Sex, Violence, Lust, & Anger (The Divine Conspiracy chapter 5)

I’ve heard many people tell me that Christianity is outdated and misinformed, damaging to the heart and soul and flat out wrong in its teachings and practices. And I have often read books and engaged in conversations concerning the problems people have with the Sermon on the Mount. They struggle to hear Jesus when He says the big problems in life are anger and lust. They read Christ’s words in Matthew 5:24-30 and they find them dangerous, strange, even wrong.
Why? Because this world thinks it is okay to want to harm someone as long as you do not follow through. This world thinks it is alright to fantasize about having sex with someone that is not your spouse as long as you do not follow through. They do see intent, desire, objectification, and destruction as problems as long as they remain inside the heart.
Jesus however wants to get to the root of our problems. He is not satisfied with only changing our actions. He wants to eliminate the seeds so that we will not have the weeds. Willard recognizes this and says how we act is a result of who we are.
Anger is a destructive emotion that works against those who interfere with us. We get mad because someone gets in our way. As a result, Willard says, “Anger embraced is, inherently disintegrative of human personality and life. It does not have to be ‘acted out’ to poison the world.”
Lust embraced takes what should be an exclusive desire in marriage and objectifies other people for our own fantasy. It undermines marriage and objectifies others because desire is not tied to a real relationship.
Why is it important to resist anger and lust? Willard says, “When the heart is ready the action will occur as occasion offers.”
Rightness, then, is more than doing the right thing; it is being the right person. Being the right person is an issue of the heart.


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