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Temptation and Sex

by Norman P. Grubb

Sex is by far the greatest problem in nearly all our lives and in the lives of our converts. It’s by far the biggest curse as well as blessing of the world. Unless and until we’ve handled the sex problem to the bottom in our lives and found a way through, we are neither ourselves on safe ground nor can we lead others on to safe ground. It’s our strongest instinct; our strongest appetite. It’s love in its physical level— God is love, so that’s strong! We’re enticed by every appetite. An appetite is a desire. Now it’s rightful to desire food. It’s natural to enjoy food. When we see a nice thing on the table, it’s natural to say in appreciation, “My, that’s nice”—that fried chicken or something. That’s natural; we’ve an appetite and that’s all right as long as it does not become illicit. Then it becomes greed. As long as the enjoyment is a minor matter and the major matter is that we’re just eating to keep our bodies fit, that’s all right. To enjoy is the minor matter; the major matter is the big objective, but if we live for the enjoyment, then we are getting illicit; it’s becoming greed.

The same with rest. We all like to lie down, stretch out, and rest. We like to; we have an appetite that likes to rest. That’s not wrong; we should enjoy our rest. But as long as that is the minor motive and the major motive is that I must rest to keep fit, it is legitimate. But when we just go on resting and resting, we become slothful.

Now sex is the same. Now the proof that sex is the dominant factor in life is that the whole world shouts sex at us. Nothing is comparable in this world. For everything which possibly can draws attention to illicit sex. The advertisements, the pictures, the way people dress, all center around the exposure of the female form because that is the chief temptation to man. Women have their own sex temptations. They have to be faced to the bottom too. Men have theirs starting through the eye. “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” And the whole world is set on diverting my eye to look, and desire to look, on something that stimulates me sexually.

Karuizawa Japan Conference of 1954
Topic: “Temptation”