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Author Topic: Leading others into temptation  (Read 2652 times) Average Rating: 0
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zebu
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« on: October 26, 2008, 01:27:33 AM »

Something happened tonight that made me think about to what extent we are responsible for other people's sins.  I was walking home from Vigil with a friend, and a good-looking man with nice clothes was walking towards us and looked me up and down and smiled and kind of winked at me. I didn't actually notice this until a few steps later when my friend commented that he was "checking me out". My first reaction was to feel very dirty, and like I had led someone into temptation.  I suppose this same thing has happened before many times, but I have just never thought about it. Am I responsible for causing him to lust? Is it wrong to wear nice clothes and to care about our appearances?

Now, I can see how obviously, it would be a sin if when choosing what to wear and getting ready in the morning, I had the intent of making other people lust. However, while that really wasn't my intent this morning or other mornings, I do think about how I want to look nice, how I want to be "attractive", but not necessarily in a lustfull way....

Any thoughts? How do other people out there feel when people turn them into objects of lust? Is it my fault?
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Myrrh23
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2008, 01:37:27 AM »

Zebu, if you were wearing clothes that are deemed appropriate for Liturgy, I don't see how it's your fault that this happened. Maybe he wasn't checking you out, but making fun of you for not dressing like you belong in Sex and the City, which a lot of people do nowadays, or maybe not. What do people at your church say about the way you dress, especially your Spiritual Father? Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2008, 01:40:38 AM »

I don't think there is anything wrong with making an effort to look neat, clean, professional, presentable, etc.  That's different from trying to dress in a way so as to make others notice you in an improper way.  If you weren't dressed improperly, the guy's behavior is his problem, not yours.
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zebu
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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2008, 01:46:38 AM »

Zebu, if you were wearing clothes that are deemed appropriate for Liturgy, I don't see how it's your fault that this happened. Maybe he wasn't checking you out, but making fun of you for not dressing like you belong in Sex and the City, which a lot of people do nowadays, or maybe not. What do people at your church say about the way you dress, especially your Spiritual Father? Smiley
Well...this introduces another part of the equation that may change things: So I definitely was not dressed in revealing clothes or anything like that, but in general I tend to wear very expensive and somewhat flashy clothes.  At church people think that I have a penchant for fashion and expensive things. My spiritual father thinks that I am too concerned with clothing and that I spend way too much on my clothes. So yeah....
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2008, 01:47:58 AM »

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« Last Edit: October 26, 2008, 02:02:57 AM by SolEX01 » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2008, 01:50:36 AM »

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Myrrh23
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2008, 02:21:48 AM »

Zebu, if you were wearing clothes that are deemed appropriate for Liturgy, I don't see how it's your fault that this happened. Maybe he wasn't checking you out, but making fun of you for not dressing like you belong in Sex and the City, which a lot of people do nowadays, or maybe not. What do people at your church say about the way you dress, especially your Spiritual Father? Smiley
Well...this introduces another part of the equation that may change things: So I definitely was not dressed in revealing clothes or anything like that, but in general I tend to wear very expensive and somewhat flashy clothes.  At church people think that I have a penchant for fashion and expensive things. My spiritual father thinks that I am too concerned with clothing and that I spend way too much on my clothes. So yeah....

I understand that. Many of the kurtis that I'm interested in might considered flashy, though I have yet to buy them. Maybe this guy should just has a problem thinking before acting.

http://www.indianselections.com/product/KURTI_03_A/Black_elaborate_floral_embroidery_kurti_womens_top_FREE_SHIP.html

http://www.indianselections.com/product/KURTI_19_A/Cream_kurti_womens_tops_from_India__FREE_SHIPPING.html

« Last Edit: October 26, 2008, 02:23:55 AM by Myrrh23 » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2008, 02:23:04 AM »

Well...this introduces another part of the equation that may change things: So I definitely was not dressed in revealing clothes or anything like that, but in general I tend to wear very expensive and somewhat flashy clothes.  At church people think that I have a penchant for fashion and expensive things. My spiritual father thinks that I am too concerned with clothing and that I spend way too much on my clothes. So yeah....

This might be what you have to work on.

25 years and nine bodies ago, I was not that bad looking.  (Now I'm pretty scary.)  Back then, I didn't have the money to buy expensive clothes, but I still made a point of buying clothes that would turn heads.  I wasn't necessarily immodest, but I was definitely vain.  Since then, I've gone through phases where I have made myself downright dowdy, thinking that was how a Christian should dress.  However, I don't think that is right either.

I don't know exactly what to tell you.  I think there is a balance we all need to find.  Vanity is bad, but we also don't need to turn ourselves into someone that those people from "What Not To Wear" would want to reform.  You may want to make an effort to dress down a bit.  Think of it as a form of spiritual growth, a way of denying yourself.  Please don't think I'm judging you.  I'm not in a position to judge.  I still have plenty of vanity and other problems to deal with.  Pray for me.  
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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2008, 02:27:01 AM »

Well...this introduces another part of the equation that may change things: So I definitely was not dressed in revealing clothes or anything like that, but in general I tend to wear very expensive and somewhat flashy clothes.  At church people think that I have a penchant for fashion and expensive things. My spiritual father thinks that I am too concerned with clothing and that I spend way too much on my clothes. So yeah....

This might be what you have to work on.

25 years and nine bodies ago, I was not that bad looking.  (Now I'm pretty scary.)  Back then, I didn't have the money to buy expensive clothes, but I still made a point of buying clothes that would turn heads.  I wasn't necessarily immodest, but I was definitely vain.  Since then, I've gone through phases where I have made myself downright dowdy, thinking that was how a Christian should dress.  However, I don't think that is right either.

I don't know exactly what to tell you.  I think there is a balance we all need to find.  Vanity is bad, but we also don't need to turn ourselves into someone that those people from "What Not To Wear" would want to reform.  You may want to make an effort to dress down a bit.  Think of it as a form of spiritual growth, a way of denying yourself.  Please don't think I'm judging you.  I'm not in a position to judge.  I still have plenty of vanity and other problems to deal with.  Pray for me.  

Here is a good podcast on this:
http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/podup/kwtailor/wear_your_best_for_jesus
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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2008, 08:30:49 AM »

Well...this introduces another part of the equation that may change things: So I definitely was not dressed in revealing clothes or anything like that, but in general I tend to wear very expensive and somewhat flashy clothes.  At church people think that I have a penchant for fashion and expensive things. My spiritual father thinks that I am too concerned with clothing and that I spend way too much on my clothes. So yeah....

This might be what you have to work on....

I don't know exactly what to tell you.  I think there is a balance we all need to find.  Vanity is bad, but we also don't need to turn ourselves into someone that those people from "What Not To Wear" would want to reform.  You may want to make an effort to dress down a bit.  Think of it as a form of spiritual growth, a way of denying yourself.   

Excellent advice, Salpy!

And, may I point out that the Advent Lent is approaching? Working on clothing selections as part of a person's spiritual exercise program for Advent would be a worthy endeavor!
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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2008, 09:48:33 AM »

Something happened tonight that made me think about to what extent we are responsible for other people's sins.  I was walking home from Vigil with a friend, and a good-looking man with nice clothes was walking towards us and looked me up and down and smiled and kind of winked at me. I didn't actually notice this until a few steps later when my friend commented that he was "checking me out". My first reaction was to feel very dirty, and like I had led someone into temptation.  I suppose this same thing has happened before many times, but I have just never thought about it. Am I responsible for causing him to lust? Is it wrong to wear nice clothes and to care about our appearances?

Now, I can see how obviously, it would be a sin if when choosing what to wear and getting ready in the morning, I had the intent of making other people lust. However, while that really wasn't my intent this morning or other mornings, I do think about how I want to look nice, how I want to be "attractive", but not necessarily in a lustfull way....

Any thoughts? How do other people out there feel when people turn them into objects of lust? Is it my fault?

I have thought about that too, especially as someones who does dress to look nice. However, and it may be naïve of me to say so, admiring is not always the same as lusting, and thinking we know what another person is thinking as well as thinking it may be worse than it actually is, makes us possibly have a "dirtier" mind than they do. We should be careful about that as well.
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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2008, 01:02:52 PM »

admiring is not always the same as lusting
I agree. You can admire the bottle without drinking the wine!
Physical beauty has it's place too, and is created by God. It's the abuse of it that is the problem. One can admire beauty in another without wanting to possess them or treat them as an object. We just have to remember that physical beauty is only exterior. The reality is that our skin is simply a sack holding together a gory pile of blood, mucous, excrement, bile, meat etc. The other fact to remember is that apart from a person's eyes, everything else you can see is actually dead tissue. The cutaneous layer of the skin is actually dead cells, the hair and nails are also a dead byproduct of cells. The only living tissue you can see are the eyes.
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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2008, 10:51:51 PM »

Something happened tonight that made me think about to what extent we are responsible for other people's sins.  I was walking home from Vigil with a friend, and a good-looking man with nice clothes was walking towards us and looked me up and down and smiled and kind of winked at me. I didn't actually notice this until a few steps later when my friend commented that he was "checking me out". My first reaction was to feel very dirty, and like I had led someone into temptation.  I suppose this same thing has happened before many times, but I have just never thought about it. Am I responsible for causing him to lust? Is it wrong to wear nice clothes and to care about our appearances?

Now, I can see how obviously, it would be a sin if when choosing what to wear and getting ready in the morning, I had the intent of making other people lust. However, while that really wasn't my intent this morning or other mornings, I do think about how I want to look nice, how I want to be "attractive", but not necessarily in a lustfull way....

Any thoughts? How do other people out there feel when people turn them into objects of lust? Is it my fault?
A few things immediately jumped out when I read this and my response is obviously just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth. 

First, I don't think we can be completely responsible for others' sins.  Sounds akin to the excuse 'the devil made me do it'.  I guess there could be a few instances where we might share in the blame but there must be personal accountability also.  It strikes me as very odd to say we had little choice in our actions.  Of course, I could be wrong.

Second, there's been a few times when some dude has smiled at me in flirting manner but trust me (surely you already know this?), one look and they immediately understand you're not interested.  You noted that the man was 'good-looking' and that he 'kind of' winked at you.  I realize that you may not have been completely cognizant of his actions until your friend pointed them out, but are you sure you didn't send signals to him as well?  No need to respond; just something I noticed.
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2008, 11:03:55 PM »


Well...this introduces another part of the equation that may change things: So I definitely was not dressed in revealing clothes or anything like that, but in general I tend to wear very expensive and somewhat flashy clothes.  At church people think that I have a penchant for fashion and expensive things. My spiritual father thinks that I am too concerned with clothing and that I spend way too much on my clothes. So yeah....
[/quote]

Do you need to dress fashionably for work? If so, I don't think you need to buy another wardrobe to wear to church. Maybe you can work on keeping an eye on sales so as not to spend so much.

There is a high end men's store that periodically has excellent sales. I am careful to watch and wait for them and so I get to wear some things that are nicer than I normally would because I am getting Brooks Brothers quality for Kohl's prices.
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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2008, 11:13:37 PM »

Well, I don't know about your church, but at my parish, we have this sort of unspoken rule that one dresses discretely, modestly,humbly, for the divine services, so as not to be a source of temptation and not to draw attention to oneself, but rather to ensure God gets all the glory. For this reason, the women all cover their heads well for the divine services and often wear a jacket or sweater and long sleeves and long skirts. All the churchly men as well appear to dress quietly, modestly, for services. I have rarely noticed anything otherwise, and thankfully one thing our parish is blessed with is good order. At times, as a woman, I do find myself distracted by what some woman is wearing if it is immodest or flashy(we stand in segregation, so for this reason I notice the women more, I think). This is a good chance for me to try not to judge, to avert my gaze, and to focus my heart on worship and prayer rather than other things.
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« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2008, 11:15:55 PM »

Second, there's been a few times when some dude has smiled at me in flirting manner but trust me (surely you already know this?), one look and they immediately understand you're not interested.

LMAO! laugh I can just imagine you giving some kind of look to make Mike Tyson proud! laugh
« Last Edit: October 26, 2008, 11:16:49 PM by Myrrh23 » Logged

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We all have a Black Dog and a White Dog inside of us. The One you feed the most eventually eats the Other.

All are tempted, but it is the courageous person who clings to God during the storm. For the Ego is a prison, but Christ is the Liberator
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« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2008, 11:31:36 PM »

Wink
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« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2008, 11:48:32 PM »

Fwiw, the Bible does talk about leading others astray. I'm posting these not to judge anyone (certainly not!), but just for consideration...

"I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died... Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak." - Rom. 14:14-15, 20-21

"But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble." - 1 Cor. 8:9-13
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