An ”Affair,” Part Two

In Part One, we acknowledged that our society has embraced a subtle lie about affairs, believing that not only is the grass greener on the other side, it’s acceptable to hop the fence. What’s more, believers are just as likely as nonbelievers to do the hopping. But infidelity isn’t an “affair,” remember; it’s adultery. And it’s deadly to a marriage. Robert J. Levin and Alexander Lowen noted three specific ways.

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An ”Affair,” Part One

The sad fact is no longer surprising—infidelity has invaded the ranks of professing Christians. The church body bears more ugly scars than ever in its history, and instead of hiding those scars from the public eye, we now speak of them without much embarrassment. The tone is sophisticated. The head is unbowed . . . the heart is unbroken . . . the terms are mellow.

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Closing the Door to Lust, Part Two

Yesterday we looked at the grim, pitiful life of Samson, a powerful leader whose lust ultimately destroyed him. (Read Judges 16.) Lust is a deadly intruder you dare not entertain for a moment. When lust knocks on your door, you must call on Christ to meet it. Before giving lust a firm shove away from your life, have Christ inform this intruder that the permanent peace and pleasure you are enjoying in your home with Christ . . .

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Honesty and Purity

Psalm 101 names four great qualities a believer must possess in order to discern his or her divine purpose. Without these four virtues to clarify one’s vision, confusion abounds. After describing honor and integrity in verses 1 and 2, the song continues with two more godly qualities: honesty and purity. Honesty. I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me. (101:3)

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Simple Opposition

As a pastor, I have been amazed at the difference among Christians when it comes to accepting instruction. Some never seem to learn! Many believers remain keenly aware of God’s leading, submitting to every nuance of His internal prompting, but many other churchgoing followers of Christ insist on learning the hard way. They are exposed to the same truths year after year, but wisdom fails to soak in.

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Lasting Consequences

Solomon concluded this discussion of sexual temptation by considering additional consequences. He noted that when a man steals in order to keep from starving, most people empathize with his situation. Even so, empathy doesn’t remove the demand for justice. His community may feel sorry for his desperate choice, but they will neither excuse his sin nor set aside the victim’s right to receive complete restitution multiplied by seven!

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Plan for Purity

Solomon warned his son to avoid the wiles of a temptress and gave him four practical instructions to help him. The first two—“Stay away from evil people” and “Guard against the smooth tongue that invites you in”—focus on the external component of temptation. That is, these instructions tell us to place distance between us and the potential lure and fulfillment of sin.

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Flee Temptation

While virtually every outlet in popular media bombards us with sexually oriented material—a phenomenon that previous generations didn’t experience—we also face another danger: the opportunities to commit adultery have never been more prevalent. Furthermore, we live in a society that is more accommodating than ever. In addition to the normal temptations that occur in everyday life, we can go online to a dating service for married people seeking affairs!

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The Bitter Price of Secret Sin

David’s celebration of God’s forgiveness takes a dark turn as he recalls his anguished past. He remembers—perhaps accompanied by a gloomy minor key—the days of misery he spent in the isolation of secret sin. Reflection on Past Sins: When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away. Through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;

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For Righteous Living

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

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