Summary: While the passion of lust and love can feel the same, the difference is it’s ultimate direction. Love is outward-focused, lust is focused on itself
Title: Just a second rate playmate
Text: 1 Cor 13:3-6
MP: While the passion of lust and love can feel the same, the difference is it’s ultimate direction. Love is outward-focused, lust is focused on itself
FCF: We all want to be loved, and we have been.
1. Malcolm Muggeridge & the Leper
2. This week, Anna Nicole Smith
3. Her “mentor” Marilyn Monroe
4. Lust fails because it is not love
a. Literally is looking to itself
b. The desire is the desire to be loved, not to love
c. Ultimate act of love: “The Cross”
5. Mother Teresa
a. Father died at 7
b. Something Beautiful for God – the lighting
c. Loved because she loved.
Malcolm Muggeridge was looking to feel love. He had been traveling the world as a reporter, many months away from his wife and children, and was now stuck in a 3rd world country, desperate to be held.
He tells of the time he decided to bathing out in a river in this country. As he waded into the water, he noticed a bit up the river, a woman bathing alone. From the back, her curves were alluring, but she was obviously poor.
He had made up his mind that he was going to act like one of the locals. It was not uncommon for a man, seeing a woman undressed, to take advantage of her, and simply pay her for her services after. He rationalized it: He was lonely, and she was available. Who hasn’t felt this way?
But Muggeridge was a lesson that he never forgot. He got to see the true emptiness of his lust unadorned. As he made his way up the stream to the naked woman in the distance, she turned around. Half of her face had rotted away from leprosy. She had been bathing alone because of the disease which forced her out of the company of mankind.
Looking into her face, he wanted to rail against her for enticing her so. Looking into the cavity at this unclean woman, he stopped and he realized who was the more unclean of the two. She had been consumed by a disease that ate at her flesh to be sure, but he had had given full throttle to a cancer that consumed his heart. He repented mightily.
As we continue in our series on the Seven Deadly Sins this week, I want to look at lust. It’s the easiest sin to identify. We all know that it’s wrong to go to those stores that sell those magazines or look at those websites. And yet, we do it anyway.
Advocates of pornography want to say “lust is natural,” and it is. But deserts are all natural too. It doesn’t mean I should live there.
Understand that lust is nothing less than a manifestation of love that has gone awry. It is the cry of a desperate heart to be loved. And who could argue with that? The only problem is, love was never meant to gratify itself. It may have that effect, but when we seek love strictly with the motive of gratifying ourselves, we turn around and find what had been beautiful from the back is hideous in its face.
Not all of us regularly hit the porn, but we all face the temptation to seek to be loved more so than to love. This morning, I want to suggest to you that if you struggle with lust to your last ounce of energy, or if it is just another sin among many, there is a solution. As the Beatles said, All you need is Love.
But Love, properly understood, isn’t something out of a love song. If you want to know what love is, there is no better place to find out than 1 Cor 13. Hear what Paul has to say about love.
Who wouldn’t want that? But, how we go about getting that makes all the difference.
The news is finally beginning to focus on something other than Anna Nicole Smith, but in the last few weeks, we have been treated (and I use that word advisedly) to what is perhaps the most in-your-face object lesson on lust I’ve seen in a long time.
Ms. Smith’s father had left the family by the time she was 2.
Seeking the approval of men, she rose to a certain notoriety of sorts as Playboy’s 1993 Playmate of the Year. Not to be outdone, she continued to parlay her lust to win the heart of a geriatric millionaire, J. Howard Marshall.