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Looking at someone lustfully

I’ve been thinking a little about Matthew 5:28. Is it wrong for me to look at a guy and think ‘he’s handsome’, according to the Bible? When I say that, I don’t mean that I want to date him or have sex with him. Surely it’s not any worse than thinking that my best friend was pretty on her birthday, or that my aunt looked good in her wedding dress?
What does ‘looking at someone lustfully’ really mean?

Girl, 15


It’s definitely not wrong of you to look at a guy and think that he’s handsome. It’s totally normal and that’s the way God has created us.

To lust after something is to really want something deeply, to crave it. In one of the commandments, it says that we shouldn’t ‘covet’ our neighbour’s property. This means ‘to be consumed with desire for’, and in some languages this is translated as ‘lust after’. It means to want to own the thing to such a degree that we would do almost anything to get our hands on it.

Lust isn’t about sexual attraction or being in love, but about a selfish desire to be physically satisfied. Everyone can feel sexually attracted to others sometimes, it’s totally normal. However, lust is a physical feeling that arises when you spend time thinking about physical attraction, and when you think, fantasise and dream about someone else. In a sense, we can say that lust is like having sex with someone in your thoughts.

It’s not a problem for you to keep looking at handsome guys.


Best wishes

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