Love - Is it different than lust?
Love and lust both imply intense emotions and actions. With regards to holidays or celebrations, Love stirs a deep and enduring emotional regard for another individual. From that initial infatuation to a life-long commitment, love embraces our relationships. Love’s expression ranges from affection/fondness to devotion/passion.
In contrast, Lust occurs when there is:
- an intense sexual desire
- an uncontrolled craving, or
- an overwhelming appetite for pleasure/delight (Webster’s, Random House, American Heritage Dictionary).
Throughout history, some civilizations have celebrated lust. Their gods honored mankind’s carnality.
- Goddesses of Wanton Love – Achtland (Celtic), Anna Perenna (Etruscan), Arianrhod (Welsh)
- Goddesses of Prostitution – Flora (Roman), P’an Chin-lien (Chinese)
- Goddesses/gods of Lust/Frenzied Love – Ichpuchtli (Aztec), Lempo (Finnish), Rangda (Balinese)
Love and Lust- What does God say?
Those who would suggest lust and love are counterparts are ignoring God. God created our capacity to love. “Let us love one another for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).
|Generates life (1 John 4:9-10)||Corrupts (Ephesians 4:22)|
|Practices Sincerity (Romans 12:9–10)||Mocks (Jude 1:16)|
|Brings Mercy (Ephesians 2:4–5)||Condemns (2 Timothy 2:22, 26)|
|Sacrifices (1 John 3:16)||Craves (1 Corinthians 10:6–8)|
|Protects and Trusts (1 Corinthians 13:7)||Tempts and Hurts (1 Timothy 6:9–10)|
|Gives Unconditionally (Romans 5:8)||Robs Mortally (James 1:14–15)|
|Endures Forever (Psalm 107)||Passes Away (1 John 2:17)|
From a worldview, lust and love seem interchangeable. The world offers fantasizing in place of experiencing the reality of God’s love. The disciple Paul speaks of the choices one faces regarding love and lust (1 Timothy 3:1-5). We are warned, “Do not love the world or anything in the world . . . for everything in the world -- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and boasting of what he has and does -- come not from the Father [God] but from the world” (1 John 2:15-16). Through His Son, Jesus Christ, God offers us a fulfilling relationship based on His affection and devotion -- God Is Love.
Love - A Description
Love is described in 1 Corinthians 13:
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus
Yes, I am already a follower of Jesus
I still have questions