my sexuality as seriously as you do. Amen.
Dave Peterson is an ordained pastor who is the Director of Community Outreach for The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation and Scholarly Advisor for the H. E. Butt Family Foundation. He is the author of Receiving and Giving, Unleashing the Bless Challenge in Your Life. Dave and his wife, Terri, have four adult children and four grandchildren. Send a note to Dave.
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