The first and most instinctive reaction to lust, as in any sin, is first to try to bear it ourselves. Because of the secretive and shameful nature of lustful activities, we often attempt to handle it “all on our own.” But we soon learn that like the first law of thermodynamics, sin, like energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be transferred. Like the demons in the Gadarene demoniac in Luke 8, it must go somewhere. Someone must bear our lust. But if we are the cause of our lust, how can we also bear it away? We cannot. We are powerless. Are we simply left to the reinforcing ritual of lust and acting out?
After attempting to deal with lust by ourselves, the second false solution normally appears. We attempt to blame others for our own behavior. We magnify the wrongs of others and turn to self pity or resentment to comfort ourselves that all is well when we know it is not. We think if we magnify the wrongs of others, perhaps our own wrongs will pale in comparison. In Romans 1 to 4, the Apostle Paul deals comparative performance a fatal blow. It is no solution. It only leads either to self-justification or hopelessness. It will never make us free. We know this partly because the gnawing sense that something is desperately wrong continues. Blaming others doesn’t work.
I remember the very day it dawned on me that neither I nor another human being were meant to bear my lust. Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, was meant to bear it. He bore it not only as my substitute upon the cross. He also bears it with me in the moment it occurs. Ron J. writes these words in his book Impossible Joy (Click on Resources tab on our website above for more more info) He writes, “Because when I open the door and let him into it (my temptation), the Sin bearer takes me with my temptation into himself. When I transfer it out of me onto him, I am free not to obey its impulse…I send it away onto him; he draws it into the annihilating black hole of his sin-death and the sin is overcome.” p. 87 This is the experiential way lust addiction is meant to be dealt with as it occurs.
What does this do for those of us who struggle with lust? Very simply, it delivers us from the dead ends of either attempting to deal with lust on our own or by blaming others. There is much more to this, but the central truth is clear. He will take our lust every time we are willing to give it to him. This is what he was born to do and lives to continue. It is not only true. It works.
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