How do you look at others? Are there some who appear attractive to you? Do you look at them with a longing for intimacy? Does this longing occur, even if you are already married? Have you acted on your internal desire?
There are some people who not only view someone else with a lustful look but act on their desire. If the person is married, it is called adultery. Others can restrain themselves from taking action and think highly of themselves for doing so.
But look at how Jesus clarifies the seventh of the ten commandments. He states that merely looking at another person lustfully is the same as committing adultery. This doesn’t mean we cannot find another person attractive. It does mean that when our thoughts go beyond attraction to lustfulness, we have crossed the line Jesus draws.
It is not merely the mind at work. It is also our heart. It is our heart that God sees. It is our heart that becomes corrupt. It is our heart that betrays us. How do we combat a heart of desire? We fill it with Jesus. We fill it with the love of God. How do we combat a filthy mind? We fill it with the word of God. We fill it with his thoughts rather than our thoughts.
Jesus purposely makes this distinction. He knows our weaknesses. He knows how destructive lustful behavior can be to us as individuals and our society. He knows the impact reaches more people than we think it does—even some who are not personally involved.
I pray we all fill our minds with God’s thoughts. I pray we fill our hearts with God’s love. I pray each one of us guard ourselves from lustful desires and avoid destructive behavior. Guard your mind. Guard your heart. Fill your mind with God’s thoughts. Fill your heart with God’s love. Avoid destructive behavior. Love your neighbor as yourself.
Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard that it was 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.”