Sermon:
Malcolm Muggeridge, the famous British philosopher and journalist who converted to Christianity late in life, once told the story of when he was working in India as a young man. One evening, he went down to the river for a swim. As he entered the water, he saw across the river an Indian woman from a nearby village who had come for her evening bath. Muggeridge immediately felt the allurement of the moment, and he was besieged by temptation. He had lived with this kind of temptation all his adult life, but until this moment he had fought it off out of respect for his wife.
But tonight, he was weak and vulnerable. He hesitated just a moment, then swam furiously across the river toward the woman, literally trying to outdistance his conscience. When he was just a few feet away from her, he emerged from the water and what he saw took his breath away. She wasn’t a beautiful young maiden, but old and hideous, with wrinkled skin, and worst of all, she was a leper. He said later, "The creature grinned at me, showing a toothless mask." There in the water, he muttered to himself, "What a dirty, lecherous woman!" and began to swim away. But as he did, a sudden shock gripped him: "It wasn’t just the woman who was dirty and lecherous," he said. "It was my own heart."

Susan and Barb run into each other in the ladies room. Susan unloads to Barb about their coworker Laurel. Susan is upset about something Laurel has done and takes the opportunity to run her into the ground. Laurel then emerges from the stall, having heard every word. Visibly angry she rushes out of the bathroom. Susan feels convicted for what she has done. She has trashed Laurel’s reputation, she has violated that relationship by sharing something that belonged between the two of them, she has hurt her coworker and she’s knows she was wrong to do it. Susan is a follower of Christ - she has brought dishonor to his name and instead of drawing Laurel closer to him she has pushed her away. And she hates that she has done this. She wonders - “Where did this come from?”
It comes from a lecherous heart. A self-centered heart that is concerned first of all with it’s own pleasures.

Woody Allen who famously married at age 56 a 22 year old gal who was practically (though not legally) his stepdaughter remarked “The heart wants what it wants. There’s no logic to these things. You meet someone and you fall in love and that’s that.”
The heart wants what it wants. I don’t think anyone can argue with that. His theology is solid on that point. Our hearts are self-centered and concerned first of all with their own pleasures.

Dennis Rainy interviewed a man who had been stung by his father’s filthy heart, his failure to love. As a boy his dad decided to leave his mom for another woman. The Dad kissed his son on the forehead, said “I love you,” and walked out the door. What could he possibly have meant when he said that he “loved” his son?
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast,