Though Solomon gives 10 solid reasons to avoid sexual immorality in Prov 6:24-35, we still do it. Why would we do such a dumb thing?
Because in our folly, we believe what is not true. We lose sight of what really matters. We turn inward to focus on ourselves, and we set aside the fear of the Lord. We allow immorality’s smooth promises to woo us.
Perhaps you’ve capitulated to some of the following lies, in direct opposition to the corresponding truth from Proverbs.
1. It’s not that bad
To preserve you from the evil woman,
from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. (Prov 6:24, ESV)
Perhaps sexual immorality a mistake—even one that will leave me feeling guilty for days. But “evil”? Let’s try not to use such inflammatory language.
2. I’m free in Christ
Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes. (Prov 6:25)
I’m saved by grace, so I’m free in Christ (to sin, that is). Of course, I don’t want to commit immorality; it’s just a besetting sin. I’m not truly captive to it; I’ll just have to struggle with it for the rest of my life.
3. It won’t cost much
For the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,
but a married woman hunts down a precious life. (Prov 6:26)
I can afford a loaf of bread. A second look never hurt anybody. Anyway, Jesus already paid my debts.
4. I can handle it
Can a man carry fire next to his chest
and his clothes not be burned?
Or can one walk on hot coals
and his feet not be scorched?
So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
none who touches her will go unpunished. (Prov 6:27-29)
Christians need to play with fire; it’s how they learn discernment. Plus, these pictures and sex scenes don’t tempt me as much as they used to.
5. It won’t hurt anybody
People do not despise a thief if he steals
to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry,
but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold;
he will give all the goods of his house…
[A jealous husband] will accept no compensation;
he will refuse though you multiply gifts. (Prov 6:30-31, 35)
God gave me this hunger, so what else was I supposed to do with it? At least I’m not hurting anybody. This is just between me and God.
6. I can relate with people who struggle with this issue
He who commits adultery lacks sense. (Prov 6:32a)
Pornography and masturbation are so common today. I’m happy to be a wise counselor for others who struggle with it the way I do.
7. I can’t live without it
He who does it destroys himself. (Prov 6:32b)
Jesus, please don’t come back too quickly. At least not until I get to experience great sex. My singleness is such a burden. Or my marriage isn’t fulfilling me as I had hoped. I won’t be happy unless I get to look and touch again tonight. And tomorrow night. And the next.
8. It will make the pain go away
He will get wounds… (Prov 6:33)
Life is so hard. I’ve got deadlines I don’t think I can meet. There’s unresolved conflict so intense it makes me feel sick. My parents (or children, spouse, roommate) won’t stop nagging me. I failed my exam. My life is spinning out of control. I just need to get away from it all.
9. I’ll confess it to my accountability group
He will get wounds and dishonor,
and his disgrace will not be wiped away. (Prov 6:33)
It’s a normal part of life. Everyone struggles with sexual sin. I’ll never be able to change it, but at least I keep it in the light by confessing it to others who will respect me for my openness. And I don’t judge them, either. There’s nothing to be ashamed of here.
10. It will be worth it
For jealousy makes a man furious,
and he will not spare when he takes revenge. (Prov 6:34)
What I am feeling at this moment is more important than anything else. Feel, look, touch; don’t think. My assistant or supervisor makes me feel so much more loved than my spouse does. My fantasies should override my misgivings. Nobody will know about it.
Of course, these lies are foolish, but that doesn’t stop us from believing them in the midst of temptation. The one who fears the Lord will identify the lies, replace them with the truth, and act accordingly. As we heed the reproofs of discipline, we find the way of life (Prov 6:23) in the one who died to give us life (John 15:12-14).
Which lies are you most likely to believe? Are there others you would add to the list?