All of us at Odd Man Out find ourselves in the midst of a particularly busy season. Apparently the fourth year of seminary is like that. Hebrew feels like a six or nine credit class all on its own. However, I felt compelled to carve out a small chunk of time to follow-up on my own post about lust.
Lust is an interesting and difficult topic. Although I wrote with the intention of spawning dialogue and invited several folks directly, we received little participation. In hindsight, that does not surprise me. I am starting to believe that lust is closely tied to shame, and the first rule of shame is—do not talk about it.
Fortunately, I know a few people courageous enough to defy shame’s self-propagating rule in response to me calling out my personal struggle with lust publicly. They spoke to me about self-acceptance and trusting God for identity. Interestingly, although I count those things as strengths, our conversations changed my life in a miraculous way. The crippling blow to lust’s nearly unbridled power to disrupt my thinking came from fellow Odd Man Out author, Mat Panattoni:
I came to the point that I recognized that I cannot escape all of these images of lust inside my head and all around me . . . I realized that I have the power to give those thoughts and instances to Jesus, that I cannot defeat them, that Jesus has already defeated them. So, now when those images reappear they are no longer temptations but victories.
Having grown up in Oregon, the duck analogy works well for me. When lust comes, my shame no longer invites it more deeply into my mind. Instead it runs off of my Christ based identity like water off of a ducks back.
photo credit: DaveInman via photopin cc