The lust of the flesh, it is one of the main driving forces in the lives of wicked and perverse people, those individuals in the Scriptures that are called the lost. They have no real control over it, there is very little they can do to stop its encroaching upon their lives on nearly a daily basis, it is only the power of the Holy Spirit and the willingness of the person that He indwells that this lust can be quenched.
Because we have inherited a sinful nature, it is impossible for the lust to be completely extinguished, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8) And so for the born-again believer it is one of those crosses we are commanded to bear, it will not go away, you will fight it until the moment you arrive in glory. The brother or sister in Christ who will not admit this fact, along with the lust of the eyes and the pride of life that reside in us, will continue to remain weak in their efforts to learn to bear these crosses with humility, they will be ruled by their emotions and continuously seek to portray an image of one who carries no burdens in this area.
The perceptions of others upon us is of vital interest to these followers of Christ, for we represent the Savior, but some have difficulty differentiating between what the Scriptures say we are to be, what they perceive themselves to be, and the image they desire to show to those in the world around them. They want to be seen as nice, kind, and polite at all times, and the parts of themselves that they see as indifferent, disgusting, evil, and sinful they will hide from others, especially those they consider fellow believers. There is a shame within them that they believe will not be perceived by others as what a Christian is to be like, and so they attempt to conceal these truths of our sinful selves from all they meet, eventually even to themselves. In other words, they are saved, so the sinful man must never be recognized again, when he shows his ugly head, they simply shove him down instead of offering him up to the Lord, instead of seeking out a brother or sister in Christ to help them with this burden.
It is what can be called a “natural” response, and has not varied in thousands of years, Adam did not eat of the fruit and then run to God seeking His help, he ran from Him, he did not even feel comfortable being around his wife unless he first sewed leaves together, (Gen. 3:7) even his own nakedness he could not bear what he now knew as shame. Should we expect any difference in ourselves, the one who loves you the most here on earth, the person that you are closest to, do they know who you really are in Christ, much less that person of sin that still resides within you? I would hope so, but more than likely not, the shame of truth we usually keep buried deep within us, we take little pause to point out the faults of others, especially when they are not in our presence, but we share very little of who we are deep inside with even those we trust the most.
The lust of the flesh, the pride of life, and the lust of the eyes have driven us into a corner of self-preservation, rarely even do many bring them before the Lord, they attempt to hide from Him what He already knows. We have been created individuals, we are only in certain terms symbiotic with our fellow human beings, we will pull together as a team to accomplish great earthly feats, but rarely will we share our feelings with each other, we will speak of the wonders of God, but not about that burden we carry. This may come as a shock to some of you, but the knowledge of good and evil is not a sin, did not Solomon receive his request and much more when he asked the Lord to give him a heart that could discern between good and evil, (1 Kings 3:9) are we not told to “be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matt. 10:16)
What lies within each of us is a sinful, spiteful, shame-filled creation that cannot even be looked on by a Holy God, when He looks at us, He does not see us, but His beloved Son, only after we are glorified will we be able to stand in His presence. To not admit our faults to others is to attempt to be perceived as more than what we are, to continue to hide those things in your life that you know you are to bring before Christ, to seek out your brother in Christ to assist you with them, is to remain in bondage to those things. The truth will not set you free my friends, (John 8:32) unless you live in that truth. You are embarrassed, you are ashamed, you fear that these things may be found out by others, others who are or have experienced exactly the same things that you are now wrestling with. “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Eccl. 4:12)
In a sense my friends, you will freeze to death out there by yourself, there is another nearby to help, and if you both call upon the name of Jesus Christ to assist you with that burden, that three-fold cord will not be broken. The opposite of shame is not openness, it is trust. Instead of continuing to act a part, to attempt to persuade those around you to perceive you as you truly know yourself not to be, why not try honesty, I can guarantee you that those who know you to be honest in every area of your life will remain by your side throughout your life, those who cannot understand honesty, will leave you, and you will be better for it. No one truly loves you until they know who you are, if they only love parts of you, then they are only loving the perception of who they see you as, the parts that you have allowed them to see.
Jesus knows you better than you know yourself, in fact, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Stop hiding, start being honest, and you will begin to know a love that before you could only imagine.