The first couple took the gift of perfect community with God and sold it for a curse. From that day until now, and for every day until Jesus returns, we roam the earth, searching for anyone and anything to fill the God-shaped hole in us.
We long for community, and we long to be like God. We want omni-autonomy and omni-presence in our relationships. Omni-autonomy is our desire to be individuals, not bound by another, and wholly separate from others. We want to be like God. Omni-presence is our desire to be everywhere, not bound by place or time, and wholly accessible to others. We want to be like God.
Yet we are not omni-anything.
I had a friend who used to answer a common question in an uncommon way. He has since moved to another city, but his response has never left me. For a long time, when I would ask how he was, he gave a three-fold response:
“God is on his throne, everything is going his way, and he loves me.”
But while Jesus is targeting the person doing the looking, it’s worth noticing what he’s saying by implication about the person being seen. She is not to be looked at or even thought about lustfully. Again, Jesus is not solely concerned with physical boundaries, but mental ones. Clearly this warning applies to both sexes. But, given the prevalence of sexual assault by men against women, it is significant that the scenario describes a man looking lustfully at a woman. Jesus is saying that she is precious and valuable; she has sexual dignity, which should be honored by everyone else. This sexual dignity is so precious to Jesus that it must not be violated, even in the privacy of someone else’s mind.
Trevin Wax shares Lewis’ opinion piece for the Saturday Evening Post called “We Have No Right to Happiness.”