Last night a friend and I had a helpful conversation about responding to temptation. Part of the discussion focused on the specifics of what we should think and believe in those instances when we are confronted with lustful images on the magazine rack while waiting in line at Walmart. Two truths came out of that discussion that I think are particularly important:
- We must remember that the lustful image is telling us a lie. With exposed skin, seductive eyes, and airbrushing the image is saying, “I am what is most desirable”, and because we have sinful hearts we are tempted to believe the lie and turn an accidental glance into an all-out gaze. In this moment of temptation, in your mind and heart, the lie needs to be confronted with the truth: “In your (God’s) presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forever more” (Psalm 16:11).
- We must remember that the image we are tempted to stare at is a real person who may very well be going to hell. The person on the cover of that magazine is, most-likely, caught up in a lifestyle of lust, money, and self-glory that will lead her to experience God’s just anger, unless by God’s grace she repents and trusts in Jesus. This thought will help us to cut through the surface of make-up and wardrobe to the spiritual reality of that person’s spiritual state and the need she has for rescue. Hopefully, this thought will lead you to pray for her instead of fantasize about her.