This weekend at church, Rob Wegner reiterated something we talked about earlier here. We often reduce other people to something less than human, made in the very image of God Himself. It happens when we see someone just for the work they perform, the product they offer, the body they live in, or the fantasies they fuel.
Let’s dig deeper into that today. Something happens when you fixate on a person’s body. You spend energy and time on it. You meditate on it in a weird sort of way. Like Rob said, we employ powerful imaginations when we lust. And if we stepped back for a second and watched ourselves, we might come to a startling conclusion.
Lust is an act of worship.
Remember, worship doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with God. It’s a shortened form of another word, WORTHship, and it happens anytime we ascribe worth to something. They say time is money, which is a way of saying time has worth. How much time have you spent thinking about people in one dimensional, reductionist ways? How much worth have you ascribed to that body? That fantasy? How much have you worshiped it?
And here’s the problem: you become like what you worship. N.T. Wright says it like this in his book, Simply Christian:
“When you gaze in awe, admiration, and wonder at something or someone, you begin to take on something of the character of the object of your worship. Those who worship money become, eventually, human calculating machines. Those who worship sex become obsessed with their own attractiveness or prowess. Those who worship power become more and more ruthless.”
And those who worship a one-dimensional reduction of a human being become a one-dimensional reduction of a human being. That’s why lust can never lead to freedom. Because the second you start putting someone else in a box – nothing more than a body – you start putting yourself in that same box, too.
We saw in Colossians 3 where Paul tells us to set our sights on heaven. We recognized that the first step in ordering our desire is choosing to put God at the top of the list through worship. Today, I’m here to tell you that worshiping God is also a key to recovering your own humanity. In order to run away from lust toward the Love end of the continuum, we need to worship God in all of His complexity and depth and let that worship restore us to our own deep humanity, too.
I know we’ve already been here, but before we move on, I want us to ask ourselves again, do we worship God?
It might be as simple as thanking Him for the meal on your plate or your roof overhead. It might mean a few minutes in the car with the radio off so you can recognize that God is present. Maybe you’ll show up Wednesday night for Journey Bible Classes to pay attention to His Words when it’d be easy to make it a night on the couch. Whatever it is, now’s your chance to worship God. First, because He's worthy of it. And second, because it's the only way for you to be fully you.
God, You’re worth more than anything or anyone else we’ve ever known. Hear our worship today.
In Jesus’ name,