Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Sobering Reminder to Flee Youthful Lusts

Recently I visited an old friend. I mean literally old--old enough to graduate from college in the early 30s! He's not a Christian, sadly, but I have generally regarded him as an anomaly--an unusually decent fellow, for someone who hasn't been rescued from his sins by Jesus.

This time, the conversation took an unexpected turn and I learned about a side of him I'd never known before. Perhaps in his advanced age, his speech is less guarded than he would have preferred in previous years. He began telling me about how promiscuous he had been before marriage.

I was not sure what to be most surprised about. Americans were this immoral in the 30s? Looking at black and white photos of my friend and his classmates, it was hard to believe that these clean-cut, suit-and-tie-wearing young people harbored such lusts. Why didn't he feel more remorse? He seemed to feel neither guilt nor pride. He talked about his sexual partners with casualness, like selecting a new shirt at Penney's. Where were the Christians? Flipping through his yearbook, I read some comments of his friends. The penmanship was beautiful, the words clever, but the messages were empty. Were there no Jesus-followers in his class?

Two lessons stood out to me.
  • Sex can be gotten cheaply; love is priceless. He told me that he would never have married any girl who had premarital sex with him. By doing so, they cheapened themselves in his eyes. He would keep going with them as long as they gave him what he wanted, but when they stopped--he dumped them. Ironically, although he had no problem compromising his own morals before marriage, he didn't want to marry a woman who did.
  • He still is emotionally connected to his previous "girlfriends", even after all these decades. And he knows it. Did he ever imagine, in those moments of fleeting youthful pleasure, that the "soul ties" created would still haunt him in the next millennium?
Lord Jesus, help me to "flee youthful lusts". The price is too great.

1 comment:

  1. Daniel,
    I have friends of the same sort. Yes, they've had sexual relations and even been married but some say they've never known love. I think, when you say, "where are the Christians?", that we are far, far too silent. The more I read the scriptures the more I realize we need to preach the gospel and how little it is preached today, even from the pulpit. We are so busy "serving" that we never get around to spreading the good news. IMNSHO, I think that shining the light has to do with speech NOT action, or rather Speech combined with action, certainly NOT the action of service alone such as is so often preached on today.

    Make any sense?