(Eric Davis – The Cripplegate) Few people set out in life thinking, “Down the road, I plan to destroy my life and relationships by plunging myself into sexual sin.” It’s not that simple or sudden. Instead, sexual sin takes its victims through multi-faceted paths of deception and allurement. That’s what makes it so successful. As Solomon correctly observed, “Many are the victims she has cast down, and numerous are all her slain” (Prov. 7:26).
In our last post on the issue, we looked at 25 consequences of sexual sin. Today, we will briefly look at ways in which individuals slide into sexual sin.
Proverbs 7 is a sobering play-by-play of the slide into sexual sin. From it we can make a few observations to prepare ourselves accordingly.
- Sexual temptation has many ruthless and clever tactics.
We mustn’t think that sexual sin will dance in front of us like a pink elephant holding a sign which says, “Follow me into the predatory pit of sexual sin!” It’s more clever than that.
Proverbs 7:10-21 plays out a scary scenario of the adulteress vs. the simpleton. She systematically tests his resolve. She is persistent, but not overbearing. She is evil, but advertises as good. She is predatorial, knowing exactly how to lure him in. She is cunning, moving the process along at the perfect speed. Throughout the slide, she cleverly plays the right card at the right time.
- Sexual temptation can gain ground where selfish ambition exists.
Jerry Wragg has wisely observed, “One of the biggest portals to sexual immorality is selfish ambition.” A lust for self-exaltation is a gateway to other lusts. When the soul is hungry for self-promotion, it is has now opened itself up to vices that satisfy the hunger. When sexual temptation arrives, the selfishly ambitious heart is in a “I deserve” posture. Thus, the tempted will grant itself permission accordingly.
- Sexual temptation will find you even if you’re not looking for it.
In Proverbs 7, sexual sin ventures out to meet the guy, not the other way around (v. 10). She finds him. You will not need to go seek out sexual sin. It’s easier than that. An undisciplined or unintentional season of life will suffice.
Several things make it easier to be found. With the dawn of the digital age, it’s easier to find us. Social media in our hand makes us an exponentially easier target than previous days. A breach in the soul makes for a bigger target.
Deer and elk hunting in grizzly bear territory is tricky. The grizzlies are hungry too. They’ve learned to associate free, fresh meat with hunters and the crack of a rifle. So, a rifle shot in the woods has become a dinner bell for grizzlies. It can be the same with weak spots in the soul. Unchecked high-mindedness; a lust for significance; feelings-based living; lack of discipline—these and more can serve as a dinner bell for sexual temptation to move in and do damage.
We have to be careful about flattering ourselves in over-confidence. Sure, we may not be seeking out sexual sin. But that does not mean it is not looking for us. Our flesh, Satan, and the world will systematically push us to find a weak spot.
Unless we are Jesus or dead, it’s possible that we have weak spots. And we might have them, not necessarily because we are attempting to construct weak spots, but because we might be failing to construct strong spots.