Friday, December 6, 2013 – Day 24: Love vs Lust
It’s a quick and easy progression. We see something, we cultivate the desire to obtain it, and then we act on that desire. Quickly following the action is shame and regret. We have been provided with everything we need from God in order to have a full and enjoyable life. Like Adam and Eve, who had everything yet still wanted more, we are in a similar position. We set out to obtain worldly pleasures. Once we become curious about something, our hearts get drawn in and then it is just a matter of time before we act on that.
When people hear the word ‘lust’ they often equate that solely with things of a sexual nature. Yet we can also be lustful towards obtaining money, fame, materials possessions or prideful ambition. We see things we want and we crave it. We often think that we will be happy if we have these things, and therefore in order to obtain happiness, we set out to obtain them.
Instead of showing gratitude for what we have, we set our hearts on things we want. Every thing we are lusting after can become an obsession. Yet lust always wants more. If you allow it in, you will soon find that you are never content. In a marriage, no matter how wonderful your spouse may be, lust will make you find dissatisfaction with them. It destroys marriages. Rather than finding fullness, it leaves one feeling empty. God doesn’t want us to be unhappy and he isn’t denying us of anything, but directing us away from decisions that will not provide any real lasting happiness.
Think about things that have been enticing you. What things are you currently longing for in order to find fulfillment? Can you come to terms with the fact that you don’t need them? Have you grown tired of striving after these things in order to obtain happiness, even though time and again you have found nothing but emptiness and disappointment?
Slowly start to shift your view back to God. Focus on being grateful for the things that he has given you, rather than focusing on any cause for discontentment. Place your focus on your spouse. Love offers you the best life you can have.
Dare for day 24:
Questions for pondering: What did you identify as an area of lust? What has this pursuit cost you over time? How has it led you away from the person you want to be? Write about your new commitment to see him – and to seek your spouse – rather than seeking after foolish desires.
I can easily identify one that has been an issue for a long time and that was attaining thinness. I had this idea that once I would be thinner, I’d be happier…that all my problems of self-worth and self-esteem would be solved. Being thin was the key; the missing link. So I set my heart out to attain thinness. Yet, it was never enough. ‘Thinness’ is such a broad, undefinable term, that it created in me the desire to keep going, to keep losing. It took a hold in my life and became my only priority, by means of my eating disorder. It consumed every.single.day of my life. I desired to have a skinny body more than I did to be happy, or healthy, or to work to find better ways to find self-worth and self-esteem. Somehow I equated being thin with the only way I’d ever be happy with myself, meanwhile losing everything I was along the way. Not only did I land myself in a pit of misery, isolation, depression, and despair, but I started to change. The Elise I used to be, the happy, kind, considerate, affectionate, giving, patient girl was no longer there. Instead a new Elise; someone irritable, crabby, isolated, angry, and short-tempered took her place. I started to turn into someone I didn’t even recognize and certainly not someone that others recognized or liked.
Today, I’ve made vasts improvements in this area. My eating disorder has gotten much more under control now and doesn’t have the same prominence in my life as it had. I am now becoming that ‘old Elise’ again and that is such a beautiful thing. I’m finally satisfied with my weight, which is amazing. And not only that, but I’m AT a healthy weight. So it is possible to be content at a healthy weight. However, the thing about ‘lusts’ though is that they are always looming around you. If you aren’t aware of it or on guard, just that quickly, they can start to filter back into your life. That’s why it’s imperative that I continue to keep things in check and really continue to push myself forward in my recovery. You can never have a day where you let your guard down.
I know just how vain it is to seek something that is impermanent and something that is essentially ‘unattainable’. Since being thin is not so easily defined, it’s striving after something that could never be achieved. I want to place my importance on things that matter. Who I am as a person. Being the best friend I can be. Giving my parents reason to be proud and being the best daughter I can be. I want to be present in my life, in my relationships. I want to be viewed as a good employee and co-worker who is hardworking and gives her all. Life is out there, waiting to be lived. I don’t want to let it pass me by because I am too caught up with myself and my body. It’s time to put things in perspective and get the life that I want to live. I have the power to make that happen. And I also have the power to be present in my relationship with Scott. He deserves it; we deserve it.
Day 24 down, 16 to go!