In preparation for a sermon on lust, temptation, and sexual immorality, I reread Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is) by Joshua Harris.  While I read this book while I was in college, I was amazed at how much his teaching had influenced the way I personally handled and taught on these issues.  While I couldn’t directly quote from the book, its teaching impacted me greatly.

It is THE book that I recommend on lust and sexual temptation because he handles it in light of the gospel but practically without taking your mind in the gutter.

Many resources can actually fill the mind with thoughts rather than eliminate those thoughts.

Favorite Quotes

  1. Lust is craving sexually what God has forbidden (20).
  2. God wants you to embrace your sexuality.  And battling lust is part of how you do that (42).
  3. Only the power of the gospel can rescue us from the prison of our sin, and only the motive of grace can sustain us in the ongoing struggle against lust (47).
  4. I’ve found that certain seemingly insignificant sinful compromises can build up in my system (64).
  5. There’s a difference between dressing attractively and dressing to attract (92).
  6. God has given us marriage not merely as a concession, but a provision for our sexual desires (112).
  7. We can’t speak to our culture or help rescue others from the darkness if we’ve allowed it to shape our thinking and values (124).
  8. Our enemy goes after people who have isolated themselves from other Christians (133).
  9. Since lust can attack you at any time or place, you should be prepared wherever you are to fight back with Scripture (158).
  10. I don’t think we should make overcoming lust our primary preoccupation – we need to make the gospel and God’s glory our focus (169).

Book Overview

Lust isn’t just a guy problem – it’s a human problem. And unless we honestly confront it, lust will destroy our relationships and our lives. Joshua Harris, author of the runaway bestseller I Kissed Dating Goodbye, calls a generation bombarded with images of sexual sin back to the freedom and joy of holiness. This “PG-rated” book – straightforward without being graphic – speaks to those entrenched in lust or just flirting with temptation. Honestly sharing his own struggles, Harris exposes lust’s tactics and helps readers create a personal plan for fighting back. Men and women will find hope in God’s grace and learn the secrets to lasting change.

Neither sex nor sexuality is our enemy. We need to rescue our sexuality from lust so we can experience it as God intended.

Bestselling author Joshua Harris shows you how lust deceives you. Specific and honest without being graphic, this book–for both men and women–will guide you in creating a custom plan for fighting lust and celebrating purity.

Praise for Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is)

“For your joy and Christ’s honor, I commend this book to you. It is realistic, practical, and hope-giving.”
-John Piper, pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis

“A beautiful blend of grace and truth. Joshua Harris raises high standards of holiness while carefully avoiding legalism. I highly recommend it.”
-Randy Alcorn , bestselling author of The Treasure Principle and The Purity Principle

“I am very encouraged that my longtime friend Josh Harris has written a book about lust. May God use this book to keep many from allowing their minds to become ‘the devil’s playground.’”
-Rebecca St. James, singer/songwriter

Story Behind the Book

“I was preparing a message on lust when I realized that the book I wanted to consult hadn’t been written. That book would make it clear that only Jesus Christ can free us from the hopeless treadmill of shame and guilt that so many well-intentioned people end up on. It would instill a love for holiness and a hatred for sin without dragging the reader’s imagination through the gutter. And it would be for both men and women, because I’ve learned that lust isn’t just a guy problem–it’ s a human problem.”
–Joshua Harris

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.