Addicts all fantasize about whatever their “drug” is: alcohol, drugs, sex, etc. This mental laziness, when allowed to persist, takes the addict closer and closer to acting upon the fantasy. Walking past the bottle store “just to look”… Getting in touch with someone who I always used to get high with, “just for old time’s sake”… Making a “harmless” flirtatious comment to a stranger… And these kinds of accessory actions lead to loss of clean/sober time. The language of the “slippery slope” is sometimes an unhelpful scare tactic, but other times it is really that dangerous.
Someone recently mentioned having a prolonged fantasy – lasting about 20 seconds before they were jolted back to full consciousness and shut it off.
How many times can you say “yes” in 20 seconds?
Not with your mouth, but in your mind?
This need for urgent self-correction is what Jesus had in mind when he links anger with murder (Matthew 5:21-22), and lust with adultery (v. 27-28). His other words in the same context have equal relevance about urgency. Don’t wait until after worship to “go and be reconciled”, do it now (5:23-24); “settle matters quickly with your adversary” rather than put it off and risk losing big at court (v. 25-26); and deal swiftly, decisively and painfully with whatever causes you to sin (v. 29-30).
Fantasy cannot be given an inch.