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Lust and Consequences | The Lure, Loss, Lessons | Get, Do, Be Better

by Daniel Hanson II 20 Feb 2024 0 Comments

Intense Sexual Desire

passion, lust, pair

Have you ever felt a magnetic pull so powerful that it seems to hijack your every thought? That's lust, or as the Oxford University Press dictionary might define it—a strong sexual desire. But it's more than just a definition, isn't it? It's a force, a sensation, an overmastering desire where in one instant, you're standing at the edge of desire, and in the next, you’ve fallen headlong into the abyss.

Word origin of the word lust

latin, rome, vatican

Lust is a word sprouted from the rich soil of language history—origin Old and English lust, akin to Dutch lust and German Lust, borrowing from Norse losti sexual desire and Latin lascīvus playful. But such etymology feels sterile when compared to the heat of the moment when lust takes the wheel.

But let's linger in those origins a while longer, shall we? Every word of the day is an odyssey, and lust isn't an exception. Picture it: the High German lust desire, which speaks to desire, but not just the carnal kind. It’s expansive, teeming with a zest for life, a longing that tingles in your fingertips, urging you to reach for joy, adventure, perhaps even the divine. It’s that same lust that poets have reverberated in their verses, the kind english lust that throbs with life's passions beyond the mere confines of the flesh.

And the Norse—oh, those seafaring sages—had their own twist with new word: losti. There’s a certain ruggedness to it, a whisper of the primal that conjures images of rough seas and the cries of gulls, of warriors with wind-tangled hair and longships that bob and weave with the ocean's capricious moods. Imagine the tales that this word losti has seeped into, the sagas that, even now, are being retold in far-off lands, spun anew for eager ears craving a taste of that same ancient sexual desire.

The Heart of Sexual Desire

beautiful body, beautiful legs, beautiful girl

Lust isn't a modern invention, nor is it a discovery of the English or the Latin speakers; it's an ancient tenant of humanity. Biblically speaking, lust is the silent whisper that turned into a thunderous demand, the bait that promised pleasure but hooked the soul with everlasting consequences. "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" – such are the words, the grave words that echo from the scriptures, the words painting lust as not merely desire but as an act, in itself, capable of spiritual derailment.

You might say lust is like that third drink you tell yourself you won't have but somehow can't resist—it's more than a fling with temptation, it's surrendering control to an intense desire. Isn't it curious how we take delight in the very things we're cautioned against? Lust, touted as one of the seven deadly sins, isn't just frowned upon but feared for its power to consume. Yet, to deny its presence is to ignore the crimson thread woven into the fabric of our humanity.

And who among us hasn't felt that twinge, that heat under the collar when eyes meet and the world falls away? It's raw, this sex lustful energy that can topple kings and awaken the dormant; it has toppled empires and awakened revolutions inside the confines of our own chests. There's vulnerability in admitting that, yes, we've all been there—at the edge of the precipice, staring down into the abyss of intense desire, wondering what it would be like to let go. It's human, after all, to feel, to want, to lust, to risk the fall.

When Want Becomes Woe

lesbians, book cover, homosexual

I've seen it, friends—stories that seep from the confessional booths of life. Like a promising professional, whose career unravelled like threads on a loom, because what started as a passing glance morphed into an entangled affair. Respect, trust, and the dreams they'd woven—dissipated like morning mist. Or the family, once a tapestry of love, torn apart by the strong sexual desire that ignored the vows and ventured into the forbidden. The pleasure was momentary, but the shrapnel of broken promises scarred for a lifetime.

Is there not an irony laced with a tinge of pathos, in how we relentlessly chase the forbidden, the sinful—surely other things in life offer sweetness, yet we're drawn to the dark like moths to a flame. It's akin to walking into a candy store, with every possible confection at your fingertips, and yet, that one locked away behind glass—labeled 'Do Not Touch'—ignites a strong desire most fierce. It's not about the candy, is it? It's about the lust for what we shouldn't have, the intense sexual desire that whispers promises of ecstasy while silently picking the pocket of our contentment.

no admittance, do not touch, hand

In this way, lust—the kind that's driven less by an earnest affection and more by a craving for the thrill—turns into a deceiver. How many hearts have whispered vows in the light of day, only to shatter them under the cloak of night? There, in the dulcet shadows, such an intense sexual desire surely doesn't feel like betrayal; instead, it masquerades as truth, masquerades as love—when in fact, it is thievery of the highest order.

We willingly don ourselves in chains, thinking them to be silken, not feeling the weight until the morning comes. When the sweetness dissipates and the sugar turns to ash in our mouths, we realize, too late, we've been gorging at the wrong table.

The Slippery Slope of Strong Desire

girl, man, woman

It all begins with the small gateways, doesn't it? A look too long—harmless, we think. A touch, a thought, a word lists a click on a screen—where seeking intense sexual desire leads to dark corners of addiction, to pornography perhaps, or worse. It's astonishing, how a craving—akin to an innocent lust for candy in a store—can morph into a life-derailing craving for the flesh that promises glory and delivers grief.

The Beguiling Pathways to Lust

magazine, colors, media
Pleasure in the moment

The pleasure of the moment often blinds us to the long road of consequences. Take, for example, the stolen kisses in a dimly lit hallway—seemingly innocent, yet charged with a promise of more. In fulfilling the appetite for immediate gratification, one fails to see how such fleeting pleasure sets the stage for a pattern of seeking similar thrills, heedless of the damage to our deeper commitments.

Power of strong sexual desire

Then there are lusts power that one feels when desired, which can be intoxicating, a heady wine that clouds judgment. As a siren's song, it calls, tempting a person to bask in the glow of another's want. Like Icarus flying too close to the sun, the power felt in these moments could lead to a perilous fall, where lusting after the feeling of being wanted draws one away from the warmth of genuine connection.

Starting with beauty
girl, beauty, fairytales

Speaking of lusting—it can start as a simple appreciation for another's beauty or charm, like admiring an object or a work of art. But this can quickly deepen into a hunger that goes beyond aesthetic pleasure. We're only human, and the senses can betray; what begins as admiration can suddenly transform into a private obsession, masked by a veneer of innocent lusting.

ignoring the signs

We often ignore the sign—the quickening of the heartbeat, the restless thoughts that invade at odd hours—as a sign of mere curiosity. But these are often the telltale signs of an encroaching hunger, one that might lead us down dark, secret passageways within our own hearts. It whispers of forbidden adventures, offering a slice of another world to a heart starved of excitement.

tall tales

Consider the examples set by those we look up to, where power and fame often seem to go hand-in-hand with scandal. It seems every other day we hear a new story of someone giving in to their base yearnings. These tales of downfall by gratification serve as warnings—a sense of foreboding that tells us this is a common human folly, one that spares no person no matter how good their intentions.

In each instance, we're reminded of our inherent vulnerability to the siren call of immediate gratification. We mistake the hunger for something profound when it's often merely echoing the emptiness of a moment. In our shared human experience, it's clear how easy it can be to allow a fleeting sense of satisfaction to dictate actions, leading us astray in the complex labyrinth of our own desires, away from the world we truly wish to build.

Lust's Many Masks

carnival, mask, masquerade

But here’s a vulnerable truth—lust can masquerade in many forms of the seemingly benign; the very act of looking at a woman, your spouse, your partner, with an enviable lust can be the symbol of sin. For even sexual desire within the realms of matrimony has its ethical questions. The debate rages between autonomy and the bonds of personal freedom, but the outcome invariably leans back on the principles of consent, mutuality, and the recognition that lust unrestrained is a harbinger of personal doom.

Can we deny the power of passions, or the pleasures of the flesh that society dangles like forbidden fruit? Yet isn't there a higher calling, a soulful craving for deeper, purer connections? To lust for life, for dreams, for meaning, the pursuit of something greater, rather than the transient, fleshly thrills?

A Path Away from Peril

greece, cross, bird

What then is the antidote? Is there a salve for the human heart, yearning for the pleasure yet wary of the precipice? The answer might lie in awareness, in boundaries drawn not with hesitance, but with conviction. Every whosoever looketh, every strong desire, every craving—they are not verboten per se, but to be navigated with the compass of wisdom and restraint.

For lust in its unvarnished truth is a mere feeling, a biological tug, a cultural siren song that veers close to the sirens of old—enchanting, but oh, so deadly. Acknowledge this: strong sexual desire is human, to understand its nature and consequences is wisdom, and to master it in the light of values that safeguard the soul, the family, the fabric of the world and humanity.

Dear reader, dare to look beneath the surface, to confront the lustful side that whispers with a silver tongue. Dare to be motivated by dreams larger than the flash of skin or the lure of the moment. For only then can we rise above the base, the primal, the deadly sins.

Now tell me, have you ever danced with desire at the edge of destruction? Have you felt its fierce temptation or seen its wake of desolation? Share your stories, stripped of their gloss, painted in their painful hues, for through them, we may just find a common thread—a shared strength to defeat even the most insidious of foes: the sin of lust.

Check out our Reading, Learning & Writing Collection! Want to expand your faith with a new journal? Spend time learning about God's word, or new thoughts and ideas? Or do you just enjoy reading new and exciting books on Christian topics? Check them all out here!

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