Lust – Part I
Lust – How to deal with it
The past fifty years has seen a huge expansion of self-help and how-to books. One area of this expansion has been how to deal with lust. How can we deal with lust? Can we successfully deal with lust? Why is this a problem?
There has been a loss of sense of right and wrong. We think we have the ability to place our own determination and evaluation on actions and behaviors. Is there no actual right and wrong? Is there no empirical, objective sense indicating what is correct and proper irrespective of subjective evaluation? There is and there must be if we are to live and continue to produce a Christian culture or even just a culture of integrity.
Relativism has come up empty and bankrupt. Excuses do not work and now we are facing an almost total collapse of the society. The most important message is to the men and the men who raise the next generation of men. We must raise men or we are finished. Can we do that? How can we do that?
C.S. Lewis, a man who made the arduous journey from atheism to Christianity, was a thinker. He had many faults but fuzzy thinking was not one of them. He had a way of thinking and he had a way with words. In his, “Men without Chests” Lewis says:
It remains true that no justification of virtue will enable a man to be virtuous.
Without the aid of trained emotions
the intellect is powerless against the animal organism.
Let’s look at this a bit –
No justification of virtue will enable a man to be virtuous.
No amount of teaching or logic will produce virtue. Just because we believe it or are taught it does not make it useful in our personal life. We can prove it good but without actually internalizing and implementing the virtue in our lives, it will only be academic data.
Without the aid of trained emotions, the intellect is powerless against the animal organism.
The diligently, dedicated heart (emotions) is the only guard against passions and lusts. Indeed, all impulses of brain or belly must be channeled through the “trained emotions of the heart” if virtue is to ensue. This is why the Bible is so full of teaching and warning about the heart. The heart is the center of life and will direct all a man does.
Lewis’ example is that men have a brain, a belly, and a chest.
Head = brain – intelligence
Chest = heart – will/emotions
Belly = desire – lust
Men can act/react out of the brain or out of the belly – intelligence or lust. Neither of these is adequate. It is especially inadequate to act out of the lust. It is also impossible that the brain can control the belly. The only hope is that the heart (in the chest) must control the brain and the belly.