Thursday, August 28, 2014

A sharp sword

Like most men, I have found that maintaining my "covenant with my
eyes" (Job 31:1) is a difficult fight, at least at times. Our culture confronts me (and us) daily with opportunities to see and sinfully enjoy that which I (and we) should not. Our culture's movies, TV, news sites, advertising, and yes, our neighbors provide virtually endless sources of temptation. Yet our temptation need not become sin. It is possible, in spite of temptations, to live in a holy way.

A while back, I read parts of Kevin DeYoung's The Good News We Almost Forgot. I don't remember a lot of the book, but one beautiful little nugget has implanted itself deeply into my brain. He refers to Matthew 5:8 ("Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God") as "a sword for the fight against lust." So it has proved. For the past few years, whenever I have been tempted, I have recited that verse to myself as part of my efforts to "take every thought captive" (2 Cor. 10:5, my emphasis). It reminds me that my desire to find satisfaction through what I can see is not simply wrong; it is also misdirected. It's not that I want too much, but too little. The pure in heart will see God Himself, and the sight of Him will make all else pale in comparison. Nothing and no one in all the world is so desirable or beautiful that they are worth missing out on seeing God in all His glory and greatness.

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