Q9: Does the word lust properly apply only to bodily appetite?

By David Powlison 2007
from Chapter on “I Am Motivated When I Feel Desire” in “Seeing With New Eyes

9. Doesn’t the word lusts properly apply only to bodily appetites: the pleasures and comforts of sex, food, drink, rest, exercise, health?
People follow the desires of body and mind (see Eph. 2:3). Bodily appetites–the organism’s hedonistic instinct to feel good–are certainly powerful masters unto sin. But desires of the mind–for power, human approval, success, preeminence, wealth, self-righteousness, and so forth–are also potent masters. The desires of the mind often present the most subtle and deceitful lusts because the outworkings are not always obvious. They don’t reside in the body, but the Bible still views them as “lusts.”

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