The Bible is clear that lust is a sin. I would like to know where the line is between temptation and sin: Jesus said even if you look at a woman lustfully you sin. Say I see a woman and she is beautiful. If I think nothing more than that, everything is okay. But if I look at her second time and still do not think anything more, I am still afraid that I have lusted after her -- even though there are not impure thoughts I am aware of. I ask myself, "Why did you look again? Just quit." Sometimes I look at a spiritual sister, who also is beautiful. I do not know what to think. I want to stay as far from the line as possible. -- Stane (Ljubljana, Slovenia)

I appreciate your conscientiousness. You seem to want to please the Lord. Here are my thoughts. Looking twice--that sounds dangerously close to lust, but maybe it isn't lust, technically speaking. Lust means desire, not just appreciation. Just as in 1 John 2:15-17. Admiration is not the same as lust.

This sin is not very precisely defined in the Bible. I think there is a reason for that. As for staying well away from the dividing line, I think you know how to do that! How did Jesus do it? Or did he avoid all contact with women? Did he spend sufficient time in prayer that he was strong against the Tempter? I think you know the answers as well as I do. We are both men. We are both Christian men. That is all I can say.

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