We know how the saying goes, “the flesh is weak”. It’s our natural excuse to give credibility to reasons why we allow hidden desires to exercise authority in our lives. When we’re caught being lustful, sex is typically the culprit. The thing is, lust isn’t always sexual. The word is defined as a strong desire for someone or something. The cravings ingrained in our minds can exhibit strong characteristics, over time possessing more power than we can control.
Lust is a topic I know all too well about. Food is my one weakness. We have a tumultuous relationship.
A great friend of mine created a bible study called Stolen Lunches, which began as a group of women who gave up their lunch break once a month to be fed by the word of God. The group of women just so happened to be my former colleagues, many of us at the time felt defeated professionally, financially and in other aspects of womanhood. We loved Christ and wanted to expand our knowledge together. We celebrated our one year anniversary last month and have also watched a men’s bible study formulate along with one for children in the works.
Hundreds call in, tweet live and watch on Periscope. We’re in different cities and time zones for the glory of Christ. So you can only imagine, the task of talking to grown women about sex was heavy on my heart. Yes, I spoke to over 200 women Monday about lust and how it hinders our spiritual growth. Initially scary, yet so freeing. Since Monday I’ve received tweets, texts and calls about how my message left an impact.
Publicly acknowledging my past promiscuity and disobedience to God somehow vindicated me, giving others a brief refuge. I wish I could count how many times I’ve heard, “that was just for me!”. While I do not feel comfortable putting my testimony out on display for the web (in some way I already have, but the link on Periscope has expired, HA!), I do want to help someone release whatever weight is taking hold of their mind.
Think of your brain as a recycling facility. Split it up into sections. You have the bin for paper, aluminum and plastic. I am not familiar with waste management, so I presume this is how it works. Anyways, there is also a section for trash. The miscellaneous items. The recyclable items are at your disposal, beneficial to build upon your innovative ideas and the ability to grow. And the trash is just that..trash. And what happens when you fail to take out the trash? It begins to rot and stink up the place. When you allow your mind to become cluttered with mess, you cannot possibly give full attention to the vital components you need to function at your best or as a believer. Allow God to clear the air and freshen up your mind. Pray away whatever is holding you down. Don’t just pray and leave it alone. Pray and be intentional. After you take out the trash, you know what’s next..you have to put out another trash bag. You will continue to collect more trash based on whatever influences you in society. You job as trash collector is to know when to dump it. Pay attention to your thinking and what you give your energy to.
If you need a little extra guidance from a biblical perspective, I used 1 Corinthians 10:13.
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
And, Galatians 5:16.
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
My second exercise was to discuss what it means to be a virtuous woman. I am by no means perfect. I’m just not. When I finish writing this blog, I will likely curse or have an impure thought because I can be a walking talking contradiction. And of course, I’ll be tweeting suggestive content on Twitter during Empire solely for laughs. Everyone else may see it as a hypocrite, but what resides in my heart is what matters. I’m making a conscious effort to do right and well aware of my shortcomings. The bible study participants gave ideas on what they perceived as being virtuous. Having a good heart, being confident, the desire to help others, etc. All fantastic examples. I heard a man recently say, “You may be the only God that some people see in their lives.”
I finally know the definition of today’s virtuous woman. She is one who uses her strength to attract souls to God’s glory.