Carl Thomas: 3 Ways to Look and Not Lust

If you are a guy and have been involved in some sort of accountability group (like an X3group), no doubt the subject of “lust” has come up. In my group on Wednesday mornings we talk about this often.

Usually the conversation focuses on 3 things:

1. What is lust?

2. How do I not lust?

3. What do I do when I lust?

All 3 of these questions could make for their own post, but for the sake of brevity I rather just focus on the second: How do I not lust? Or, more specifically, How do I look and NOT lust?

But before I do I would like to clarify what lust is and isn’t:

Lust IS NOT looking.

Lust is letting your mind wander to sexual thoughts AFTER looking.

You see, lust is not this thing that just happens.
It’s not spontaneous.
It’s not random.

Lust grows.
It’s in many ways organic.
And it has its own lifecycle.

So when you or I look at an attractive person, we aren’t lusting… but it’s at that moment when the lifecycle can start to unfold.

So, with that being said, here are 3 things you can do to make sure your looks don’t turn into lust (and no, I’m not going the whole “bounce your eyes” route either):

1) Count your “looks.” Around here at XXXchurch, we have a saying:

Look once, you’re human; look twice, you’re a man; look three times, you just disrespected your wife.

Now before you get all legalistic, realize that we don’t really boil lust down to the exact number of times you “look.” But the point here is simple; if you keep glancing and looking, chances are you aren’t doing it because you admire that individual for their personality. Most likely you’re continuing the looks because you get some sort of pleasure from what you see.

Simply put, this is a discipline and it takes practice. But if you are conscious of how many times you eye up someone, you’ll also be more aware of the when the lust monster starts knocking at your door.