The lust of the eyes is the desire to possess what we see or to have those things which have visual appeal. This coveting of money, possessions, or other physical things is not from God, but from the world around us.
John emphasizes that these physical things do not last; they will pass away. In contrast, the child of God is guaranteed eternity.
Satan uses the lust of the eyes as one avenue of temptation. Part of the reason Eve listened to the serpent in the Garden was that she looked at the forbidden fruit and saw that it was “pleasing to the eye” (Genesis 3:6). Satan used a visual image to help entrap her. Satan tried a similar tactic on Jesus.
One of his temptations in the wilderness was an attempt to make Jesus covet earthly power. Satan used a visual: he “showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor” (Matthew 4:8). He then promised to give them to Jesus—for a price. Of course, Jesus did not succumb to the lust of the eyes, and Satan was defeated (verses 10 and 11).
We must follow Jesus’ example and, in the power of the Holy Spirit, resist the lust of the eyes. The world is full of “eye candy,” glamor, and gaudiness.
Materialism beckons with its promise of happiness and fulfillment.
All that glitters is not gold, and the child of God knows that fame, fortune, and finery quickly fade (Proverbs 23:5).
May God give you the grace and ability to overcome the lust of the eyes in Jesus name.
Apt OC Merciful
Fighting Sinful Addiction|Published with permission