Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Minding the ‘Lust of the Eye’


“I made a covenant with my eyes

not to look lustfully at a girl.”

~Job 31:1 (NIV).

What I saw out of my rear-view mirror was an image of myself; a man taking wistful and fleeting looks at the young woman standing at the bus stop. A further look confirmed it in my mind. Never was he more disposed to himself—the sinner within—until the embarking flow of traffic forced him away.

Lust - The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth

This cuts to the heart of every man and very many women too. Guarding our hearts to ward against the lust of our eyes is a holy and virtuous imperative of the highest order, and yet...

... We’re given back to it in a second. Job’s few verses succeeding from the one positioned above take us further in:

“For what is our lot from God above,

our heritage for the Almighty on high?

Is it not ruin for the wicked,

disaster for those who do wrong?

Does [God] not see my ways

and count my every step?”

~Job 31:2-4 (TNIV).

What is God’s attitude on all this? After all, God sees all. Let us consider our reply to the One who does see all.

A Wisdom Different to Ours

Let’s consider something quite possibly foreign, and even possibly repugnant, to us Westerners. It’s the burqa; the common dress of Islamic women. It has in the past, and probably always will divide cultures—the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds—such is our inherent intolerance. One of the purposes of the humble burqa is, however, to ‘engineer in’ some level of restraint between the sexes, acknowledging the tremendous power a woman’s physical beauty has for a man—any man.

What is my point?

Perhaps there are ways of warding against the lust of the eye: a covenant in Job’s case; a burqa in the case of Islam culture and tradition; and, finally, the self-control of the Spiritual person who has conformed their desires to God, to a large extent anyway.

Respect for all people without segregation of the person-of-subject, as to their looks, calls us again to a basic human right and it seems all religions agree to that end. It’s based in the sense of a morality we tend to commonly agree upon.

The point is we’re ruined to the eye... the lust of which takes us straight—in that moment—to hell. We know it and still God forgives us. But, we’re ever so much more blessed to act in a further repugnance, and to do something practical about it.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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