To Lust is to Commit Adultery in Your Heart

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Everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)

The contents of your heart determine the direction of your life. (Cf. Proverbs 4:23). Jesus taught us that it is not enough to say, “Thou shall not kill”; killing a person begins with anger in your heart. As Jesus explains, whoever insults another is already committing a sin that is liable to hellfire. Of course, the best time to stop a fire is before it grows.

Just as we cannot afford to store anger in our hearts, Jesus warns against the sin of lust. For Jesus, looking lustfully is just as bad as adultery because by thinking about it, it is already happening in your mind. Hence, Jesus would say: “Blessed are the pure in heart…” (Matthew 5:8). Since there is nothing that we do without first thinking or planning for it in our hearts, Jesus teaches us that the battle against the flesh must be fought and conquered at the level of thoughts. As Jesus put it, “For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander.” (Matthew 15:19).

Are you having trouble controlling your sexual appetite? Do you find yourself falling into the sin of adultery by thoughts, words, or actions? Are you struggling with fornication, masturbation, and unchastity in one form or another? Jesus has the solution for you: Start from the root – “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away.” (Matthew 5:29). In other words, start by uprooting your bad thoughts and unholy desires. Do not leave any room for lustful wishes. When you look at a person, let their beauty remind you of the beauty and perfection of God.

We cannot deny the fact that modern fashion today is particularly aimed at provoking lust in our hearts. As a child of God, select the kind of clothes you wear. In as much as God will judge a person for looking lustfully at you, God will also judge you for putting such clothes on your body. Jesus says: “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to him by whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea.” (Luke 17:1-2)

From this same passage of scripture, we can see that Jesus Christ does not support divorce. In fact, he ranks it as a sin equal to adultery itself. Jesus makes us understand God designed marriage to last forever. “For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So, they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:5-6)

Let us pray: Lord God, you spoke to Elijah in a still small voice. Speak to my conscience daily and give me the power over my thoughts to keep my body pure and fitting as your temple. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bible Study: 1 Kings 19:9,11-16, Ps. 27:7-9,13-14, Matthew 5:27-32)

© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu