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||    Pope Shenouda    ||    Father Matta    ||    Bishop Mattaous    ||    Fr. Tadros Malaty    ||    Bishop Moussa    ||    Bishop Alexander    ||    Habib Gerguis    ||    Bishop Angealos    ||    Metropolitan Bishoy    ||

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

good thing.

_Sinful Lusts_

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

which follow.

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

into it.

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.

(Ac 12:21-23).

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

and wealth:

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?"

(Lk 12:20).

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…

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

_Good Lusts_

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


P 1:12).

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

find it…"

􀂙 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 Lord.

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

Jn 2).

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