20 In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and earthenware, and some for noble use, some for ignoble. 21 If any one purifies himself from what is ignoble, then he will be a vessel for noble use, consecrated and useful to the master of the house, ready for any good work. 22 So shun youthful passions and aim at righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with stupid, senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to every one, an apt teacher, forbearing, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, 26 and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:20-26)
Flee youthful lusts
The biggest obstacle for those who are after the Lord Jesus is about how they face temptations. Some people know how to resist temptation really well, while others end up falling into temptation. I’d say to anyone facing such a problem in their walk with Jesus Christ, is that they flee such temptations especially those one’s which are called youthful lusts.
So what are these youthful lusts and should be one’s reponse?
Usually, these are those lusts that happen during one’s youth most of the time. Not every youth faces them all and it can be just one of two temptations which they enticed into and However, it sometimes happens to people even later in life. Nevertheless, these are called youthful lusts. Some of these include:
- Bad companionship
- Drug abuse
- Sexual immorality
- Rebellion against parents
- Rebellion against authorities
- Pride excessively in oneself
Please make sure you repent of the above sins in the name of Jesus Christ and also repent of all other sins too. This way you will be pure in the Kingdom of God.
Let me also break it down what the next part in Timothy 2:22 means ( aim at righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart. ). Here we go:-
Aim at righteousness
Don’t be walking aimlessly in life. Especially when walking with Jesus Christ, this is a full-time thing that you aim for righteousness in your thoughts, words, and actions.
You can’t go on not believing in God’s existence and call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ. Such an attitude at best is hypocritical and must be eliminated from your life. The only way to please God is by having faith in Him. And yes, you can manifest this faith in your thoughts, words and actions as per the commandments of God.
Let me just speak what the Bible says: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
Peace, along with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart.
Do everything that is only God to all who believe in the Lord Jesus. For this, you need to at peace with those at church, especially those from your friends and family too. Having respect for others who follow the Lord Jesus is important in your walk with Jesus.
Finally with regards to fleeing youthful lusts, always repent and never be a disgrace to your Christian community just because they’re forgiving and understanding. Take help from those strong in the faith. Never be ashamed to ask help from Jesus in prayer when faced with tempations. Remember that there is no repentance in the grave and charity begins at home.
Christ be with you!
Praise be to the Lord Jesus who by the Holy Spirit leads us in all righteousness. We pray that we respect each other and be a blessing to each other in our walk with Christ. Remind us O Lord God, that we do not covet any person or things which is unlawful and will cause sorrow to others. Help us to abide by what is true love and not be deceived by the lust of the world. Amen and amen.
The Holy Scriptures do tell us not to covet. This includes not coveting another one’s spouse. And this is a warning about adultery as well.
And you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s. (Deuteronomy 5:21)
Read the following words of Jesus and you will notice that lustful covetousness is the same as adultery. The punishment for this is hell which is mentioned along with this.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. (Matthew 5:27-30)
So this should make it abundantly clear that you are not to covet a spouse that is married to another. Do not be a seducer of married one’s. It’s a sin against the Lord God who wants marriage to be holy. By trying to entice a married person to commit fornication or even marry you is to be a cause for trouble for that person’s spouse, family and children. Never be so evil.
If you are not married and you say you want to get married, then do get married to someone who is not married like yourself. If you are not happy with your current marriage, then don’t ruin others happiness by stealing their spouse, keep your selfishness to yourself and deal with it.
I won’t stop at only holding individuals responsible to avoiding coveting another one’s spouse. Even the people in general and the state should get their act together. No group nor organization has a right to make money by corruption of society. Everyone who is a corrupter of humanity is cursed! I feel very sorry to see innocent spouse who was forced to divorce her unfaithful spouse. Her tears and her children’s tears are sorrowful and the society stupidly blames her for everything. At times there’s an unfaithful wife too and her innocent husband is manipulated into divorcing her. He then ends up more poor and with kids who in sorrow to look after. Indeed we live in an evil and adulterous generation!
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
There are plenty of idiots who promote adultery in various forms. Novels glorify the hero who can kill enemies but seduce their wives and daughters. Movies show that it’s cool to flirt with a woman who is not your wife. Then we have songs and their accompanying videos in which a foolish woman singer, yes foolish but exquisite in looks, goes on to sing about her sexuality and makes a lot of direct or indirect appeals to men to lust for her and so buy her music. Obviously, there are some male singers who also do something like that though with even more cunning appeal to beguile women to buy more of their music works. They don’t care if any person who was influenced by their works gets sexually transmitted diseases or gets a humiliating divorce. So I’m not surprised that when their ‘fans’ die in their sins, these very writers, actors, singers etc will shrug of responsibility and won’t even care that these people are now forever tormented in the fires of Hell.
Don’t think of this as a generation gap issue or being old-fashioned. Even in the past centuries such things did happen but were more limited as technology had yet to catch up. These things were even exposed in the past times. Let’s read what an early Christian theologian Augustine of Hippo (born in 345AD) had to say about this:
[Y]ou are not ashamed of your sin [in committing adultery] because so many men commit it. Man’s wickedness is now such that men are more ashamed of chastity than of lechery. Murderers, thieves, perjurers, false witnesses, plunderers and fraudsters are detested and hated by people generally, but whoever will sleep with his servant girl in brazen lechery is liked and admired for it, and people make light of the damage to his soul. And if any man has the nerve to say that he is chaste and faithful to his wife and this gets known, he is ashamed to mix with other men, whose behaviour is not like his, for they will mock him and despise him and say he’s not a real man; for man’s wickedness is now of such proportions that no one is considered a man unless he is overcome by lechery, while one who overcomes lechery and stays chaste is considered unmanly.”― Augustine of Hippo, Sermons 1-19
All those who promote adultery by calling it good are clear fools! Just because you are faithful to your wife doesn’t mean that you encourage your friend to keep going in his sin of adultery. Any man who entices his friend to seduce others for fun is not a true friend at all. This applies for women who keeping giving wrong ideas to their female friends to become habitual seducers of men. I’d say that it’s better for a woman to be friendless, that to have a friend male or female who teaches her such wickedness.
To conclude, to avoiding feelings of covetousness towards the spouses of others I suggest that you reflect on the following:
- On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense. (Proverbs 10:13)
- When adultery occurs, three of the Ten Commandments are broken: you shall not commit adultery, not lie, and not covet your neighbor’s spouse. – Dennis P. Hollinger, The Meaning of Sex
- He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. (Proverbs 6:32)
- Adultery is a disguised detour en route to your personal demise. – Paul Davis, Adultery: 101 Reasons Not to Cheat
A man or a woman in lust is highly bothered about oneself. Such is the selfishness that seeking pleasure becomes the sole criteria of life. Immoral pleasures are the dark roads these people travel. They know not the cruel monster that hides in the shadows of sexual immorality. Outside the light of God’s loving kindness, they choose the prison of self-deception. This prison goes deep into the depths of stupidity. And many in the world cheerfully drag themselves into this. However, this prison of self-deception is not there for too long.
There are two things to consider; the physical and the spiritual consequences. A person is lust is always trying to hide his or her sexual immorality under the false assumption that what is kept secret goes unpunished. Well, that depends on what that person’s definition of secrecy is. The bad news for such people is that there is nothing secret in the eyes of the Lord God. Let’s check on the spiritual consequences first. He is aware of every sin and will surely judge at one’s death and also at the Final judgement. Think of it as getting judged not once but two times spiritually. Not a judgement of words alone but actual everlasting punishment in Hell and in the Lake of Fire. One word about these punishments; forever. When the fires of Hell burn the soul that lusted after sexual perversions, all self-deception goes away. No wonder, as pride goes before a fall.
To speak about the physical consequences there are various diseases passed on between adulterers and fornicators. Even medical science insists that to reduce instances of sexually transmitted diseases one must stick to only one partner. Yet, people throw caution to the wind and think they are exempt from the consequences. Such is their stupidity because they choose to ignore abundance of cases of AIDS, gonorrhea and the like which was transmitted due to prostitution, one night stands and whatever form of perversion. Then we have the social consequences of being found out. Many presidents who engaged into immorality today are out their presidency due to it. These have thrown away their legacy which takes years to build for a few minutes of deception. Reminds me of how Esau despised and sold his birthright for the sake of some food and never ever got back his supremacy. There was then an infamous case of how a sportsman cheated on his pregnant wife by engaging in perverse sexual relations with over a dozen women. Yes, over a dozen. And then the wife filed such a divorce case in which they not only got divorced but the sportsman had to pay a very huge amount of his earnings to her. Besides, he lost out on many advertisement deals and till day is not able to play his sport like in his earlier days of glory.
But as always, there are some people who are way too cunning to work out their lust without any physical consequences apparently. Well, their safe passage will soon run out as they won’t go to heaven if they choose not to repent of their lust. So they will have to face the evil spiritual consequences of their vile immorality for sure.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practise homosexuality,nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
So if you’re prone to lust or if you are struggling with lust here is what you should keep in mind so that you live a holy life:
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. (Colossians 3:1-6)
A few words of wisdom about the dangers of sexual immorality and lust:
“Dietrich Bonhoeffer made the observation that when lust takes control, “At this moment God…loses all reality… Satan does not fill us with hatred of God, but with forgetfulness of God.” What a world of wisdom there is in this statement! When we are in the grip of lust, the reality of God fades… This is what lust does! It has done it millions of times. God disappears to lust-glazed eyes.” – R. Kent Hughes
“Our eyes, when gazing on sinful objects, are out of their calling, and out of God’s keeping.” – Thomas Fuller
“Passion is the evil in adultery. If a man has no opportunity of living with another man’s wife, but if it is obvious for some reason that he would like to do so, and would do so if he could, he is no less guilty than if he was caught in the act.” – Augustine
“No sin that a person commits has more built-in pitfalls, problems and destructiveness than sexual sin. It has broken more marriages, shattered more homes, caused more heartache and disease, and destroyed more lives than alcohol and drugs combined. It causes lying, stealing, cheating and killing, as well as bitterness, hatred, slander, gossip and unforgivingness.” – John MacArthur