Men: Overcoming Visual Temptation, Your Mind

We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ ~ 2 Corinthians 10:5


In yesterday’s post Men: Overcoming Visual Temptation, The Eyes, we discussed the first perimeter of defense to wage war on sexual impurity: your eyes.

In today’s discussion, we look at the second perimenter: your mind.

… your objective in the war against lust is to build three perimeters of defense into your life:
1. With your eyes.
2. In your mind.
3. In your heart.

Unfortunately, the eyes are much easier to train and gain control over than the mind. You may not think you have a photographic memory, but there are images of women, some you know personally and some you only know from movies and magazine ads, that willfully come to your mind without you asking for them. Guarding your eyes from visual temptation will not ensure victory in your mind, but it will go a long way in making overall victory possible.

The great news is that the defense perimeter of the eyes works with you to build the perimenter of the mind. The mind needs an object for its lust, so when the eyes view sexual images, the mind has plenty to dance with. Without those images, the mind has an empty dance card. By starving the eyes, you starve the mind as well.

In transforming your mind, you’ll be taking an active, conscious role in capturing rogue thoughts, but in the long run, the mind will wash itself and will begin to work naturally for you and your purity by capturing such thoughts. With the eyes bouncing from sexual images and the mind policing itself, your defenses will grow incredibly strong. (Every Man’s Battle, pp. 153, 154)

While these passages sound like you can win the battle of your mind yourself, experience tells otherwise. The word of God says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2) Transformation of the mind comes not from an act of the will alone, but by allowing the living, breathing Spirit to work in you “to take captive every thought.”

For more on this important topic, I recommend the excellent book Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time, by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker (WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO, 2000).


Yours for the celebration of life,

Claudia

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