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Day by Day - Mar. 26, 2009

Controlling Your Lust, Part One
by Charles R. Swindoll

James 1:13-15

Only humans have the wide range of emotions that we experience. Some of them are so powerful that they can take charge of our lives. They range from the super-positive ones---feelings like joy, peace, contentment, relief, enthusiasm, hope, excitement, and romantic love---to the opposite extreme where negative feelings like grief, rage, guilt, shame, greed, selfishness, envy, jealousy, discouragement, pride, disappointment, and sloth come in like a flood and control us.

We are learning that, because we are emotional beings, we need to remain keenly aware of the impact our feelings can have on us. If allowed to run on a free and uncontrolled course, it isn't long before we're suffering the consequences, especially if the emotion is one of those that drags us down and drains us of our discipline. If some detrimental emotion remains unchecked, we not only continue to yield to it, we become consumed by it. Physicians and psychologists describe this as a compulsive physiological need for a substance or an experience we can no longer resist. When it reaches that level, it's become an addiction.

An extremely powerful emotion dominating our current culture is lust. This is one of the most demoralizing of all life's struggles. Because it is so powerful and prevalent and because it can have such a damaging effect on our own lives and our relationships---especially marital relationships---we would do well to face the truth about it and take steps to control it.

There is a brief and clear section of Scripture that addresses the subject of lust. It is located in three verses found in the first chapter of James. Read them very carefully:

Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. (James 1:13-15)

Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.

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