“Love can always wait to give. Lust can’t wait to get.”
— Rick Warren
We may very well know the clear difference between love and lust. But for many people the lines blur and what may start out as an intention for love can end up becoming lust. And of course lust is not just about sex and romance; it can manifest itself in many different ways.
But it is about love that we are interested.
Although lust, on the surface, seems highly desirable it has no security on freedom like love does. Lust has no assurance like love does. Lust encapsulates fear, whereas love liberates us from fear.
There is something deeper beneath both love and lust that can help us in seeking for the one and resisting, through a lack of focus, the other.
Dealing with Our Anxiety
The opportunity of a lifetime is dealing with our anxiety—the anxiousness presenting in the normal life.
This is not about dealing with anxiety disorders, for which medical and health professionals must be sought, and for which specialised and individualised advice is given.
The issues of love and lust are centrally about anxiety.
When lust has wrestled us to the ground, and it appears we have no escape, the cycle of compulsion is driven continually by the desire to quell our steady-state anxiousness. But it works in reverse. It settles us for the moment; but that’s all. It appears, then, we have little control.
The only way we can wrest control from our out-of-control desires is not by trying harder to deal with our lust—to give it up or to hide it in any way.
We see dealing with our anxiety as a shaming exercise. But we shouldn’t. Everyone deals with anxiousness, and the worst manifestation is the lust of the unkempt desires, which is far too common to ever be worried about in our comparisons.
By surrender we know love. By admitting our anxiousness with trusted others, and opening up about our secrets with wise ones, our surrender is blessed and we therefore know love. We can receive God’s love as we receive theirs.
What drives love and lust are two separate things: love is about surrender, yet lust is about anxiety. Lust seems the more pleasurable and sensational choice. But lust is a sinkhole. Love, on the other hand, is free from anxiety because it has given up the chase for one’s own desire in favour of the desires of the Lord.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.