The Lord, to whom be glory, says: “...For whoever looks at a woman with lust for her has committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). Jesus does not make sin a mere act of looking, but of looking coupled with lust. Likewise, He does not tell us, “Don’t look.” But “from view”, and this has all respect for our freedom and decisions (16).

People may think that the Master's words are simple, even superficial, and useless. Others might say it is old, outdated and outdated. Someone may appear to say that these words were beneficial to patriarchal and agricultural societies. But now that two thousand years have passed, days have changed, societies have changed, and what was appropriate for that time is no longer acceptable in this time.

But these few words spoken by the Lord remain, haunting us and whispering deep within us for hours, or even moments of calm and contemplation. These words remain for the believer a very powerful and influential message, because they pave the way to inner purity, and even guarantee it to us through the power of the Master. These words remain a beacon for anyone who wants to correct his career and behavior through them.

Now let us reflect again on the aforementioned verse: “Whoever looks at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her in his heart.” what is the meaning of these words?

Obviously there is no problem with the sight itself (17)The problem is with the lust that burns deep down from looking. For this reason the Lord said: “The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is simple, your body will be full of light.”

Lust in the Christian concept is a consuming fire, a burning furnace, a flame raging in the depths. When it erupts and escalates, it can destroy its owner by dismantling the unity of his being.

Lust is a fire that ignites in the depths of a defective person. Every human being is damaged, so the flames rise to the heights of the mind and attack human faculties. It is a fire in the heart before it is physical adultery or impurity expressed in a visible and tangible way. Just as volcanoes spread in newly formed places with a thin earth's crust, so too is the newly experienced, coquettish and playful soul, which does not take the essence of matters, but rather loves trivial things, full of lust and explosive at all times.

Many people declare their desires and consider declaring what they want to be in keeping with the pace of civilization and modernity. Many others declare their lust under the pretext that it is part of their nature, which in turn is God’s creation. Many others see desire in itself as permissible because it is part of the nature of the body.

Craving is synonymous with consumption, and everyone who pays attention to himself and holds himself accountable knows it. The consideration itself is not taxed by anyone. You can look and desire without anyone knowing about you. You can appear balanced to people, while deep down you exist in weakness, fragility, desire, and softness. Hence, the legitimacy of sin is within the heart. It is a legitimacy that is not affected by custom or law, nor is it felt, nor is its tyranny limited by anyone except its owner if he wants.

Thus, physical action seems to be the most difficult, because without it there is the deterrent of society, the laws of states, the oppression of the law, and the fear of exposure. All of these stand in the way of the physical act reaching its end. Hence, morality has never been in appearances and formalities, but rather it is always in a pure heart, not the result of justifications and formalities. Rape, for example, is a violation of the laws of society, and an intrusion into a freedom that we forcefully crush. Rape is the abolition of human dignity and the objectification of others. It is living in isolation that only the rapist himself is satisfied with. But how many rapists have known rape without ever raping anyone?

In the Bible, the eye is the gateway to evil, and it is also the lamp and light of the body. One can learn more if he considers what happened to Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39:7), what happened to Samson (Judges 16:1), and what afflicted David in an hour of heedlessness (2 Samuel 11:2). And you can see the consequences of those who are lustful, careless and enslaved to their bodies. Therefore, you, as a son of God, must resist it with the lust of the eye and restrain it with the uprisings of the body, especially since your religion is purity and purity of heart. Your religion, if you are religious, is first and foremost to have purity of heart.

In fact, how much we need determination in this life! At different stages of our lives, we carry weakness in all its meanings. During our childhood, we fall short and lack discrimination. During our youth, we complain about the things we complain about, such as recklessness, recklessness, and recklessness.

As for our old age, which is supposed to store our experiences, it draws us to love life and adherence to the earth. How many great people and leaders were seized by illusion, and they thought, nay, they imagined that they were strong and powerful, unbreakable and invincible. The divine Peter thought that he would not be broken (Matthew 26:31-35), but he fell into the temptation of denial and realized that the power belongs to God (1 Peter 4:11).

The strength we lack is not natural in origin. Samson, who defeated the lion and split its jaw, was unable to resist Delilah, even though there was no one among the people as strong as him, and there was no weak person like him either. Therefore, the Book of Proverbs said the following about those like him: “Better he who has a spirit than he who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32).

True power is that which makes one able to break evil and restrain sins. This is because our weapons are not of the flesh, but rather they are capable, by the power of God, of pulling down strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). This is the power that shook Joseph and made him prefer the depths of prisons rather than engaging Potiphar’s wife (Genesis 39:7). It is the same one that led Moses and made him enjoy the glories of Pharaoh out of love for the people of God. She is the same one who stood with David when he defeated the mighty Goliath. She is the same one who accompanied John the dyer, to resist the misguided Herod. Finally, is it the same force that balances us so that our eyes look with peace, calm, and love, so that we do not consume who we look at?

However, I know, my brother reader and sister reader, that you find it difficult to find inner purity in this time, as the dignity of bodies has been cheapened to a horrific extent, and purity of the heart has become a dream that lies beyond the seas, and in the tops of distant mountains. Indeed, living inner purity has become a form of backwardness. The waves of desires that are weighing down the ship of our being from every direction have increased, to the point that one feels that he will inevitably drown in the face of the army of corruption and the abundance of temptations. Everywhere you look, you will find something that arouses desire in you. Everywhere you look, you find yourself close to the fire. But there must be a way out and a solution.

It is as if in this time I am faced with a studied and programmed lust that is given to people in doses and batches, especially through the large and small screens, through magazines, through song lyrics, through pictures, through colors, through the various commercial signs planted here and there on the roads. It is as if our time does not want to allow our inner comfort. This is not strange at all, as one does not come to inner purity without blood.

Since this is the picture of this time, many people are convinced of the necessity of surrender and indolence in the face of the waves of lust and temptation. Only a few see dignity in jihad, dignity in discipline, dignity in role models, and all pride, manhood and dignity in purity of heart. People of piety, rooted in surrendering the heart to God, have become, in the eyes of many people, a group of backward, misguided, and imbecile people who are useless in the age of technology and science. Only a few do not accept bodies escaping values and norms. While the majority of people began to accept various temptations in a terrifying manner. They were blinded by astonishment and stunned.

And he liked the people of this time! He admired those whose eyes moved from girl to girl, from woman to woman, and from belle to belle! He admires those who neglect their wives and throw themselves into the arms of their instincts and desires! And he admired the fathers and mothers who absented role models from their lives! Do you see what the negligent and surrendered pick up? They reap a bitter life because they sow desires. Whoever sows desires will only reap fire. However, many do not learn. After this, wouldn't it be better for us to look calmly and peacefully? Shouldn't we look with love and respect? Why don't we stop consuming others with our eyes? Why don't we refrain from objectifying people? It is true that many women and girls loved appearance, fashion, and makeup, so they were overcome with ecstasy and vanity, so they made themselves beautiful, dressed up, and seduced themselves in order to attract everyone who looked at them. But what is the consequence of this? What will we gain after a while?

In my conviction, there is only fire. There is only triviality. There is only flatness and naivety. There is only deathly emptiness.

And now, there is someone who says in confusion and weakness: I am unable to restrain my eyes. I can't control myself. I am happy and satisfied with where I am, and I cannot change, nor do I want to change. Leave me like an ostrich.

In fact, we are not required to walk down the street with our eyes closed. Closing the eyes does not automatically grant purity. Purity does not come from madness, nor is it the fruit of madness. Rather, it comes first and foremost in abandoning corruption with joy, seeking the face of the Lord, and a desire to sit at His feet. Purity comes from man's willingness to receive God's power, which alone can lead man to safety?

No one should think that purity belongs to the blind, as physical blindness is not a virtue in itself. Confusion about a relationship between physical blindness and purity of heart. If the blind man is pure and clean, then Satan is the father of purity because he cannot see and has no body.

After this, it is not greatness to close your eyes in front of a woman, or in front of a coquette girl. All greatness comes from your love and respect for everyone. Part of your love for women is expressed in not consuming them. After this, can you look without desire? Do you really find that you are unable to resist the demands of lust? Don't you long for a relationship with people free of lust? So listen to this news: The mighty Samson, before he fell into the hands of the Philistines, had eyes to see. But in captivity, his eyes were gouged out, and his insight was opened (Judges 16:4) (Judges 16:21, 28). It was reported that the ancient Greeks depicted their gods with their eyes closed. On top of the drawings, they wrote threatening phrases against anyone who opens his eyes to see what is harmful. They also used to draw Aphrodite, asleep, with closed eyes, and above her drawing they placed the following words: Pay attention, for if she opens his eyes, you must close your eyes. And in the Bible, human sins are associated with looking (Genesis 3:6). Therefore, we are not surprised when the beloved John speaks to us about lust. The eye (1 John 2:16). Moreover, wasn't looking what led to the submergence and the flood? Isn’t it when the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful (Genesis 6:2)? What destroyed the city of Shechem? Isn't it Hamor bin Shechem's vision of Dinah, Jacob's daughter (Genesis 34)? What then?

It was said about the great men of Troy that they wanted to eliminate an evil prostitute, but as soon as she appeared in their presence to hear the ruling against him, they all gave up, and their resolve and courage failed, so they changed their decision and spared him, for they were enchanted by her beauty and appearance. It was also reported on the authority of the great Alexander Dhul-Qarnayn that when he took Darius’s wife captive, and she was a miracle of beauty and beauty, he did not at all want to look at him, hear his voice, feel comfortable with his presence, or speak to her. He used to repeat to his army commanders: “Whoever defeats powerful armies cannot be defeated by a woman.” It was also said about Antiochus, who led a great army with which he conquered the impregnable city of Ephesus, that when he saw the priestess who was in the temple of Artemis and who was very beautiful, he retreated, because he saw his defeat in his face, so he turned away before he fell into her net and her love.

A large number of souls realized the necessity of giving up looking with the intention of lust, and Saint Arsanius the Great was one of them. He refused to receive a noble lady who came to him from Italy asking for his blessing, so that he would not have to pray that the Lord would remove her memory and image from his imagination. (See the book Sayings of the Elder Fathers)

My brother, you should not be ashamed if you are told at the beginning that you are almost imbecile because you stop seeing, for some modesty is beauty, blessing, and goodness. Try to look, only when necessary. There is a lot around you to see, some of it may be harmful and some of it may be beneficial. So avoid what harms you, and enjoy your eyes with what will gain you the greatness of the Creator. Everything in the universe is beautiful, and man, the crown of the universe, is beautiful, obviously, but the problem is in your defective eyes and heart. As you pray, try to say to yourself: Every girl I see on the street, at school, at church, and in the store is like a sister or a relative.

This is a great idea that may benefit you in gaining inner purity. Indeed, it can work if you intercede for it by praying to God to ask for help and support. But it may be difficult at first to see in a relative or a passer-by the image of a sister and mother. You may be one of those who had difficult days and lived without a father and mother. If you live in a destructive estrangement, find for yourself people whom you feel safe with and whose advice and guidance you feel comfortable with. Perhaps this is what the Lord did for us when he said to John: “This is your mother.” Mary was entrusted to John for her protection. If you wish, you can also protect yourself with a number of good believers. The church is safe, and it has enough children who can be used to serve the tired and lost. You can also visit a holy priest or a holy bishop to seek advice and blessings. In your life, exercise your mind at all times, and wait before you do anything. Try to keep God's satisfaction before your eyes. Never go where you cannot take Christ with you. Every time you see a girl, try to say to yourself: What do I have to do with this woman that I pursue with looks filled with lust and consumption? She doesn't look at me the way I do, and she doesn't consume me the way I do to her. She doesn't crave me like I do. Maybe she is busy with the matter of taking over her heart. Perhaps she is rushing to an appointment, the outcome of which she is afraid of. No, she may even be heading towards a lover who will fill her life! What is the matter with me that this absurdity possesses me, and this lust burns me and my formation? Why do I have evil thoughts? Why don't I make sense? Why am I not busy with myself, my role, my duties, and my future? Why don't I say to myself: Tomorrow, when I get married and live with a girl I love and who loves me, I will be filled with pride and pride when I reveal to her all my secrets and privacy, the most important of which is that I have never known a girl before her? You must be filled with blessings when you think like this. But do not forget that this is not all purity, but rather the step of a thousand miles. Do not forget also that people in this time may see all the absurdity and triviality in you if you are pure in heart and chaste.

But if you are married, it is nice for everyone around you to know that you look calmly and speak calmly. If you are married, you can say to yourself: It is time for me to set the example for the young and the old, for the weak and the strong, for the teenagers and the married, and above. This is to be a role model for myself. It is not permissible to be lenient with oneself. The Lord prays for me to revive me and sanctify me. If you are a teacher, you need discipline and example in order to have something to offer as a leaven of life for your students.

However, after this sermon, I know that you know everything I say, but I just wanted to remind you that purity is not taken as a drink of water, nor is it worn all at once. The Savior is long-suffering and always ready to grant us complete purity. However, effort is necessary since we are aware that we exist. . So, do not be easy on yourself, and do not be like someone who put a snake in his lap and started petting it without realizing that danger from it is imminent.

We are in an era whose children have lost values and abandoned sobriety and role models. Our era is the conquest of desires par excellence. The era of sex par excellence, the era of drugs par excellence. It is the era of dress and finery, the era of appearance and elegance, the era of unconditional and irresponsible freedom. It is an era of unlimited chaos. What amazes me in this era is the silence of adults regarding the actions of children. Perhaps this is because the adults themselves have neglected the role model and are tired of responsibility. In our time, you hear what your grandparents never heard in their entire lives. I once read an article about child sex work in Southeast Asia. I also read, if you want to learn more, that there are millions of children who are being sexually blackmailed by the employment of a well-known man in Belgian diplomacy. What kind of youth will we present to life at the beginning of the third millennium? What will we reap if we only sow pleasures? I also read - if you want to learn more - in An-Nahar newspaper that the one-line service, American computer incorporated service, has stopped its services to about four million subscribers in the pornographic films section and on the inter-net, under pressure from German investigators who were appalled by the use of children. In pornographic films. Haven't you noticed how Europeans are hurting, upset, and protesting against corruption? (For more details, see An-Nahar newspaper, issue 130, January 1, 1995.)

And I come back to say: Take care of yourself. Pay attention to those around you. Pay attention to the young and the old, and be a role model for everyone. Don't say I'm young. Do this now, so that you can pay attention to your children if you give them away in marriage after a few years. Beware of desires, because they only bring emptiness and nothingness.

(16) For more information, see the interpretation of Matthew according to Saint John Chrysostom, Arabized by Dr. Adnan Trabelsi.

(17) The issue is: Can you look apart from desire or without desire?

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