Image of a branch with leaves above the surface of the water.In a very sobering passage in 2 Peter 2, the apostle blasts “those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh.” (vs. 10) Then, Peter goes on to describe their character. Among other things, he says of these people they have “eyes full of adultery.” (vs. 14)

This isn’t about merely avoiding the act of adultery. Jesus said, “Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) Men, this is not a character trait we ever want God to attribute to us! In the way we view women, we do not want to have “eyes full of adultery.” We don’t want to lust after women or look at them in a lewd way. It demeans women and harms us. We want to view women through pure eyes as Christ does, not as a sex object but as individuals whom Christ loves.

You may feel uncomfortable reading today’s devotional, but this is a topic that affects nearly all men. Even men whom I esteem as godly followers of Christ have confided in me that they struggle with lust at times. So, if you also wrestle with lust sometimes, you are not alone. As we discuss this topic, remember that it not a sin to be tempted, but rather to yield to temptation. James wrote, “Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” (James 1:14-15)

We can be certain that even Jesus was tempted in this way as well, for the Scripture says, “He was tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) This fact should encourage us greatly. Christ not only offers grace and mercy to forgive sins, but He also offers us the grace and strength to avoid sin and to establish godly patterns of living.

Here are some suggestions that have helped me in this regard:

  • When you see a scantily clad, or provocatively dressed woman, avert your eyes and look at her face, or just look away altogether.
  • When you are tempted with thoughts or mental images of a sexual nature, reject those thoughts, and direct your mind to the Lord.
  • Avoid all pornographic sites and pornographic material completely. Be careful what movies or TV shows you watch. Don’t bait your lust or feed your flesh.
  • Be careful where you go and what you do. Always set yourself up for a win in this regard. Only a fool puts himself in temptation’s way to see if he can resist it.
  • Do as Job did, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.” (Job 31:1)
  • Keep following Jesus and imitate His life in your thoughts as well as your actions.

Scripture Reading: Galatians 5:19-26

Personal Application: Put the above suggestions into practice until they are habitual in your life.