Summary: Tools for dismantling lust and lost tempers.
[Part 3 of 5 in the Series, THE SEARCH, Solomon’s Secrets to a Happy & Successful Life.]
It’s Father’s Day and we’re in the series “THE SEARCH… Solomon’s Secrets to a Happy and Successful Life.” Here’s our text for this series:
2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. 3 Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. 4 Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Proverbs 2:2-4 (NLT)
Following the admonition of this Scripture we’re searching the wisdom and insights on the primary topics covered by the book of Proverbs. Two of the insights in this book are tools for dealing with two very dangerous minefields: 1) lust, and 2) losing tempers.
Of course the question arises, “what do these two temptations have to do with the theme of our current series of searching for secrets to a happy and successful life?” The answer is: if we don’t learn how to successfully dismantle lust and lost tempers we’ll miss out on the fulfillment God has for us. We can’t find the happiness and success God wants us to have without moving these two big roadblocks.
It is fitting that we deal with these two issues on Father’s Day because lust and lost tempers are particularly tough issues for men. Sure, ladies need to be aware of these two critical topics as well, because lust and lost tempers are not just guy problems – they’re human problems. But lust and lost tempers are two particularly testosterone-driven weaknesses. It also helps if women understand the greater degree of struggle with aggression and sexual angst that men experience.
God’s Word addresses these issues with great wisdom and insight. We need to understand the part of the iceberg that’s underneath the surface so we don’t think there isn’t any danger involved. Lust IS a problem. It may be unseen, like envy, or bitterness, or greed, but its adverse affects are very real and very damaging. Having a short temper IS a problem. Like a volcano, it may only go off once in a while but it can be a destructive force when it erupts.
THE NEGATIVE RESULTS OF LUST & LOST TEMPERS:
"Someone with a quick temper does foolish things, but someone with understanding remains calm." Proverbs 14:17 (NCV)
We’ve all seen this. One time when I was a boy we were visiting our grand parents’ house and noticed that a neighbor up the road had thrown his furniture, TV set, clothes, and nearly everything his family owned out into the front yard, destroying much of it. Later we saw his son and asked what had happened, thinking perhaps there was a fire and he was trying to save their possessions. But no, he did all of this in a rage. He lost his temper and did foolish things just like the Bible says.
I know this neighbor was probably going through a tough time and was under a lot of stress. But his temper tantrum only made things worse for him and his family.
Losing your temper and doing foolish things go hand in hand. It’s a very self-destructive habit.
Same thing is true of lust – it leads to self-destruction.
16 Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman, from the seductive words of the promiscuous woman... 18 Entering her house leads to death; it is the road to the grave. Proverbs 2:16 & 18 (NLT)
Circle those words, “death” and “grave.” The ultimate result of unbridled lust is death and the grave. Not all lusting leads immediately to this of course, but ultimately lust doesn’t fulfill us, it slowly destroys us.
A QUICK EXPLANATION AND CLARIFICATION
When we talk about lust we’re talking about craving, especially sexually, what God has forbidden.
God created sex for a couple of great purposes: 1) The mutual pleasure of heterosexual marriage partners and 2) procreation – having babies. So He isn’t against sex. He’s pro-sex. It’s just that He knows that when we lust, when we respond inappropriately to the urges and desires of our sex drive, it ends up boomeranging on us with the opposite affect of what we desire. We desire a fulfilling experience, and instead, lust leaves us with a feeling of emptiness.
Sex and sexuality aren’t our enemies; lust is our enemy because it hijacks God’s good plans for us. Lust tells us lies. The truth sets us free!
God doesn’t have taboos against incest, adultery, homosexuality, etc., because He wants to take pleasure from us – He wants us to enjoy sex – but only in heterosexual marriage - because individual and societal fulfillment is heightened when we enjoy sex the way The Creator designed it. Even secular studies have proven this! Do you know who the most sexually fulfilled people are? Faithful heterosexually married people! God doesn’t just have rules; He has a plan for our happiness!