The Path to Infidelity – Part 1
You don’t have to be a sport’s superstar, a nationally known political leader or a television celebrity to know that sexual infidelity is disastrous! All you need to see are friends and coworkers, family and classmates, watch the evening news on TV or read the local newspaper, and you will see the “train wreck” that happens when we allow ourselves to have relationships outside of marriage.
How does it happen?
I was a part of a study group many years ago that searched to find the answer to that question. How does this happen so often? Why do people so often find themselves drawn into relationships that destroy everything they hold as precious? I’ve heard it said, “Some people grab hold of things they do not need while giving up things they cannot live without!” It just seems so strange, at least until you look at the process more closely.
Your most potent sexual organ
What we found was that your most dangerous sexual organ is 18 inches above your heart instead of below it. Your body will never go where your mind has not already been! All of your thoughts, dreams and fantasies shape your eventual actions. We trace out the path in our heads before we ever take the first step.
The Bible is pretty clear on this point. When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments the Laws of God were broken into two groups. There were laws about how to make God tototally God” (Exodus 20:2-11). And then there were laws about how to live in harmony with everyone around you (Exodus 20:12-17). In that set of laws about how we must live, the first one is to live with a “deep appreciation and respect for the values and testimony of our parents”. The second command is “don’t take away any other person’s life” and the third is “stay faithful to your spouse….in every way.” This is the third most important law of that section of laws that God wrote out with His own finger onto the stone tablets. It must have been important!
But look closer. Down in verse 17 the law changes from forbidding ACTIONS that hurt the people closest to you to forbidding THOUGHTS that will harm your relationships. It says “Don’t look at anything that belongs to your neighbor with longing, craving, desire, wanting or coveting in your heart.”
We used to say, “You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head” in a short-hand way of saying that you can’t stop your mind from thinking about forbidden things. But it is simply NOT true. You can control the “birds” and you must control the “birds”! The Bible confirms this by making it a Law in the Ten Commandments of God.
Jesus does the very same thing
Jesus teaches the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapters 5-7. In Matthew 5:17-48 Jesus uses a repeating pattern of teaching, “You have heard it said…..But I tell you….”. He starts in verse 21 with the Ten Commandments, “You have heard that it was said to people long ago, “Do not murder.” Jump to verse 22: “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.” He takes the command of Almighty God that forbids actions like murder and changes the judgment to a thought or emotion; anger. Stop and think about this for a moment. The command of Jesus Christ is that you control your mind and control your emotions at the same time you control your actions or you subject yourself to the very same judgment as one who has committed murder! He is showing us the pathway to murder. The pathway to murder is not through your fists, it is through your minds.
Now the Second Law of Jesus Christ
Read on down to Matthew 5:27, “You have heard that it was said, “Do not commit adultery”. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Adultery is defined as an action but lust is a thought! The sin of adultery was punished by death and now that sin is made inside the head where no one can even verify what was thought. It is a desire, a wanting, a yearning, a longing, a pull toward something that we are supposed to pull away from!
May I see the hands of those who are free of guilt?
Jesus didn’t suggest that we control our minds, he commanded it. Listen, I would love to tell you that this is an “impossible command” that no one can obey, so just ignore it. But, I can’t and I won’t. Why? Because you need to live under that command every single day! You need to measure your performance against that measuring stick. How’s that “don’t let the birds fly over your head” thing working for you?
My goal is to bring you to meet your Creator
If you are like most of us, you are going to need help. That is why I am writing these lessons for you. You need someone to explain that without help you can’t do this. The Lord who made you the way you are also loves you enough to help you deal with this life. When you call out to Him and when you seek His face, He will come and reveal Himself to you. He will forgive every sin and failure. He will clean out the “old junk” that has been cluttering up your mind and heart. He will free you from guilt and shame. He will breathe His Spirit into your heart and fill you with new courage to fight the battles that lie ahead.
My goal is to show you that it is the healthiest thing anyone can do; to fall on your face before the Lord each night and ask for forgiveness for what went wrong that day and ask in humility for the grace and power to fight another day when the next dawn appears. When you finish that urgent prayer, you will never be more healthy and hopeful in your entire life. You have “plugged into” the greatest power source in our world. You are God’s Man; God’s Woman.
Watch for the next post in this four part series.