“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away! It is better to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is better to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into hell.” Matthew 5:27-30 NET
The word desire (also translated as lust) that Jesus uses in this passage, is an intense longing, not just a passing glance. If these cravings persist, Jesus warns that this heart attitude has tangible, negative consequences, including the possibility of sliding into sexual relations with a person who is not a marriage partner.
Perhaps you’ve seen a billboard that flaunts a claim similar to the following: “Porn is cheaper than dating”. This sexual pleasure package implies that an instant, temporary, and relatively inexpensive option is able to provide the same emotional satisfaction as a loyal, long-lasting, human relationship which includes Biblical marriage. Lazy people consistently choose inferior but seemingly easy options.
What does scripture say about the lazy person’s destiny? Here’s a sample:
The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway. Proverbs 15:19 ESV
Let’s compare that porn billboard offer with a financial investment promising a return of 100% in two weeks without any risk to the investor. It’s not difficult for a discerning person to ascertain that both proposals are too good to be true.
The lure of receiving something incredibly valuable or exhilarating for very little effort is sneaky. Indulging desires for such sudden jackpots is guaranteed to corrupt hearts and minds. The person who gives in to the pleasures of sin for a season (Hebrews 11:24-26) also jeopardizes future rewards.
Read again what Jesus says about capitulating to lust in Matthew 5:30 (above). Do the consequences of lust really include hell? Jesus’ warning is dire regarding ungodly sexual glances, cravings that corrupt us. If in the short-term we fall into being lazy about sexual matters, we risk losing the good and truly satisfying experiences that God has designed for us.
Have you fallen for “cheap date” style schemes? It’s time to repent; (observe Jesus’ drastic language regarding offending eyes and hands above). Ask God to redirect you as you take the more difficult road of cultivating godly trust and intimacy in the marriage or relationships you already have or hope to have.
If you’re already following Jesus in this critical area of sex and marriage, what a blessing! You are experiencing human flourishing in the midst of a corrupt and perverse generation (Philippians 2:15-17).
Consider the impact of Matthew 5:27-30 on your life as you again make your way through the Lord’s Prayer.