Life Of A Disciple In The World 7- Seven Deadly Sins: Lust

The Life of a Disciple in the World
7 Deadly Sins
Session 7: Lust- Salt For Thirst

Core Teaching:            Lust is the best known sin.  It is deceptive, because it is not just a sin of action, but also of thoughts.  Giving in to lust is abusing God’s good gift of Human Sexuality.

Session Goals:            This session focuses on the 6th Deadly Sin, Lust.  Students and teachers may be VERY uncomfortable with this topic.  Handle all discussion with care.  Students should see that what we think, watch, listen to, and do all contribute to whether we follow God’s commands or not.

Supplies:                        Fast food salt packets (one for each student), small pint bottle of water (one for each student), Bibles, Whiteboard/Newsprint, Markers, Masking Tape, Sunday’s Newspaper, a copy of the Student Leader Help Sheet for each discussion/small group leader

Memory Verse:            Mark 9:50 NRSV

Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.’

(Write on the Board and encourage Youth to memorize this week.)


2 Samuel 11:2-5 NRSV
Proverbs 7:10-27 NRSV
Matthew 5:27-29 NRSV
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NRSV


Class Session

Opening Prayer- Student

Announcements, Attendance, and Offering- Teacher


Introduction to the Lesson- Teacher

Lust.  It has no thought of consequences.  It has no consideration of what might lie ahead.  It simply looks forward to a particular moment’s challenge.  But what IS Lust really?

“Lust is the craving for salt of a man who is dying of thirst.”

Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC by Frederick Buechner, Harper & Row, 1973, p. 54.

Lust IS the unrestrained and unethical expression of the sexual impulse.  Lust is more powerful than shame, guilt, fear, prudence, or gratitude.  Lust blinds us.  Unrestrained sexual desire can corrupt even the best person.  Lust is a craving that can never be satisfied.  Lust, maybe the most obvious and recognized of all of the Seven Deadly sins, is a gross perversion of love.

lust n. 1. Intense or unrestrained sexual craving. 2. An overwhelming desire or craving.

You each have a salt packet and a small bottle of water.  For the rest of the lesson, I want you to leave the bottle of water in front of you untouched.  Right now, carefully open the salt packet, and poor just a little bit on your tongue.  During each portion of the lesson this morning, you will be asked to pour a little more salt on your tongue, but you are to save the water until the end.

Remember the quote I shared with you earlier and think about how inappropriate it is to crave salt when you need pure water.


Small Group Discussions- Student Leaders

Key Questions (These should be answered during the discussion below)

  1. What is Lust?
  2. Why might lust be a well kept secret?
  3. What leads to sex?
  4. Is sex ever appropriate outside of marriage?
  5. Can a person commit the sin of lust even if they don’t carry through on their thoughts?
  6. How are we to treat our bodies?

Big Issue

Think about advertising for a minute.  What is one common thing used to sell cars, clothes, toothpaste and coffee?  Give up?  Well, if you guessed “sex” you got it right!

Think about TV and movies for a minute.  What is a common thing in movies and TV shows?  Pretty people?  Sexual intrigue?  Seduction?  Who is cheating on who?  “Sex” is a major component of possible things we watch.

Think about music for a minute.  What is your favorite subject of a song?  Any style of music.  Love songs?  Falling in love songs?  Stalking the one you think you love songs?  Do you listen to songs that say rude things about women?  Men?  Does “sex” enter this arena as well?

Advertising and entertainment figured it out long before any of us were born: sex sells.  The sexier, the better the sales.  Have you ever wondered why?  Why did they choose sex and not say….competition, or generosity, or education?  Maybe “they” know something the Bible warned about long ago: every human is vulnerable to the sin of Lust.  We are going to take a short glance at what the Bible has to say about this Deadly Sin.

“LUST IS NOT interested in its partners, but only in the gratification of its own craving, not in the satisfaction of our whole natures, but only in the appeasement of an appetite that we are unable to subdue.  It is therefore a form of self-subjection, in fact, of self-emptying.”  The Seven Deadly Sins Today by Henry Fairlie, University of Nortre Dame Press, 1978, p. 175.

Faith Link

Sin In Secret If You Can– Read 2 Samuel 11:2-5 to the group.

Pour a little more salt on your tongue.

  • How is Lust a part of this story?
  • Can you guess what happens in the rest of the story?

q  If you know the whole story, share it now or read on in the Scripture.

q  This is perhaps the best known story of lust in the Bible.  It may even sound like a made-for-TV-movie-of-the-Week!  This is a story of pure lust, and the consequences it brings when it is acted upon.  David does not stop to think about the consequences.  He wanted what he wanted.  And he was the king, so he could get away with it.  Lust takes no thought to consequences.

q  In this case, Lust turns out to be a literal “Deadly” Sin.

  • Did David get away with it?  Why?  or Why not?
  • Why do you think David tried to keep his sins a secret?  Guilt?  Shame?  Remorse?  His reputation?
  • Why do you think David, someone held up as a model of Godliness in the Bible, caved into temptation in this case?

q  “Persons trapped in sexual sin are trying so hard to love and be loved.  Lust is especially poignant; it is the distortion of the highest good and purpose of life: love.  It is so close to love and yet even in its closeness so painfully far away.”  The Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome: A New Encounter with the Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Lively Virtues by H. Stephen Shoemaker, Broadman Press, 1987, p. 102.

  • How did David treat Bathsheba?  Did he treat her as a person?  Or as an object?  Did he love her?  Does she love him?
  • Do you think if David had considered all of the people involved, he would have taken the same actions?  Why?  or Why not?
  • What other Deadly Sins are involved in this story?  Envy?  Pride?
  • Do you think maybe David “lusted” after power as well?  Might that explain his actions to keep things a secret?  Why? or Why not?

Appealing to the Senses– Read Proverbs 7:10-27.

v Pour a little more salt on your tongue.

  • Could this Scripture as easily be about a man seducing a woman?
  • What ways are the 5 senses appealed to in these verses?  Name each one.

q  The Hebrew Scripture does not draw a picture of sex as evil.  It does show how evil it can be when it is morally inappropriate.  Other parts of Scripture celebrate the relations between as husband and wife.  Our desires are part of who God created us to be.  But SIN has corrupted our desires.  When we are unfaithful, dishonest, violent, exploitative, or in some other way harm others or ourselves, we are guilty of the sin of lust.

  • Based on these verses, how would you recommend to others why sex outside of marriage is a bad thing?

“We affirm with Scripture the common humanity of male and female, both having equal worth in the eyes of God….We recognize that sexuality is God’s good gift to all persons.  We believe persons may be fully human only when that gift is acknowledged and affirmed by themselves, the church, and society.  We call all persons to the disciplined, responsible fulfillment of themselves, others, and society in the stewardship of this gift….we recognize that God challenges us to find responsible, committed, and loving forms of expression.  Although all persons are sexual beings whether or not they are married, sexual relations are only clearly affirmed in the marriage bond…..We reject all sexual expressions that damage or destroy the humanity God has given us….We believe that sexual relations where one or both partners are exploitative, abusive, or promiscuous are beyond the parameters of acceptable Christian behavior and are ultimately destructive to individuals, families, and the social order.  We deplore all forms of the commercialization and exploitation of sex….”  ¶ 161 The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, 2000.

  • How does this excerpt from United Methodist Social Principles respond to the seduction of lust as we read it in this Scripture?

What Did Jesus Say?- Read Matthew 5:27-29 to the group.

Pour a little more salt on your tongue.

  • Do you think Jesus “added” to the Law in this saying?
  • What do you think Jesus’ point is?
  • Are we allowed to enjoy looking at beautiful people?  Or have we sinned when we do?  Where is the line between admiration and sin?
  • Do you think it is “just” as bad to look at someone lustfully as to actually commit adultery?  Why does Jesus say this?

q  Our society seems obsessed with sex.  This obsession carries with it the tragic consequences of destroyed marriages and families, violence suffered, children exploited.  Sometimes though, we let ourselves off the hook if we have not committed some specific act.

  • Do you think Jesus just made getting off the hook a lot harder for all of us?

q  Sex never just happens.  It is always a product of choices, beginning with a look, or a thought, and progressing slowly, often in secret.  We become preoccupied with what we desire.  Attention that could be focused in a positive way instead is spent in an unhealthy way.

  • What are some ways your peers violate what Jesus says in these verses?
  • How can lust keep us from faith?

Life Application

Read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

v NOW, open your bottle of water and drink!

  • Which was more satisfying, salt or water?  Which is better/healthier for your body, salt or water?

q  While we do need some salt to survive, we can not survive long without water.  If you consumed salt every time you were thirsty, you would die of thirst.  So, to crave salt, when what you really need is water, makes no reasonable sense.

  • Look back at this Scripture.  How are we supposed to view our bodies?
  • If salt = lust do we treat our bodies like a Temple of the Holy Spirit is we consume a lot of salt?
  • What might water represent in our spiritual lives?
  • How can we glorify God with our bodies if we take these verses seriously?

q  Take the Sunday morning paper and cut out a few articles that give tangibles examples of what has been discussed today.  Post these on the wall with a label above saying “Lust” so they may be referred to in future weeks.  If there is not time for this in class, ask for volunteers to get it done before next week.


Joys and Concerns- Teacher: Write these on a piece of butcher paper.

Closing Prayer- Students:            Pray in silence with someone starting “Dear God….” And after a short period of time someone else finishes with “Thank you for hearing our hearts Lord, Amen.”  Encourage each person to pray silently for whatever help they personally need in combating the Deadly Sin of Lust.



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