For everything that belongs to the world – the lust of flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle – is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever. 1 John 2:16-17 HCSB
We often think that external actions such as places we go and activities we participate in are the major sins, but our internal actions are just as sinful if not more so because they begin with our hearts and minds.
These verses point out three major internal sins: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride. The lust of the flesh is associated with our preoccupation with physical desires and pleasures. The lust of the eyes is craving ownership of the things of the world or materialism. Pride in one’s lifestyle is the obsession with one’s status or position in life. When the devil tempted Eve (Genesis 3:6) and when he tempted Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11), he used these three temptations. By contrast, God encourages people to have self-control, a spirit of generosity, and humble service to others.
Challenge: With which lust do you struggle most? Which values do your thoughts and actions represent – God’s or the world? Pray that God will help you control your lusts and help you to overcome the temptations of the devil. Read 1 Corinthians 10:13.