In our world today much of what passes for love is lust. Sure, they both are 4 letter words and begin with the letter L but that is about the end of it. That difference can be seen in the 2nd letter of both words. O versus U. That is if you see the O standing for Others and the U standing for You.
Everything after that is kind of automatic. Let’s begin with considering what Love is. In the Bible, there are three words for love. One is erotic love which is what should be between a husband and the wife. It comes from the way God made us. We have powerful sex drives intended to help in the marriage but that can easily be transferred to Lust if the intimacy between a husband and wife is not good.
The second type of love is love between two friends. Nothing sexual about it you have usually spend quality time with one another and have a bond of friendship with one another. There is a draw to being to people that does not include erotic love and these friendships are part of living a healthy and balanced life. God intends us to live in a community of others with whom we share friendship because we are better protected from all kinds of sin when we are living in a strong community.
The third type of love is the love that God has for us and the love we are to have with one another. Agape love is the love God has demonstrated to us through the death of Jesus on the Cross. Agape is always to be towards God, others, and even yourselves as Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39…
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Agape is used more than 200 times in the New Testament, but it is also found in the Old Testament. It is most commonly referred to as unconditional love. It is the love where someone sacrifices things of their own and gives to someone else not only with no expectation of receiving anything back but delight in giving it in an unconditional manner.
It means the kind of love that married couples should have for one another…unconditionally. Nothing is expected in return. It is also the love that friends have for each other, and parents should have for their children. This is the love God has had and always will always have for us and is the way God wants us to love our neighbors and ourselves.
However, the problem began all the way back in the garden of Eden when sin entered the world and entered the hearts of Adam and Eve. And it did not take long for the son of Cain to decide to have two wives and God’s plan for one man and one woman to be married and save their sexual love for one another as a powerful gift that makes their erotic love even better.
It did not take long for God’s design for marriage to be a sacred bond, where the couple’s erotic love for one another grows strong and deep, for Love becomes overshadowed by Lust.
Lust is the opposite of Love. Love gives with joy to another. Lust always takes from others… even friends can become friends with benefits. Lust is using others to satisfy your own needs and desires while Love gives to others with nothing expected in return.
It is not difficult to see that our world is awash with lust. I do not know what percentage of youth begin to feel lust as they are going through puberty. Kids today are almost always exposed to porn either at home or with friends, of being groomed by a sexual predator before being sexually abused.
Lust is the Grand Canyon in our soul that we are trying to fill one shovel full at a time. However, nothing gets filled up or is ever satisfied. What the wind does not blow away the river at the bottom makes sure the depth of our lusts is never filled in or satisfied.
The longing we all have for intimacy and someone to unconditionally love us gives up. We lose hope and feel hopeless. It has become so easy to go through the sexual world’s drive-through and consume another meal of junk food even though we know it is not good for us. There is nobody we have to worry about satisfying because our lusts are an all-consuming forest fire, and we try to put out with our tiny squirt gun.
The Lord wants to teach us how to love Him, love one another, and love ourselves. Love pours out of us expecting nothing in return and yet we never seem to get empty. I personally believe that as I pour love into the lives of my wife, children, grandchildren, and others I am being re-filled from God. And since I can never out-give God, I will always have enough.
On the other hand, as I use my lusts to consume others…treating them as objects for me to use and throw away… instead of being filled up, I am becoming more and more empty. Sex lies and seems to be offering us something we deeply long for but in the end, it is always taking more from us than it can ever give to us. And the deeper the hook goes into our lives, and we reach the point of no return.
Now listen carefully…these consequences of trying to satisfy this insatiable lust can and will blow up your life and marriage or friendships. Cracks begin in your foundation, and it is only a matter of time before it, like the London Bridge…all falls down.
If you would like to begin escaping this sin that has so easily entangled you that is what we do at 180 Ministries. Our lusts can be dealt with but it is never easy and can never be done if you maintain isolation because of your shame.
By the love and grace of God that is in my rearview mirror and I have more freedom from lust today than I have had for over 50 years of lust.
Contact us if you want biblical and Christ-centered help from a program that has been proven to work for the followers of Christ.