Kinds of Lusts
Considering a bad lust as being a sin was not only
mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt5:28) but
God also forbids walking in lusts in the forth
commandment of the Ten Commandments as He said
" You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you
shall not covet your neighbor’s wife … nor
anything that is your neighbor’s " (Ex 20:17) (Dt
And in the New Testament, John the apostle says
"Do not love the world or the things in the world, if
anyone loves the world… For all that is in the world—
the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the
pride of life " (1 Jn 2:15, 16). And also says "If
anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not
in him ".
Speaking about lust reminds us with what
was mentioned in the teachings of Buddha the
philosopher concerning this issue:
Legends say that Buddha sat under the tree of
knowledge, and knew that every person seeks
happiness, and that happiness could be attained by
keeping oneself away from the causes of misery. And
that there is one reason which leads to misery;
it is the presence of an unfulfilled lust.
And for that reason Buddha called for getting rid
of all lusts. But scientifically this is something
impossible to do because no one lives without a
certain goal in his life which he desires to attain. So,
the right thing to do is to get rid of the bad lusts only
and it should be alright that someone might desire a
We will speak now about lusts and how
dangerous they are. The problem with lust is
that it always asks for more.
It was mentioned in the book of Ecclesiastes that
"All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full"
"The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled
with hearing" (Ec 1:6, 8). And Jesus Christ said about
the vanity of life "Whoever drinks of this water will
thirst again" (Jn 4:13). And consequently if he thirsts
then he will drink again and also whenever he thirsts
again he will desire to drink once more and so on
Some of the lusts' problems are; how to get
this lust, how to fulfill it and consequences
Someone might not be able to satisfy his desire,
so he is irritated and waits till he gets it. And if he
fulfills his desire, he then is keen not to lose it…and
he will also become afraid of its consequences in case
it gives birth to sin (Jas 1:15). By this he lives in the
torments of lusts.
James the apostle said about bad lusts "each one
is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires
and enticed" (Jas 1:14).
As for bad lusts, the first of which known for
the world is the lust of exaltation. And Satin fell
It was mentioned about him in the book of Isaiah
the Prophet: "For you have said in your heart: ‘I will
ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the
stars of God… I will be like the Most High" (Is 14:13,
We notice here that it was a lust in his heart,
Satin wasn't satisfied enough with the level of
elevation he was at (Ez 28:12, 14) and desired to
exalt more and become like God! And by using this
same lust he was able to tempt Eve and said to her
"You will be like God" (Gn 3:5).
And through the lust of exaltation, Herod the King
also lost his life when he accepted from people to
praise him saying that his voice was one of God!!
Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him.
One of the lusts of exaltation is the day
As when someone sits there and wander in his
imagination that he would become so and so… any of
the exaltation lusts of which he dreams…then
suddenly he wakes up from these bright dreams
finding himself that he is nothing!!
Or someone who desires positions,
authority, love of appearing, love of praise,
desiring to always be a hero and loves showing
All these are lusts of exaltation which take the
shape of the world.
There is also a kind of lust which takes a religious
shape…as when a monk desires to be an anchorite, or
a priest desires to work miracles healing the sick and
raising up the dead enjoying the numerous gifts of
the Holy Spirit speaking with tongues and also
granting the spirit to others…! It is the lust of false
glory when someone desires to have a big name,
fame and power…
With the lust of exaltation comes the lust of
principality, of priority and desiring to precede
Satan walked in that lust when he said to himself
in his heart "I will exalt my throne above the stars of
God". All those who compete also fall in this lust as
everyone of them wants to be the first, the most
important and the most elevated…
The disciples of Jesus Christ fell into this lust
when they asked who will be the first. The Lord
rebuked them saying "the rulers of the Gentiles lord it
over them, and those who are great exercise
authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among
you; but whoever desires to become great
among you, let him be your servant. And
whoever desires to be first among you, let him
be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come
to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a
ransom for many" (Mt 20:25-28) .
The lust of ruling could be also found inside a
family, as when the wife and her mother in law
compete in whoever of them will have dominion on
the house and on the husband whom his life turns out
to be hell because of not knowing what to do between
honoring his mother and loving his wife…
One of the famous lusts is the lust of money
Whereas the bible says " For the love of money is
a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have
strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced
themselves through with many sorrows " (1 Ti 6:10),
God considered this desire to be a master whom is
served by its possessor (Mt 6:20).
The story is well known of the rich man who
asked the Lord "what good thing shall I do that I may
have eternal life" (Mt 19:22). And when the Lord told
him "go, sell what you have and give to the poor" and
then he "he went away sorrowful, for he had great
And also the story of the rich fool whom God told
him "This night your soul will be required of you; then
whose will those things be which you have provided?"
And with the lust of money comes the love
of possession and owning things.
Many people are interested in owning antiques
and other things which might not be of useful function
to them yet they are emotionally attached to those
things at the time when others are in need of
necessities of life and cannot find it.
The lust of riches leads to selfishness, not paying
the tenth of our money, leads to abandoning the
poor. We also hear about brothers and sisters who
quarrel over their father's inheritance to the extent of
filing lawsuits at courts, and all that is because of
What follow the lusts of money are: greed, love of
increment and collecting, love of the bigger part to
the end of these lusts.
There is also the lust of addiction; alcohol
addiction, smoking, drugs or gambling.
These are kinds of lusts by which a person is
owned and controlled, the lusts restrain this person
and leads him to many mistakes.
We speak now about the lusts of the body
they are two kinds: adultery which is the lust of
fornication and also the lust of food.
Concerning the lust of eating, it is well known that
Esau Sold His Birthright for a cooking of stew! And
the multitude of people who were in the desert and
desired to eat meat " wept again and said: “Who will
give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we
ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the
leeks, the onions, and the garlic" (Nm 11:4-6) then
God brought them quail from the sea, and the Lord
struck the people with a very great plague so many of
them died and were buried in a place which was
named after that Kibroth Hattaavah which means the
tombs of lust…!
The lust of eating makes some people break their
fasting or try in so many ways to get away of fasting!!
The bible says "Walk in the Spirit, and you shall
not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts
against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; and
these are contrary to one another, so that you do not
do the things that you wish" (Ga 5:16, 17).
There is a third lust of the body which is the
lust of seeking rest and relaxation.
In another words it is the lust of laziness when
someone desires not to work when he can. The bible
tackled this issue in the book of Proverbs (Pv 21), and
consequently the lusts of amusement and humor then
follow, many of the school students fall into those
Another lust of the body is the lust of the
It is the desire of a person to look at what is
forbidden to look at, or look to lust as
If he looks at a woman to lust for her (Mt 5:28),
and as well a woman versus a man.
In general, every single look to whatever another
person possesses is considered a forbidden lust. In
addition to the look which wishes harm for others as
when someone says to another "I wish seeing a bad
day for you".
Also the lust of the ears, it is the desire to
listen to what is not appropriate.
Like listening to in appropriate jokes or in
appropriate stories and songs, also listening to
secrets of others (it is called the adultery of the ears)
as well as listening to Disgraceful gossip about the
private lives of other people. Generally speaking the
lust of the ears is the desire of listening to anything
that might disturb the purity of thought or listening to
the fall of an enemy or his disgrace as the bible says
"Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let
your heart be glad when he stumbles" (Pv 24:17).
Of the bad lusts concerning the ears is the lust of
listening to people's praise or to words of hypocrisy,
flattering or listening to justification of mistakes…
Not every lust is bad; there are as well good lusts
about which the bible says "The desire of the
righteous is only good" (Pv 11:23).
Of the good lusts there is what Jesus Christ said
to his disciples "many prophets and righteous men
desired to see what you see, and did not see it and to
hear what you hear, and did not hear it" (Mt 13:17)
He means blessings and enjoyments of the New
St. Peter the apostle speaks about matters in the
New Testament which "Angels desire to look into" (1
Of the good lusts is what St. Paul the apostle
said "having a desire to depart and be with
Christ, which is far better" (Phil1:23).
Not every desire to depart is a good desire. One of
the good lusts is the lust of martyrdom which spread
so much during the apostolic era and the following eras
where there were terrible persecutions. The church's
forefathers wrote so many books and articles titled
"Urging on martyrdom" about those eras; those
saints desired the crowns of martyrdom and what
follows of glory in the other life with Jesus Christ. We
read in history books about the thirty thousands who
went out of Damanhour heading Alexandria they were
singing hymns and joyful that they will enjoy
But the lust to depart could be natural as in cases
of painful unbearable illness. I heard once that a
cancer patient in his pain said "I desire death and can't
But despite all that, sometimes the desire to depart
is not a good lust and is not acceptable as when Jonah
the Prophet said when God accepted the repentance of
Nineveh's people "O Lord, please take my life from
me, for it is better for me to die than to live" (Jon 4:3).
And of the good lusts also what David the Prophet
said " One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I
seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the
days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and
to inquire in His temple." (Ps 27:4).
Of the good lusts as well is the lust of serving
The desire of a person to exert his time and money
to serve others leading them as well to heaven, also
the lust of being devoted to church service.
It is mentioned in the bible that "If a man desires
the position of a bishop, he desires a good work" (1 Ti
3:1); Meaning that he should desire the weariness of
being a bishop in church service or being exposed as a
bishop to martyrdom as during the apostolic era.
But for anyone to desire the position of a bishop
for the sake of dignity and leadership, this is not a
good thing to do because the desire to rule is a bad
One of the fathers also said that repentance is
substituting a lust for another lust.
Which means that the lusts of sin and vanity of the
world are substituted by the lust for righteousness
which is a good lust…..
Of the good lusts also: the desire to succeed and to
prosper. St. John the beloved said in his third epistle
(to Gaius) "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all
things and be in health, just as your soul prospers" (3
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