Galatians 5:17 “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would.”
Your heart is racing, your knees are shaking and you just can’t wait to be with the person you have a crush on.
So… you see some ladies walking across the street. They glance over your direction, only to see you staring right at them with a stunned look on your face! You quickly pretend that you are looking at something else!
You start to sweat a little… you try to play it cool, but on the inside your guts do a triple somersault, with a half twist and a few pirouettes’ for good measure.
Then as one of them wanders into the distance giggling with her friends, you’re left sitting there like an idiot, with a billion thoughts and feelings pulsing through you, most of which are confusing, and you have no idea what to do with… you know you like her… but is it more than that? Do I love her? Or is it just that you think she’s hot? How do you tell the difference between Love and Lust?
Before you start a relationship, make sure you know which one is driving your heart.
Although we can often get the two confused, the Bible is very clear about the difference between love and lust. As Christians, we need to make sure that we work hard at understanding the difference, because the outcome of loving someone is vastly different from the outcome of lusting after them! So here is how we can identify love and lust, and work out the difference between them.
Today, love is a very misconstrued word. We throw the word love around so much the true meaning has been watered down. Love has become more of a contract instead of a covenant. Our love is based on feelings. Our love is conditional. Because of that, our love fades and fails.
In 2 Samuel 13, Amnon thought he knew what love was, but he was really in lust. Love is patient, lust requires immediate satisfaction. Love is kind, lust is harsh. Love does not demand its own way, lust does. A good rule of thumb is this: If you just can’t wait, what you feel is not true love.
We have lost the meaning of true love in pursuit of something fake and temporary. Our culture is flooded with songs and movies about so-called ‘love’, and yet it is also flooded with images of heartbreak, anger, and jealousy.
Is this what God had in mind when He created the earth? The answer is a resounding ‘no’. Clearly lust is a perversion of what God created to be good. But how, exactly, can we distinguish lust from love?
This post is important to both singles and the married. Singles need to be aware of the difference between love and lust. It is important to know that lust does not begin with a Big Bang!
Many marriages end up in divorce because what spouses thought was love was mere lust. Also, the primary problem with lust is that it can never be satisfied, and the absence of real love causes a person to lose interest in the flame of what they thought will last a lifetime.
You will never start off being consumed by lust. In fact, in the initial stage it’s as small (but powerful) as a simple thought.
It has been said that Lust is the desire for the body, the flesh, immediate gratification.
Love is the desire for the heart and soul, long-term satisfaction.
Lust causes the brain to produce the same reaction as if on cocaine or speed. Lust really is like a drug; it leaves you wanting more.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
2 Timothy 2:22 “But flee youthful LUSTS, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a PURE HEART.”
The difference between love and lust is the attitude of your heart. If you’re in love, the attitude of your heart is one of selflessness, with the other person as your focus, whereas if you are in lust the attitude of your heart will be one of selfishness, with yourself as the focus.
True love is driven by a godly desire to provide for, nurture and care for the other persons needs, whereas lust is driven by an ungodly desire to provide for, nurture and care for our own sinful passions. When you love someone you choose to stick with that person at the expense of all others, even when it’s hard and you don’t want to! When you lust after someone, you get angry and throw in the towel as soon as you don’t get what you want, or you manipulate them until they do what you want them to do.
• Love speaks the truth, Lust flatters
• Love honors marriage, Lust dishonors marriage
• Love leads to life, Lust leads to death
• Love is long term, Lust is temporary
• Love focuses on the total person, Lust focuses on the physical
• Love builds oneness, Lust destroys oneness
• Love keeps and protects, Lust gives away
• Love is loyal, Lust has no loyalty
• Love is precious, Lust is cheap
• Love blesses, Lust disgraces
So… if you find yourself wondering about whether or not you’re in love, ask yourself “what is my heart attitude towards this person? Is it one of selflessness or selfishness? Am I willing to put the hard yards in, even when I don’t really want to, or will I probably throw in the towel when things get tough? Do I want to invest into this person, or is it just about fulfilling my human desires?” The answer to these questions will be a sure indication of whether you are in love, or lust.