How Are Love and Lust Distinct from One Another?
The difference between love and lust is hard for many persons to differentiate.
As Christians, it is crucial for us to be able to distinguish the difference between love and lust.
Today’s culture tends to conflate love and lust, yet these emotions are not the same.
Although it’s not easy to bring up, it’s vital that we do so so that we can benefit not only ourselves but also those around us.
Love vs. Lust
Even though they may share some similarities, lust and love are two distinct emotions.
Both love and lust are described rather accurately in the Bible.
Jesus defines love for us by showing us the highest example of love by dying on the cross for our sins (John 3:16-17). (John 3:16-17).
Even though we were still sinners when He died for us, Jesus’ sacrifice for us proves how much He loves us (Romans 5:8).
Thanks to Jesus, we have an example of perfect love to follow.
To love someone is to put that person’s needs ahead of your own.
In the West, we often equate love with a warm fuzzy sensation or a physical inclination.
The truth is that love is not an emotion but a decision.
Even for married couples, love is a decision.
They feel attraction and care for one another, but love is a decision each person must make on a daily basis.
Also, just as loving others as God loves us is a daily decision, so is loving ourselves.
Disney and Hallmark movies have misrepresented love for others.
Truth be told, loving one another is challenging and oftentimes difficult.
As a child, I had two older sisters who oftentimes caused me pain or distress, yet despite this, I chose to love them nonetheless.
I’m sure I’ve also done things to my sisters’ displeasure, but I know they still love me.
This is because love, unlike a surge of “feel good” emotions, is a decision we must make every day.
Someone who lusts after someone does not necessarily love that other.
As Christians, we need to understand this and take it to heart.
Unlike lust, love is not predicated on sexual gratification but on prioritizing the other person’s happiness and interests.
Unlike lust, which quickly fades, love lasts because it’s a deliberate decision.
Because lust cares primarily about sexual encounters, it might soon fade away.
When you’re in love, you feel loved, known, and cared for, yet when you’re lustful, you feel guilty.
The Bible’s View on Lust.
Inwardly coveting another person is a sin that can lead to physical adultery if we don’t turn to God, repent, and get rid of the things that tempt us to lust for another.
Paul advised Timothy to “flee the wicked inclinations of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (Psalm 119:18). (2 Timothy 2:22).
It’s no secret that lusting for famous people (and those in the public eye) has gone mainstream in today’s culture.
Christian singles and Christians in committed relationships should make sure they are motivated by love rather than lust.
Love that is based solely on sexual desire will not last.
In Patrick Stump’s solo album Soul Punk, he delivers us a convicting message in his song, “I In Lie” when he sings, “And it’s just lust/Nothing to write home about.”
We wouldn’t brag about our lust to our loved ones, as Patrick Stump sings in his song.
Rather, we’d take the time to express our gratitude to those back at home by writing about the people who love us in return.
The instability of lust means that it will ultimately fail, and the individual will move on to pursue other interests.
We must guard ourselves against anything that could arouse sexual desire.
To err is human, and we all fall short in our own ways.
Get rid of any media (books, movies, music) that make you feel sexually aroused.
Rather than participating in things that would stir up lust in your hearts, surround yourselves with other Christians who can aid and keep you accountable.
The Implications of This?
Don’t let your feelings get in the way of logic when it comes to your personal connections.
Maybe the feelings we’re experiencing aren’t love at all, but lust.
To love is to choose to care for another person more than yourself.
Yes, inside love between a man and a woman, there is attraction, but attraction is not based on lust.
Instead, there should be nothing but love between a man and a woman.
To love someone is to choose to love them despite their shortcomings.
By giving His life as a sacrifice for our sins, Jesus Christ exemplified true love for us. Now, by faith in His name, we can receive forgiveness and eternal life.
God’s love for us in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, is unparalleled.
These words, “Love is patient, love is kind,” tell us a lot about what true love is like.
It is neither envious, boastful, or haughty.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not quickly angry, it maintains no record of wrongs.
Love is not happy about the truth being suppressed, but rather, it celebrates its own discovery.
It keeps on keeping on, never gives up, and never loses hope or trust.
True love lasts forever (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
This Bible verse teaches us that love is admirable because it is truthful, respectful, and honest.
Only love can sustain a friendship or a romantic partnership.
The Lord can help you repent of lust even if you have struggled with it in the past or if you are still fighting with it now.
Sins as serious as adultery are simply the beginning of where lust may lead you.