Friday, 10 September 2010

To over-react or not? That is the question

John Owen, that Prince of Puritans and one of the leading Post-Reformation theologians, declared that one of the key ways by which we can grow in holiness is by walking regularly over the bellies of our lusts - what a great phrase - walking, stepping on, crushing the bellies of our lusts. Any according to a certain American pastor, one way in which this is accomplished (by us men) is by us being careful not to simply over-react when for example a scantily clad girl appears on screen. He says that instead of instinctively reacting like someone who has had boiling water poured on their lap we should be more measured whilst still treating it with the sense of seriousness it deserves which might mean pondering what kind of background/ parents/society would allow women to dress this badly, thinking aloud on what would heal our land of such folly and then walking away calmly. Please note that this is not saying we are to sit there indulging our lusts whilst justifying such ungodly behaviour with the misguided notion that we are "keeping calm in a tricky situation". What however this is saying is that we (especially us men) ought to be careful not simply to over-react when facing the mighty battleground of lust. Our response in the face of such sin should not merely be the quick shuffling from the computer/hands over my eyes/shouting at the screen expressing outrage whilst actually failing to name the sin as it is and then empowered by the Spirit speaking out how the Gospel answers this sin and then walking over its belly in triumph. The American pastor concludes like this
"Walk away because you want to, and you know that you really want to because you could stay if you wanted. You could not stay "if you wanted to" in order to give way to lust because God's Word speaks directly to that. But you could see it if you wanted, free of lust, and since it is lawful (but not necessary), you might as well leave. Leaving is the point, but you want it to be the right kind of leaving, because otherwise you are not really leaving." (Full post at Dealing with Nuisance Lust)

Men out there, what do you think of all this? If I am really honest, I am in the bolting it out of the room/quickly turning the computer off/hand over my eyes school when I face any sexual temptation - is this to over-react or not?

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