The world sucks at love! Yes, I said it. It’s because we have such a tainted view of love. For some reason, this world has made lust equivalent to love, making it difficult to separate the two. People think that love is all about attraction and having a good time. Though that is part of it, it is not all of it. This is why we see many couples “fall out of love” and end up divorced. They were lusting for opportunity rather than loving for longevity.
But love and lust don’t just stop at romance. It could be the way you develop relationships with your family, friends, colleagues. I know it weird to think of lusting towards your family and friends, but that’s because we have a misunderstanding of lust. We could be lusting for gain, lusting for power, lusting for the next open door, and always thinking, “how can my relationship with them help me make my next move?” or “how can I use them as a stepping stool to reach my goals. Lust is so far from love.
Well, What’s the difference?
Love is defined as “an intense feeling of deep affection,” by Oxford dictionary. This is very similar to their definition of lust, “usually intense or unbridled sexual desire,” (Webster). No wonder we are so confused about the difference is, we take any intense feeling and go with it.
So, what does the bible say love is? Love is shown clearly in 1 Corinthians 13. “’ love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud,” (1 Cor 13:4 NIV). When I think of patience and kindness, I don’t think of intensity rather gentle and caring. Love is being patient when you can so easily blow up because you disagree with your friends, family, or significant other. Love is giving kindness is situations that may not always be easy to be kind. Love is setting yourself aside to care for someone in a way that is best for them. It’s taking steps together.
Lust is also an intense desire for something. It’s not always sexual, that’s just the first definition they give to you. Lust is very different than love. Lust is much more self-center and is the exact opposite of love. Lust is always looking for the next opportunity to fulfill our desires, whether sexual, financial, or territorial. Lust is wanting to be one step ahead.
I thought this was about purity…
It is! Purity is more than just our sexual desires (although that is part of it). Purity can be in our minds, our actions, our intentions, the way we treat others. Since the line has become so blurred between love and lust, it is hard to love and remain pure at heart. Even striving for purity can be lustful if you are doing it for some self-serving accomplishment. Do you want to seem pure so you can get closer to someone? Do you want to seem pure so you can get away with more? Are you trying to live pure?
But how do I stay pure?
Purity is not easy. That’s why we have to take steps to remain pure. I am going to share with three practical steps that you can use to remain on the path to purity.
Read your word!
- “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word,” (Psalms 119:9 NIV).
Pay attention to your friends
- You are who you hang around. Suppose you are around people who are selfish and self-centered and always looking to one-up someone. Or they are going from boyfriend to boyfriend or girlfriend to girlfriend. Or they are always talking about and looking for sex. those may be the friends you have to let go of for the sake of your purity. Find people that love like the scripture says and are ultimately reflections of Jesus.
Make promises to yourself and God.
- Making a promise to God can be some of the best accountability. I mean its God…King of Kings, the alpha and the omega. He knows what you're about to do before you even do it. It makes you feel more driven to finish the race set before you.
- Get something that reminds you of the promise. Something that every time you look at it, you remember what you promised yourself and God. I personally have a ring that every time I look at, I think of my promise of purity. If you head over to our website, we have unique rings that you can use as purity rings. If purity rings aren’t for you, we also have our purity coins with the scripture Matthew 5:8 on the front and Philippians 4:13 on the back. This will not only help remind you of the promise but give you scriptures to recite when it feels like staying pure is becoming a challenge.
There is such a big difference between love and lust. Love is patient and kind. In comparison, lust is driven by our selfish desires. Without God giving us such a clear definition of love, we would never tell the difference. Now that we know the difference, we can take steps to remain pure in a world that is anything but.
I challenge you this week to take steps to live a pure life. Put these three steps into action and see how your life will begin to change.
Have a great week!