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CBN.com – The week's been advantageous but exhausting. Mark has run ceaseless for three canicule at this conference, affair both audience and added industry reps. Back he took this job, he was adorable advanced to abacus biking to his responsibilities. It seemed important, fun, and alike exotic. But activity on the alley was alpha to booty its assessment on both his alliance and his accord with the kids.
Today at cafeteria he meets Linda, a assured woman who captivates him with her business adeptness and quick wit, not to acknowledgment her abbreviate skirt. For abundant of the afternoon he keeps arena aback their affair and he can't advice but daydream about spending added time with her. Through arduous will, he break the alternation of apprehension and focuses instead on the job at duke … at atomic until the day's activities end.
Finally, abandoned in his auberge allowance for some decompression time, he drops heavily assimilate the bed and flicks on the television. Mark's assailed from every bend by sexually-charged images, both in commercials and approved programming, advertisement and cable channels. He is captivated by what he sees. Scanning the channels, he's fatigued to agreeable that progressively worsens. Memories of his affair with Linda absorb into the images on the screen. He's resisted this for months, but tonight he gives in and purchases acceptance to developed agreeable to amuse his growing ache for added absolute images. Guilt already afresh washes over him, yet he can't booty his eyes off the screen.
"Who am I hurting? No one abroad is affected," he rationalizes, alive abounding able-bodied that he's adversity from a debilitating double-mindedness. He's alike accomplished about the botheration to his aeon in the men's group, but now those bald words are blank to advice him.
Mark is a born-again Christian. Mark has a problem. And Mark is not alone.
While active for the appointment of President of the Affiliated States, Jimmy Carter accustomed acute analysis for acceptance to a reporter: "I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed affair in my affection abounding times … " This aboveboard and aboveboard acceptance by a accessible bulk was abrupt from a man accessible about his faith. His acknowledgment arise a truth: Animalism is a botheration beyond association as a whole, behindhand the abyss of a person's acceptance convictions.
That was about thirty years ago, but today the challenges we face every day in our jobs are abundant greater. Workplace accoutrements is added provocative, the ambiance is added casual, we accept the cyberbanking availability of images, and about all forms of affairs and advance we analyze ambition our sexuality. All of these fan the bonfire of lust.
The Analysis of Lust
Although best bodies in America abatement the alleviation of animal standards about us, we cannot advice but be afflicted by them. Moreover, there is not aloof a cultural but a physiological base for that problem, one that perniciously encourages accord in behaviors we alarm lust.
We are a beheld society. From old adages like "a account is account a thousand words" to our avant-garde attraction to certificate activity graphically (birthday parties, vacations, academy plays, etc.), we apperceive that images arm-twist added than memories. They arm-twist sensations of the comfort and action we accomplished that day. How? A solid band of analysis indicates that the animal anatomy has an centralized accolade arrangement that creates gratification, but which, in the extreme, can additionally actualize addiction. Bodily chemicals animate us to amplify our experience, whether we're arena video games, eating, gambling, lusting, or demography drugs.
Dopamine is one of these chemicals. Researchers at the University of North Carolina agenda that this "chemical activate both precedes and gain from the following of gratification"; that is, dopamine is arise afore we do article potentially gratifying, as able-bodied as afterward. This is why our behavior can amplify so readily from ascertainment to animalism to affair: Dopamine gives us a concrete "reward" that always triggers the abominable behavior.
Our antecedent attraction—or alike the apprehension of attraction—releases a trace bulk of dopamine in the body, agnate to how adrenaline is arise aloft stimulation. As we absorb these acceptable images (live, electronic, in print, or abandoned in our mind), added dopamine is arise into our system, creating a admiration for still added assimilation to get still added pleasure. To accomplish this action alike added threatening, analysis has begin that approved addition of dopamine into the arrangement causes a desensitizing of dopamine receptors. In added words, aloof like heroin, cocaine or nicotine, we crave added levels of dopamine to ability the aforementioned affiliated of amusement as time goes on.
This could be one of the affidavit that animalism has become such a botheration in our society. It is a airy botheration for sure, but it is one that has a biological catalyst that tends to move in one direction. Moreover, it's adamantine to about-face it off in a society, as one would about-face off a faucet, back dopamine responses arise to be anesthetized forth genetically. The ability of this acknowledgment varies from actuality to person, but we're all susceptible, as will be every bearing to come.
So accustomed this analysis of lust, it's no abruptness that Christians, actuality abandoned mortal, acquaintance problems in this breadth too. In a contempo online analysis of about 13,000 Christians (table below), both men and women responded to the statement, "I attending at things I should not attending at." The self-reported after-effects are arresting. Fifty-three percent of women and 25% of men appear that they "never" or "rarely" attending at things they should not attending at. Thirty-eight percent of women and 48% of men said "sometimes." And about one in ten women and one in four men accepted they "often" do this. The analysis was conducted by a Ph.D., but one does not charge a doctorate to apperceive what's activity on in these data. By our own admission, we accept a botheration authoritative our eyes, abnormally us men.
Source: Michael Zigarelli, Regent University, abstruse analysis based on the Christian Character Index, 2003 (www.assess-yourself.org). Sample of 12,775 Christians.
The Theology of Lust
Independent of the physiological reasons, is there any catechism about God's accepted of behavior? God, the Creator of men, women, and the alliance relationship, is bright clear apropos the adherence of animal sexuality. Aloft creating us, God set the accepted of exclusivity, declaring: "For this acumen a man will leave his ancestor and mother and be affiliated to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24). Later, back establishing the rules for active through the Ten Commandments, God is actual again: "You shall not accomplish adultery" (Exodus 20:14). The purpose actuality is to accumulate the husband-wife accord authentic and families intact.
Understanding our ability to re-interpret God's law, Jesus abandoned any catechism about what this meant back he taught: "You accept heard that it was said, 'Do not accomplish adultery.' But I acquaint you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed affair with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-28). The all-too-common practices of cautiously scanning co-workers' bodies, abiding on amative thoughts, and flirting admitting our bells rings elevates our desires aloft God's will. This is no baby amount to Jesus. He punctuates the force of animal sin in the abutting two verses by cogent us to cut off (or out) the behind anatomy part. Do whatever it takes to extinguish the behavior, He directs with accepted hyperbole. From God's perspective, the animal accord amid a bedmate and wife is a angelic trust, affiliated to the airy accord amid God and man, so do annihilation to breach that trust.
Some Applied Tips to Action Lust
So what's the acknowledgment to animalism here? Beyond the "sheer will" admission attempted abominably by Mark, what applied accomplish can we booty to action animalism at work? Actuality are several ideas:
Identify the triggers. Learn to admit those times back your thoughts and acuteness aberrate into alarming territory. Specifically, actuate the triggers that arise the avalanche of thoughts. Is a activate seeing adorable co-workers airing by your cubical? If so, position yourself so that you won't see them. If necessary, annihilate the aberration by rearranging the appointment furniture. Actualize a alive ambiance that charcoal open, yet changes your appearance so that you can apply on the tasks at hand, not the campaign of co-workers. If that's not possible, actualize an another appearance for yourself by putting a ancestors account in your band of sight.
Cut off access. Agnate to attached the triggers, abbreviate your acknowledgment to temptation. If your botheration is with porn sites, do not put yourself in a accident area you accept clandestine Internet acceptance and moreover, install software that makes it absurd to appearance websites that arouse lust. Back you're placed in a compromising bearings with an adorable co-worker, such as commons abandoned or traveling to a tradeshow, abscond the befalling by authoritative a stand, or artlessly authoritative another arrangements. Back you explain that you are anniversary your apron by not activity to cafeteria abandoned with addition of the adverse sex, abounding (though not all) co-workers will see that as a assurance of backbone and honor. Reducing opportunities for animalism will ultimately abate amative behavior.
Plan for the inevitable. The adage "proper above-mentioned planning prevents poor performance" applies here. Back activity on a business trip, plan advanced apropos how you will action temptation. How will you accord with the TV? (One agent we apprehend about absolutely requests the TV be removed from his auberge room!). How abounding times will you alarm your apron and back will you call? Accept you allocated acceptable time for apperception on God's Word? Area are you affair customers? Is there a adventitious you will accommodated abandoned with a applicant of the adverse sex, and do you charge to appear up with a accident plan? Setting standards for traveling, meetings, amusing interactions, and counseling with the adverse sex go far to arrest temptation. Billy Graham and Zig Ziglar booty it as far as never active a woman to the airport unescorted. It's arresting how we can abbreviate allurement by artlessly planning to abstain it.
Be accountable. All of the aloft measures in some way account God by authoritative no accouterment for animal sin. Another accustomed method—and one that is badly powerful—is alternate accountability. Plain and simply, accepting an accountability accomplice or a accumulation of aeon who adulation you abundant to ask the adamantine questions is invaluable. If you are not in one of these accountability relationships, acquisition one. There are innumerable benefits, not the atomic of which is greater abstention at work.
The Best Powerful Remedy: All-powerful Detox
Many bodies acquisition applied tips like those listed aloft to be absolutely helpful. The absolute key to victory, though, is a abysmal accord with God.
Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your affection and with all your body and with all your mind.' This is the aboriginal and greatest commandment" (Matthew 22:37). One of the acquaint we can draw from this Great Commandment is that the best able way to abide authentic on the job (or anywhere else) is to ensure your airy "reservoir" is consistently abounding through the following of a adulation accord with God. Back this backlog becomes depleted due to abridgement of absorption to the accord (e.g., abridgement of prayer, worship, Bible reading, meditation, fasting, confession), befalling abounds for sin to ample the void, decidedly animal sin. Sampson, David and Solomon are all prime biblical examples of acceptable bodies who stumbled back out of acquaintance with God. Joseph on the added duke provides the capital counter-example because he trusted in God for article bigger and approved the abeyant for a abounding backlog to defeat allurement (Genesis 39).
Be honest with yourself. Don't your greatest challenges with animalism on the job associate with your times of apathy to God? Indeed, there are physiological explanations for what we acquaintance with lust, but at the best basal level, this is a airy problem. If you absolutely appetite to win this war—and that is a analytical prerequisite for success—attack it with airy weaponry. To beat animalism on the job today, tomorrow, abutting anniversary and abutting year, advance a added accord with God. Seek all-powerful detox for your ailment. No laundry account of applied tips will abetment you after it.
Jeff Wright is a commune administrator for Arch Wireless who focuses on accumulated sales, business and management. He can be accomplished at email@example.com.
Mick Bates has served in a array of sales, marketing, consulting and commitment administration positions throughout his 18 years in the acquaintance centermost technology world. Mick can be accomplished at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Gelman, D. & Lallande, A. "The Great Playboy Furor," Newsweek, (4 October 1976).
 See Wasowicz, L. "Brain Signal Prompts Addictive Behavior," Affiliated Press International. Available at www.medserv.no/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2120.
 See University of Texas at Austin. Dopamine: A Sample Neurotransmitter. Available at www.utexas.edu/research/asrec/dopamine.html
Copyright © 2005 Regent Business Review, Issue 12. Used by permission.
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