“You have heard it said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28
I’m just looking at the menu, I’m not ordering. I’ve never cheated on my wife or my husband, but Jesus says I can cheat by what I think? I can’t speak for women, but I can speak as a married man, by Jesus’ standard, I am guilty. For most married men, following this definition of adultery will be a challenge for the rest of their lives.
Thoughts are the unseen if no action is ever taken. The problem with thoughts is if we think those same thoughts for too long, they may very well lead to action. Imagine if your husband, wife, or best friend knew your every thought. What about your mom or dad? Or, the attractive man or woman that you just walked by on the street? They can’t, but there is one that can, God!
In our world, it is increasingly more difficult to have pure thoughts when it comes to the opposite sex. You can’t watch a sporting event on television without seeing at least one commercial about erectile dysfunction, usually with an attractive woman talking in a seductive tone. Click onto almost any website, and somewhere on that site is an advertisement about something sexual. “Sex sells” is not just a slogan.
How is it possible to go through the rest of our lives without having an impure thought? It probably isn’t possible which is why we need a savior, but there are steps that each of us can take. Jesus went on to say Matthew 5:29-30, “If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body do go to hell.”
Jesus is saying, whatever causes you to have those thoughts, get rid of it or don’t do it. If you can’t control yourself on the internet, get rid of it. What about Facebook or other social media websites? Unfortunately, through Facebook, I almost made the worst mistake of my life. By the Grace of God I didn’t. I’m still on Facebook, no longer do I entertain anything close to what almost happened.
Some will say that Jesus really didn’t mean to cut your hand off of gouge your eye out. I personally believe he meant it. He was saying whatever it is that causes you to stumble, get rid of it.
If going to a bar tempts you, don’t go! If your customer wants to go to a strip club, refuse. Even if it means losing the account or even your job. Is the sale or your job worth your soul? Try to never go somewhere alone with someone of the opposite sex that isn’t your spouse. If you are tempted by someone via social media, unfriend them. If that isn’t enough, get rid of it.
We all know where and who brings temptation. Avoid those places and those people if possible. Pray constantly for God to purify everything in your life, especially your thoughts. While everyone can see your actions, God can see your thoughts. People think they know you because of what they can see, whether what they see is real or not. You may be able to fool those around you, but you can never fool God. He know who you really are and here’s the most awesome thing. He loves you anyway! He knows we are going to struggle. Turn your thoughts towards him because he promises, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” Matthew 7:7