Help for Fighting Lust: A Meditation Plan (2 of 5)

The following is a guest post by Joe Tyrpak, Assistant Pastor of Tri-County Bible Church in Madison, Ohio. In part 1 of his meditation plan, he suggested that believers should arm themselves with a specific plan for biblical meditation when they confront sexual temptations. The first point of his meditation plan was this: “Call to mind the deceptions of sinful sensuality.” Now he moves to the second point.

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Meditation Plan (Part #2): CALL TO MIND THE DESTRUCTIONS OF SINFUL SENSUALITY.

Two Biblical Lists of Destructions
Even if you quickly skimmed Proverbs 5-7, you would be deeply impressed with the fact that God wants us to consider the ruinous end of sinful sensuality. First, Solomon gives at least six different kinds of destructions that accompany sexual sin.

  1. Death—Solomon teaches that the harlot’s steps lead “straight to the grave” (5:5, 23; 7:12 [predator], 22-27). The death that Solomon is envisioning is most likely caused by disease (5:11); revenge (6:34-35); or legal punishment (OT law). At one point, Solomon simply says, “He who [commits adultery] destroys himself” (6:33).
  2. Waste—Solomon warns that the person who sins sexually will waste his (or her) strength, life, work and money (5:9-10). Sexual sin will bring a person to such a degrading poverty that, in addition to financial status, he or she will lose any sense of personal worth or value (6:26).
  3. Regret—Bitter regret and deep grief follow sexual sin (5:11-14).
  4. Judgment—The point of the phrase, “The ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord,” is to highlight the reality of the God’s present evaluation of our lives which will be evident in an impending day of judgment (5:21).
  5. Enslavement—Sexual sins result in habits that are ensnaring and imprisoning (5:22).
  6. Dishonor—Solomon warns that sexual sin will result in dishonor (6:33) and public disgrace (5:14).

Second, Solomon uses at least eight vivid illustrations to describe the kind of destruction that results from sexual sin.

  1. A taste of bitter poison (5:3-4)
  2. A worthless well that spews all its drinking water in the city streets so that no one can drink it (5:15-18)
  3. Strong ropes that bind (5:22)
  4. A piece of bread, something that is common and has little value (6:26)
  5. Playing with fire (6:27-28)
  6. An ox going to slaughter (7:22)
  7. A deer trapped in a hunter’s noose (7:22b-23a)
  8. A bird flying quickly to the bait in the snare (7:23)

In other words, God is so interested that I realize the destructiveness of sexual sin that he has given me eight different illustrations to help me visualize and remember it’s true nature. (Isn’t God good?!)

Strolls Down Two Different Memory Lanes
In my meditation on the destructiveness of sexual sin, after I consider the six different kinds of destruction and the eight different illustrations of destruction, I typically walk down two more mental trails: both of which are personal “memory lanes.”

First, I think about the ways that I myself have experienced the destructiveness of sexual sin. In my own failures, I’ve come to realize that sexual sins like lust and masturbation result in guilt, fear, shame, deception, enslavement, laziness, misery and paralyzing self-doubt from such deep two-facedness. Probably the greatest reality I’ve come to know is that sexual sin is tyrannically unsatisfying and never ending (cf. Prov. 27:20, “Hell and destruction are never full, so the eyes of a man are never satisfied.”). I’ve learned that sexual sin cannot be satisfied pictorially or physically, and that trying to satisfy the craving, only makes the habit worse. Josh Harris’s statement from his book Sex is Not the Problem (Lust Is) has been so helpful for me: “Lust doesn’t want sex; it wants the forbidden.” Sadly, I have proved the truthfulness of that countless times.

Second, I think about several specific examples of destructiveness that I’ve witnessed. There are five or six individuals I know personally in whose lives I’ve seen the destructiveness of sexual sin (pornography, adultery, rape, child molestation, etc.) played out. In their lives, I’ve been a first-hand witness of divorce, loss of ministry, imprisonment, demon possession, suicide, and disease. I’ve seen sexual sin ruin individuals, marriages, children and churches. These are distinct examples of the destructiveness of sexual sin that I don’t want to forget.

To keep these destructive consequences in mind is a good, biblical thing. Although (as I mentioned in part #1) this kind of meditation doesn’t provide an end-all answer to my cancerous sin nature, if done in dependence on Christ, it does provide a helpful, second defense against sexual temptation by increasing my hatred of immorality as I meditate on its true end.

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Previous posts in this series:

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4 Responses

  1. […] his meditation plan he suggested that we “Call to mind the deceptions of sinful sensuality.” In part 2 he suggested that we “Call to mind the destructions of sinful sensuality.” Now he moves […]

  2. […] Call to mind the destructions of sinful sensuality. […]

  3. […] Call to mind the destructions of sinful sensuality. […]

  4. […] Gulp. Read and heed. (More on the destruction of sensuality here.) […]

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