Lust of the Flesh

I used to think the “lust of the flesh” was just sex
If things got steamy and you weren’t married
Give it an X

But our appetites aren’t always sexual
We have other desires, all physical
Anything that says “Feed me, not you”

These lusts blind our eyes and deafen our ears
Where we can’t see who we can serve
We can’t hear who we can help

We see something and snatch it
We hear of someone’s demise and claim their former pedestal
To prop us up

We need food to fuel us
But the taste buds and the stomach claim they need more
Than their fair share

We need sleep
But we abuse our evening hours on the meaningless
And waste mornings that could have been productive

We need relationships
But when we stop receiving, we stop giving
When we stop feeling good, we stop filling them

When we start to live like an idol in our own temple
We treat the world around us as our slaves
Anything “good” is now our food

So we consume and consume
Take more and more
And reduce it to waste

But when we remember that God is enthroned
And we are His image-bearers, His idols
Meant to bring glory to Him

Then perhaps we’ll care for people, as He does
We’ll steward things well, as He does
We’ll humble ourselves, as He did

And maybe we’ll find more joy
In serving His body
Not ours

Maybe we’ll find more delight
In loving His body
Not our own

Maybe, just maybe, these lusts of the flesh
Remind us who we were
But are no longer who we serve 

For the fleshly lust kills all with our appetite
But when God transforms our desires
We can help others thrive without feeling threatened 

When we love people from holy abundance
We lack no good thing
And they can be filled, too 

“For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions–is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.”

1 John 2:16-17

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