Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Curiosity - Genesis 1:20-25

In today’s Bible study, we fight porn by surrendering our curiosity to God’s original design, in the sixth installment of our series Origins. 

Photo: c. bowley
And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky." So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth." And there was evening, and there was morning--the fifth day.
And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:20-25

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֔ים יִשְׁרְצ֣וּ הַמַּ֔יִם שֶׁ֖רֶץ נֶ֣פֶשׁ חַיָּ֑ה וְעוֹף֙ יְעוֹפֵ֣ף עַל־הָאָ֔רֶץ עַל־פְּנֵ֖י רְקִ֥יעַ הַשָּׁמָֽיִם׃ וַיִּבְרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֔ים אֶת־הַתַּנִּינִ֖ם הַגְּדֹלִ֑ים וְאֵ֣ת כָּל־נֶ֣פֶשׁ הַֽחַיָּ֣ה ׀ הָֽרֹמֶ֡שֶׂת אֲשֶׁר֩ שָׁרְצ֨וּ הַמַּ֜יִם לְמִֽינֵהֶ֗ם וְאֵ֨ת כָּל־ע֤וֹף כָּנָף֙ לְמִינֵ֔הוּ וַיַּ֥רְא אֱלֹהִ֖ים כִּי־טֽוֹב׃ וַיְבָ֧רֶךְ אֹתָ֛ם אֱלֹהִ֖ים לֵאמֹ֑ר פְּר֣וּ וּרְב֗וּ וּמִלְא֤וּ אֶת־הַמַּ֨יִם֙ בַּיַּמִּ֔ים וְהָע֖וֹף יִ֥רֶב בָּאָֽרֶץ׃ וַֽיְהִי־עֶ֥רֶב וַֽיְהִי־בֹ֖קֶר י֥וֹם חֲמִישִֽׁי׃ פ
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֗ים תּוֹצֵ֨א הָאָ֜רֶץ נֶ֤פֶשׁ חַיָּה֙ לְמִינָ֔הּ בְּהֵמָ֥ה וָרֶ֛מֶשׂ וְחַֽיְתוֹ־אֶ֖רֶץ לְמִינָ֑הּ וַֽיְהִי־כֵֽן׃ וַיַּ֣עַשׂ אֱלֹהִים֩ אֶת־חַיַּ֨ת הָאָ֜רֶץ לְמִינָ֗הּ וְאֶת־הַבְּהֵמָה֙ לְמִינָ֔הּ וְאֵ֛ת כָּל־רֶ֥מֶשׂ הָֽאֲדָמָ֖ה לְמִינֵ֑הוּ וַיַּ֥רְא אֱלֹהִ֖ים כִּי־טֽוֹב׃

So many different living creatures inhabit this planet! Who is not amazed by the different animals found in nature? Why can zoos exist? Because of one reason: our never-ending curiosity.

God designed people with a boundless sense of curiosity. “What is that? How does it work? Where is it from? How does it taste?” One of the ways God chose to keep us entertained is with the incredible amount of variety in His creation. Technology has made it possible for that curiosity to go even further as we explore the deep seas and tiny microbes. Who doesn’t want to watch a cheetah running in slow motion??

Curiosity is a healthy and even essential element of human existence. It has led to all kinds of discoveries and inventions for our human betterment. We are proud of learning and discovering new things, and compare ourselves to others based on these things. For example, a university’s prestige is measured by how much new research it has contributed to a given field.

Our God-given curious minds were meant to be used for human betterment and for God’s glory.

However, for me, curiosity became a drive for my porn addiction. What God meant for good and for enjoyment, the enemy of my soul used for my detriment and my enslavement.

Pornography opens the door to curiosity about different body types, skin colors, sizes, positions, etc. and etc. Anything you can imagine can be found in the dark world of porn, where nothing restrains the hidden darkness of human hearts. But at what cost?

Children are curious about many things that might hurt them. They want to see, touch, feel, taste. A child must be taught not to reach out his hands toward fire, so that he won't be badly scarred for the rest of his life.

We have an inner compass, given by God, that knows intuitively that self-sacrifice is more honorable than selfishness. In addition, we learn in society that self-restraint is necessary for respectful and positive human interaction.

Slowly but surely, porn teaches us to unleash the selfishness in our minds, as if the entire world were meant to serve me. Our God-given curiosity turns into a selfish, me-focused loveless lust. Slowly, pornography breaks down our healthy internal restraints, until we begin to wonder "what would it be like to do it?"

Dr. Victor Cline describes a four step process in which a person:
  1. becomes addicted to the images
  2. gains an increased appetite for those images
  3. is desensitized
  4. acts out the images
Little by little, our curiosity will no longer be satisfied by only seeing. This leads to abuse of others around us, involvement in prostitution, or much worse.

Curiosity is a gift from God, but it can be twisted, exploited, hijacked by the porn industry, by the devil, and by my own evil desires.

But, God has set healthy ways to satisfy curiosity. Within the context of marriage, anything that is mutually enjoyable and mutually agreed upon can be an expression of love. Within those boundaries, with healthy communication, our curiosity can truly be explored and satisfied.

However, any sexual curiosity outside of marriage will inevitably lead to our own desensitization and degradation, and bring harm to the enjoyment available inside of marriage. So, will I surrender my sexual curiosity to God, and confine it to the boundaries He set for me in the Bible? Will I commit myself to a life of healthy sexual curiosity, accompanied by the the lifetime commitment of marriage?

When God gave us the gift of curiosity, He also gave us healthy ways to satisfy it. Pornography is not one of those ways.

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