“in these … you once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them away…” (Col. 3:9-10)
Have you ever seen a dog a throw up, then sniff his vomit cautiously, and finally start lapping it up? It’s disgusting. Proverbs 26:11 uses this metaphor to describe the bizarre human tendency to repeat foolish acts, like watching porn night after night.
Paul says that “in [lust] .. you once walked, when you were living in [it].” Before our salvation, sins like lust domineered our lifestyle. “But now you must put [it] away.” Now as rescued Christians, we are freed to turn away from lust.
Too often, however, we return to our old lust like a dog to its vomit. Why? We never put away our lust, because we never take the time to reflect on how we walk in lust; we do not know what to put away.
Take some time to reflect on the patterns of lust in your life.
First: Do I return to sniff my vomit? Lusting is not like falling over; we do not trip into sexual immorality and say, “Whoops, how did that happen?” There are behaviors that lead us in to temptation, which we partake in out of of a sick desire to sniff at our old foolishness.
If you struggle with pornography, think through the what leads you to the computer screen. Does watching sex scenes in movies put evil desire in you? Browsing the internet? Staying up late? Making out? Talking about sex? Telling dirty jokes? Boredom? Checking Facebook or Myspace?
If you struggle with sexual immorality in you relationship, take time to think through what leads to your bad decisions. Making out? Hanging out alone? Cuddling in bed? Laying down? Does a simple kiss cause issues?
In Romans 13:14, Paul calls these lustful warm-up behaviors “making … provision for the flesh.” Find whatever warms you up to sin and turn away from it. You sniff at our lust not out of curiosity, but because you willfully want to give in to it.
Second: Do I eat my vomit? Do you give in to temptation whenever it arrives? When do you lust, but deny it? We can lust while watching movies, holding hands, or walking down the street. Where do you lap up your lust vomit in secret?
Jesus said that if we even think a remotely lustful thought, we’ve committed adultery (Matt. 5:27-30). The cost of adultery is death; we all deserve capital punishment (Lev. 20:10).
That’s why Jesus had to die for our sins. Though he lived in perfect purity, he became our impurity on the cross and gave his life for ours. Yet, in his resurrection, he also gave to us his perfect purity, with a new heart full of new loves.
If you want to stop returning to your vomit, reflect upon it, then find something more attractive and satisfying than it: Jesus Christ, crucified for your lust, loving you beyond imagination, and imputing to you his perfect purity.
see other Pull Up Your Pants posts:
- A Series on Battling Sexual Immorality (1)
- What is sexual immorality? (2)
- Only the Rescued (3)
- Dirty Lies We Love to Believe (4)
- Be Killing Sin or Sin Will Be Killing You (5)
- Stop Sniffing Your Vomit (6)
- Assured Christians Resist Lust (7)
- Replace Lust With Love (8)