Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Second Look

Keith Daniel made a statement that I don't think I'll ever forget. He was talking about guarding our eyes against lust. But it could be applied to about any area of temptation.
He said:

"When David saw Bathsheba washing herself, the first look wasn't his fault.
But the second look was."

Think of all of the second looks, thoughts, etc. that we entertain when it comes to sin.

"I shouldn't say anything. But....."
And then we go ahead and say what our conscience just told us would be wisest not to say about someone.

"Oh, this isn't what I expected. I should stop reading it. But... I have to finish this page."
And then we go ahead and read to the end of the paragraph or page.

"That thought is not of good report. I shouldn't even think about it anymore. But... "
And we find ourselves fascinated by the thought of something new we have just learned about someone or something.

The second look happens when our heart has been drawn towards something.
And frequently, we find our hearts drawn to things that grieve our Heavenly Father. Perhaps it is plain evil, or perhaps it is sin just because it is not ours to have or covet right now.

Lot's wife in the Genesis account, turned back for one last look at Sodom as they fled the city - because her heart was there. She loved Sodom, a place that blasphemed God with every action and motive. Perhaps she didn't love all of the immorality. Maybe it grieved her heart, as it did Lot's. Perhaps what she loved was the ease and pleasure, the operas, and fine arts and fun that was to be had there. But she was willing to compromise and love an ungodly place for the comforts it afforded her.

The first thought of wrong - anything that displeases God - is not sin. The second thought - my voluntary choice to continue thinking, to take another look, another listen, IS.

But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
James 1: 14,15

1 comment:

mikestahlman said...

Overall I think the article is fantastic, but I have a little trouble with the wording of "The first thought of wrong - anything that displeases God - is not sin." I think that it certainly can be.
I guess I should define what I see as sin, and that is a departure from the law, or as Augustine said, "any thought, word, or deed against the law of God." What is the law? Well I like Jesus's answer in Matt. 22:37-40, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." So to me sin is the lack of perfect love for both God and man. Given this context, if I was to spontaneously think of something wrong, I think that it is still sin because I departed from perfect love. But taking it back to the original post, David stumbling across Bathsheba wasn't wrong because it was an accident at first. After that, he failed to love her with a perfect heart because he wanted her for himself, not from genuine love.