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Tag Archives: The Second Glance

The Impulses of the Flesh

A sudden strong and unreflective urge doesn’t wait for an invitation. Like an itch that doesn’t go away, impulses tend to feed on moments of weakness. Whether this is a compulsive desire to raid your fridge for food in the middle of the night or an urge to buy whatever you see, impulses of the flesh are hard to control or tame. The more you feed these cravings, the hungrier your flesh becomes. Addictions, bad habits and poor decisions are merely byproducts of out of control impulses.

Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind, Ephesians 2:3.

In the lyrics of their song Slow Fade, Casting Crowns eludes to the impulses of the flesh. Using the expression “the second glance,” this opens the door for enticement to consume human souls. One of Jesus’ disciples refers to this as the lust of the eyes in 1 John 2:16. If the eyes are the lamp of the body, Matthew 6:22-23, as soon as eyes convince your mind to act, the impulses of the flesh take over. This may explain the apostle Paul’s confession in Romans 7:19, “I can’t control myself.”

But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions). 15 Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death. 16 Do not be misled, my beloved brethren, James 1:14-16.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consumed by the agony of defeat, the apostle Paul does provide a solution in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. Like an athlete going into strict training, extinguishing the impulses of the flesh requires complete concentration. The includes discipline, focus, and the will power to regain control of your body. Essentially, you need to exchange the impulses of the flesh with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. This process is made complete by keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25.

by Jay Mankus

What’s in a Thought?

According to a 2011 article by Elizabeth Dougherty, the human brain is composed of nearly 100 billion nerve cells. These neurons are interconnected by trillions of synapses. Each connection transmits about one signal per second with specialized connections sending up to 1,000 signals per second. Based upon the research done by Charles Jennings, the director of neurotechnology at the MIT McGovern Institute for Brain Research, these signals produce thoughts.

For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, 2 Corinthians 10:4.

In a letter written to the church of Corinth, the apostle Paul takes a spiritual approach to thoughts. Beside receiving insight on this topic from the Holy Spirit, Paul became close friends with a first century doctor. According to the book of Acts, a well known physician named Luke traveled with Paul on a number of his missionary journeys. While Luke served mainly as a historian, the passage below suggests discussions with his friend on how thoughts can control and influence human behavior.

[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), 2 Corinthians 10:5.

Based upon the research uncovered by MIT, taking your thoughts captive is a lot more complicated than I previously understood. If a thought are signals in your mind and thinking is a way to obtain knowledge, divine intervention is essential to prevent evil from corrupting your mind. The mistake Adam and Eve made in the Garden of Eden was taking a second glance at the forbidden fruit hanging from the Tree of Knowledge. Since wandering minds are easily distracted, unless you set your mind on things above, Colossians 3:1-4, it won’t be long before lust overwhelms your soul.

by Jay Mankus

Flirting with Temptation

Flirting is an experiment with or to show a superficial interest in an idea, activity, or movement without committing oneself to it seriously. This behavior is often blamed on immaturity where an individual behaves as though attracted to or trying to attract someone for amusement. The act of flirting begins with a little dabble, but can result in philandering, teasing or toying with temptation.

Now a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s full knowledge [and complicity] he kept back some of the proceeds, bringing only a [a]portion of it, and set it at the apostles’ feet, Acts 5:1-2.

Peter blames Satan for filling a couples heart with the idea to flirt with temptation. Based upon the context of Acts 4:36-37, Ananias and Sapphira tried to emulate the practices of a man named Joseph. In an attempt to be praised by members of their congregation, they withheld a portion of the proceeds. Perhaps, they weren’t wealthy enough, but wanted to be recognized for their generosity. Whatever their motives, flirting with temptation cost Ananias and Sapphira their lives.

But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and [secretly] keep back for yourself some of the proceeds [from the sale] of the land? As long as it remained [unsold], did it not remain your own [to do with as you pleased]? And after it was sold, was the money not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this act [of hypocrisy and deceit] in your heart? You have not [simply] lied to people, but to God,” Acts 5:3-4.

In their 2007 song Slow Fade, Casting Crowns illustrates what happens to anyone who flirts with temptation. The first stanza of the lyrics include the line “It’s the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings.” James 1:13-15 eludes to a second glance which results in enticement, lust and sinful desires. I guess you can say the second glance plants the seed in your mind to flirt with temptation. According to Jesus’ brother, flirting with temptation results in spiritual death. May this song and passage of the Bible serve as a warning to steer clear of this desire.

by Jay Mankus

The Taming of the Cravings

One of William Shakespeare’s well known comedies is the Taming of the Shrew.  Written in the early 1590’s, this play has been adapted numerous times for stage, screen, opera, ballet, and musical theatre.  While this production highlights a bad-tempered and aggressively assertive woman, the Bible speaks of an another beast with a similar reputation.  According to John, this inner demon feeds off of worldly desires.  Fueled by longings, lust and sensual desires, few people have had success in taming these cravings.

Do not love the world [of sin that opposes God and His precepts], nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world—the lust and sensual craving of the flesh and the lust and longing of the eyes and the boastful pride of life [pretentious confidence in one’s resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father, but are from the world, 1 John 2:15-16.

According to Jesus, the eyes serve as the lamp of the human body, Matthew 6:22-24.  If your eyes are good, fixated on Jesus, Hebrews 12:2, spiritual light will guide your steps.  However, if you allow your eyes to wander, take a second glance and begin to stare at unwholesome sights, darkness will enter your body.  This seemingly innocent act starts a chain reaction that awakens fleshly desires.  Those who indulge in masturbation, pornography and or sex outside of marriage corrupts hearts, souls and minds.

The world is passing away, and with it its lusts [the shameful pursuits and ungodly longings]; but the one who does the will of God and carries out His purposes lives forever, 1 John 2:17.

The only cure known to the cravings of the sinful nature is pursuing God’s will.  In his Sermon of the Mount, Jesus tells his audience where your heart is, your treasure will be also.  Thus, those who appease earthly cravings will be distracted, focused on satisfying temporary pleasures in life.  The only way to tame this spiritual shrew is by setting your heart and mind on things above, Colossians 3:1-4.  Those who learn to clothe themselves with Christ can overcome the demons of your past.  While this is not an easy process, may the Holy Spirit fill you with discipline, insight and wisdom to tame any unholy craving within you.

by Jay Mankus

The Purging of the Second Glance

The concept of the second glance was first introduced by Jesus during his first century teaching simply known as the Sermon on the Mount.  Speaking to common citizens with many in attendance the poor and middle class, Jesus gave a brief history of the Ten Commandments.  Instead putting his listeners to sleep, Jesus make a shocking revelation.  Lusting at someone in your heart as a second glance is equivalent to committing adultery.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’  But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart,” Matthew 5:27-28.

Gasps, murmurs and whispers likely echoed throughout this crowd.  Meanwhile, a spirit of conviction struck the pure in heart, exposing the guilt of unwholesome stares of their past.  Hidden from view, hearts began to acknowledge the truth from Jesus’ statement.  Instantaneously, minds connected the dots from appreciating one’s beauty to lustful stares which give birth to fascination and impure thoughts.  Although everyone heard the message, it’s likely that only some believed the act of a second glance broke the  seventh commandment.

“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell,” Matthew 5:29-30.

Jesus provides the cure to the second glance in the verse above.  Quoting from the Old Testament, Jesus urges his audience to purge that which influences you to sin.  Indirectly, Jesus is referring to masturbation, pornography and voyeurism.  While this advice seems rather harsh, Jesus wants individuals to remove the atmosphere, bad habits, conditions and images that promote sin.  For me this spiritual house cleaning took years to completely scourge from my life.  If you truly want to purge yourself from the second glance, I highly recommend reading Restoring the Foundations: An Integrated Approach to Healing.  This book will help you connect the dots, setting in motion the path to healing.  Remain steadfast on your journey toward freedom.

by Jay Mankus

Driven From the Light

When I moved back to Delaware in the last 1990’s, I began to have some initially eye issues.  Similar to pink eye, my condition began to involve pain.  One evening, I felt like a needle was stuck in my eye.  Whenever my eyes were exposed to light, this shooting pain intensified.  Subsequently, I was driven from the light into the darkness of an emergency room.

He is driven from light into the realm of darkness and is banished from the world, Job 18:18.

Bildad, a friend of Job’s refers to a different reference.  The context of the verse above refers to an individual who is affected by a harmful addiction.  When this illness becomes full blown, sin drives people from the light into a world of darkness.  Sometimes this dark transformation is subtle and other times its drastic, over night.

But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death, James 1:14-15.

During my five years of blogging, I have crafted nearly 2000 blogs.  The one which has received the most comments and feedback is entitled The Second Glance.  This piece shines light on how lust can suck someone into a life of sin.  According to the passage above, full blow sin amounts to addiction.  Thus, if you allow yourself to become intrigued with a second glance like Eve in the Garden of Eden, it won’t be long before you are driven from the light into darkness.  In view of this dangerous threat, hold on tightly to Jesus whenever you feel yourself about to give into sin.

by Jay Mankus

 

Engulfed by Darkness

Living on the East Coast for most of my life, I’ve lived through my share of hurricanes.  Most skirt along the shoreline, often drifting off to sea.  Yet, the eye wall of Hurricane Floyd went right over my state, engulfing Delaware in darkness.  Floodwaters remained in my backyard for nearly a month.  After any storm, people are forced to pick up the pieces, making the best of what remains of their earthly possessions.

To give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace, Luke 1:79.

The purpose of the Bible is to shine light on the darkness that exists in this world.  In fact, the gospel provides light to those currently stuck in darkness.  Sometimes darkness is self-inflicted due to poor choices or decisions made in life.  However, there are times when innocent children or gullible adults are deceived, led into darkness and can not escape its grips.  To those lost in the dark, God has given human beings a conscience and the Holy Spirit to break free from the chains of sin.

But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him, John 11:10.

Meanwhile, Jesus isn’t afraid to point out imposters.  Those who embrace darkness or walk in its ways does not possess the light.  According to a piece from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6:19-24 refers to eyes being the lamp of the body.  Jesus ponders, “if the eyes are bad, how great in the darkness within?”  Everyone is going to sin and fall short of God’s glory, but careless glances of the eye can corrupt the soul.  Therefore, be careful not to participate in the second glance or you too may become engulfed by darkness.

by Jay Mankus

Evil Eyes

Kim Carnes 1981 version of Bette Davis Eyes spent 9 weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  This song debuted on Mistaken Identity, fitting well into today’s theme.  If you have ever looked into someone’s eyes, you may receive a mixed message.  While one eye may appear to signal a friendly glance, the other may be checking you out.  Meanwhile, angry teachers have a tendency to point evil eyes in the direction of the chatty, disruptive or tardy.

With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; 2 Peter 2:14a.

Peter refers to a different concept in one of his letters to Christians in the first century.  During his interactions with Jesus, Peter met and likely had conversations with prostitutes.  Although its unclear which individual Peter is referring to, the Holy Spirit revealed a quality that people possess known as eyes full of adultery.  What I call the second glance, innocence is replaced by lust as carousing souls covet the physical features of others.

I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman, Job 31:1.

Wearing sunglasses may keep others from seeing your evil eyes, but God is not deceived.  Thus, if you’ve fallen into bad habits, you might find yourself consumed with an array of sinful thoughts.  If you find yourself leaning in this direction, take the pledge of Job.  While you will still have to overcome the temptation of the second glance, with God’s help all things are possible.  May these words open your mind to the dangers of eyes full of adultery.

by Jay Mankus

Consequences of the Second Glance

One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace.  From the roof he saw a woman bathing.  The woman was very beautiful, 2 Samuel 11:2.

As the third anniversary of this blog approaches, nearly fifty percent of the comments on Express Yourself 4 Him have been inspired by The Second Glance.  Written well over a year ago, readers have requested a follow up post or more information regarding this topic.  Thus, after mediating on this subject, today’s piece was born.

Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. – 2 Samuel 11:4a

At first, the second glance is inspired by curiosity, perhaps wanting to dwell on the beauty of an attractive male or female.  However, as David learned the hard way, this double take ignites a spirit of lust.  Like an uncontrollable beast, David skipped over the fact that Bathsheba was married, allowing temptation to have its way since her husband was out of town.  This Fatal Attraction blinded David’s mind, willing to cover up his sin with an Indecent Proposal that ended in murder.

For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. – 1 John 2:16

Outside of the Bible, one of the greatest examples of the consequences of the second glance was lived out in the life of Ted Bundy.  Prior to his execution on January 24, 1989, Bundy was granted an interview with James Dobson.  Oddly enough, Ted’s addiction to pornography began with a copy of the Sear’s Catalog.  In his case, the second glance led to an addiction that exploded into a life of lust, rape and serial killings.  Unfortunately, no one can escape the words of James 1:15 below.

Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

May this blog serve as a warning, scaring people straight away from sin and toward a God of reason, Isaiah 1:18-20.

by Jay Mankus

 

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