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How to battle the subtle temptations to lust

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Pastor and author John Piper wrote an exceptional column today in which he offered advice on how men and women can battle the subtle temptations to lust.

A lot of people know and understand that viewing pornography violates God’s word when it comes to avoiding lust. There are multiple Bible verses that shows this to be true, such as Colossians 3:5, 1 Peter 4:3, 1 John 2:16 and Proverbs 6:25.

However, Piper notes that all impurity matters to God, which includes seemingly harmless magazines as well as genuine pornographic images of adultery and rape. God lays claim on every impulse in the human heart, he said.

For me, images cut from catalogs and Sunday flyers when I was a tween and teen opened the door to decades of pornography addiction. An addiction to lust always starts innocently, like looking at swimsuit models in sports magazines.

Yet, as I showed in my book Pornocide, that leads people to the edge of a very slippery slope where we will fall further than we ever expected, from which it is exceedingly difficult to return.

Oh, how I wish someone had stood in my way and cautioned me about the addictive qualities of lust before I became a teenager. It would have saved decades of personal struggle.

Piper wrote that the male eye is like a magnet in its attraction to excessive female skin, or tantalizing gaps in clothing, or featured bodily shapes through tight clothing. God cares about these magnet impulses of the male eye, and what we do with them.

In response to the constant, never-ending onslaught of lustful images that cross our paths every day, Piper offers five principles or guidelines for men of faith to follow in battling these very natural urges. They are:

  1. Faithfulness in Little
  2. Urgency in Warfare
  3. Fighting Like a Dead Man
  4. Making Specific Covenants
  5. Praying for Sovereign Sway

If you struggle in this area, John Piper’s advice may be timely and life-changing. You can find the full story at

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Greg Gerber

A native of Wisconsin who moved to Arizona in 2009, Greg Gerber is a DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three grown daughters. He worked as a journalist for many years before pursuing a career as a faith-based writer, author, coach and speaker. Greg is the author of Pornocide: How Lust is Killing Your Faith, Stealing Your Joy and Destroying Your Life.

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