In my last blog post, we discussed several different things about the Bible and how it pertains to manhood. First on that list was controlling your desires, so this week I’m going to discuss the desires of the flesh. What are the desires of the flesh? The desires of the flesh can be anything from lust, alcoholism and drug abuse, to laziness, gluttony, and greed. Noticed each word describes the extreme of something and I’ll tell you why at the end of this discussion.
What does the Bible say about the desires of the flesh? Galatians 5:19-21 says:
“19 Now the works of the flesh or manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
This one verse covers the major topics that I want to talk about. 1st 19 talks about adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness. We all know what adultery is and we all know that it is wrong; when the Bible says uncleanness, it is referring to being indecent, unchaste, or lewd. I understand this can be hard on the average person and I am guilty of having my mind slide into the gutter when a comment is made, but what it boils down to is keeping a clean mind. Also, lasciviousness means an indulgence and animal desires as defined by Webster’s dictionary. While this doesn’t seem like a big deal to most, many men are beginning to understand that pornography is bad for their mind and having a perverted mind isn’t any different.
There are many studies out there shows the effects of pornography on relationships and on sex lives. It gives the viewer false hopes and desires and things that are not realistic. This carries home to the relationship. Men are not satisfied in the bedroom, they begin lacking interests in their wives, and they begin exploring other options; in the hopes that these other options will provide for the desires that they seek. What you think often becomes manifest in reality, so men, guard your thoughts against perversion and lasciviousness.
The next set that is listed idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, and heresies. Most of these are self-explanatory but I would like to point you first towards idolatry. The Bible says you cannot serve both God and mammon, mammon is money, for you’ll either love one or hate the other. Many men today get caught up in the grind and the hustle, it’s all about making a dollar. What are you sacrificing to make that dollar? While money is necessary and by far makes life more comfortable, it should not be earned at the sacrifice of relationships and fatherhood. By worshipping money and making money, the People we strive to support gets neglected and relationships ruined.
So, while we all desire to have a little more money in our pockets, we cannot neglect our other responsibilities. The money is not worth it when we push away the ones we are supposed to protect and provide for and then lose them. Also, bear in mind when you lose them, you lose that money as well, to alimony and child support. I’m sure discussion in emulation wouldn’t go well with many men, especially in this genre. Let me read to you the definition of emulation: Striving to equal or do more than others to obtain carnal favors or honors.
Most men strive to excel to be seen and praised in front of other men. Men by nature want praise, weather work, acceptance for their deeds, to be looked up to by other men. As Christians, we should be doing everything for the glory of God, and in receiving glory for ourselves, from others, we steal the glory that rightfully belongs to God.
I don’t feel as if I need to touch on the subject of murder, but envy gets a lot of People. You see the man with the $2000 suits or the $10,000 Rolex, and you want what he has. We as men should not be looking at other men with the desire for what they have; we should be looking only at ourselves to our family and our friends and be thankful for what we already have. Spending time in envy over what others have, can bring depression and a loss of discipline in what we should be doing, and neglect for the responsibilities we should be caring for.
Drunkenness, this is pretty self-explanatory, and this goes far beyond just alcohol. This rule applies to any substance that forms an addiction that controls your life. Without spending too much time on this topic, it should be obvious to you, all around you will suffer when addiction has a hold of you. If you do suffer from addiction, please reach out to someone that can help; sometimes someone to talk too can make the difference in the rest of your life.
Reveling, ya’ll may not like this one. This by definition is enjoying oneself in a lively and noisy away especially with drinking. I think this one effectively covers clubs, parties, going to the bar, etc. What seems to be the big deal about this? Let’s just be honest with each other, usually, the best caliber of people is not generally found in such gatherings. Obviously, I’m not speaking about hanging out with your friends or a night out at the restaurant, but this rule is more of caution of the situation that you may inadvertently find yourself in. A lot of people end up in jail, innocently, because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think this might speak more to the married fathers, but this can apply to single men as well; you are the sum of the people you hang around and the things you expose yourself too. In your quest for masculine enlightenment, this rule is a reminder to seriously take into account the people in your life, in the places where you spend your life.
While some of these things may dampen in your current lifestyle, I would like to remind you that we should all be constantly checking and rechecking ourselves, and where we are in our life. What are your goals, what are your dreams, what is it that you want in your life, that you strive for? Take a look at your life now, and do an honest assessment, and see if your current lifestyle is going to hinder or help and the challenges you have set for yourself. You don’t have to be Christian to gain wisdom and the words of the Bible. It is a guide that can help all to become better versions of themselves. The Bible demands a sacrifice of your lifestyle and so the success.
Walk close to the Lord and keep strong in your faith. Amen.
Very insightful post. (Saw it on Twitter). The warnings in the bible and other holy texts were also a scientific warning (of sorts). (Before STDs were discovered and rampid inbreeding).