Invites readers to directly confront inappropriate sexual temptation, sharing the author's own struggles, identifying ways in which to identify lust, and offering suggestions on how to fight back. By the author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye.
Joshua Harris lived outside Washington, D.C., in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where he was a pastor at Covenant Life Church. His greatest passion was preaching the gospel and calling his generation to wholehearted devotion to God. Each January he lead a national conference for singles called New Attitude.
He since apostatised, divorced & became an LGBTQ+ advocate.
This book does a wonderful job of approaching sexual lust as not only a huge problem, but that of an even bigger problem: our rebellious heart that lusts after sin instead of God. The issue of sexual lust is an issue of holiness and whether or not one is growing in it. This book is written for both girls and guys, and it does a wonderful job of showing the similarities and differences in lustful struggles. I highly recommend this book for anyone to read.
There are many challenging statements that are made that really make you do some self-analysis and there are many statements that bring you to the Savior's cross in appreciation for taking your lustful sin upon his own body.
I copied and pasted the table of contents:
Part One: The Truth About Lust
1. Not Even a Hint: Why can't I seem to beat lust? 2. Sex is Not the Problem: Is it biology or is it a sin? 3. You Can't Save Yourself: Where can I find the power to change?
Part Two: In the Thick of the Battle
4. A Custom-Tailored Plan: Where am I weakest and what can I do? 5. Guys and Girls: How are we different, and how can we help each other? 6. Self-Centered Sex: How do I deal with masturbation? 7. Half a Poison Pill Won't Kill You: How do I cope with the temptations of media?
Part Three: Strategies for Long-Term Change
8. Lone Rangers Are Dead Rangers: Why is accountability so important? 9. The Power of a Promise: How can truth help me defeat the lies? 10. Holiness is a Harvest: How can I sow to the Spirit?
This book and its prequel have created a generation of christian teens who are uneducated in sex, and fear education in it. They are pretending they have chastity devices on until marriage, ignoring healthy urges to masturbate and look at the opposite sex. Guilt reigns their lives WHEN (not if) they slip up from these unreal expectations of themselves to ignore their biological sexual impulses. Abused wives, secretly masturbating husbands, repressed souls. A generation of christian children pretending they are not doing things they are. Not even a hint or drop of sexuality my arse.
This is a great book to learn what lust is really about and how to combat it in our lives. Lust is not just a male problem and does not just mean dealing with pornography. Joshua Harris lets us know that God does not want us to even have a hint of lust, whether it is having impure thoughts, reading romance novels, watching romantic comedies, staring at an attractive person, etc. if it does not honor God. It was surprising to find out that he as a pastor and a married man also struggles and needs accountability. I really liked the chapter about how guys and girls are different, pointing out how it is more of an emotional desire for intimacy for girls. Reading this book also lead me to realize what memorizing scriptures is so important to combat against Satan during times of temptation. Everyone should read it, because everyone struggles in some form or another whether we are humble enough to admit it or not.
Favorite Quote: "Throughout this book we've looked at many practical ways to avoid temptation. But we also have to know how to do battle when temptation has us in its grip. I want to teach you how to combat the lies of lust with the truth of God's Word. My goal is to do more than just suggest a few memory verses - I want to help you develop a conviction that Scripture is the only weapon that can successfully fight off lust." (Page 150)
Man, I don't know how I would've gotten through the last couple of months if it weren't for this book! Being a new believer to the christian faith, it is a real test to follow the path of Jesus Christ faithfully. And I have had to work really hard and gain my strength in this area a lot! This is one of the areas that I was struggling a lot in and this book gave me the confidence to believe in God in that he will give me the strength to overcome my lustful desires and provide for me.
A quick one! Really solid and so much wisdom and scripture imbedded into these pages.
Biggest takeaway was being encouraged to arm myself with God’s truth to combat lust specifically, but really any type of sin!! Great reminder and definitely a topic that needs to be more normalized in the church / Jesus-centered community.
No tengo palabras para describir este libro, realmente nunca escribo el review cuando leo algo pero creo que esta vez lo haré. A veces nosotros los cristianos tratamos de mantener una imagen delante de los demás de perfección y pensamos que somos los únicos luchando con algo, y que el resto del mundo no. Que dicha que Joshua y otras personas que han pasado - y pasan - por esto permita que sus historias se han contadas y lo que es mejor, como Dios los ha redimido y como los ha fortalecido en áreas que a veces creemos imposible. ¡Perfecta gracia! Y a veces ignoramos su poder perdonador y transformador.
Destry had loaned "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" to a couple friends from church who ended up buying all three of Joshua Harris's books. After reading Not Even A Hint: Guarding Your Heart Against Lust, they asked Destry if he wanted to read it because they thought it was really good.
I have to agree with them, it had some very good points and I've never read another book quite like it. Even though Destry read it before I did, I would recommend that parents read this book before handing to their teenager. Destry was good to come to us and ask questions or share thoughts, but it might have been nice to have had a little idea of what sorts of things were in the book to prepare me for those topics. :)
Overall, this book taught what lust is, what the Bible says about it, gives practical suggestions of how to live with purity and integrity, and most of all, it reminds us that we can't fight this battle alone. ("Even a good guideline for fighting lust, if it's carried out with man-made schemes, always ends in self-righteousness" 48.) We must rely on the Lord's power and grace and take advantage of the resources He has given us (parents, trusted mentor or friend) to hold us accountable and help us through times of temptation.
I appreciated his quote of John Piper's equation of lust: "Lust is a sexual desire minus honor and holiness" (38).
I also thought he had some good suggestions in his guideline for creating a custom-tailored plan for fighting lust:
1. List your own top three lust triggers. How can you avoid them? 2. What time of day or week are you most tempted by lust? What can you do to prepare for those times? 3. Which locations are the most tempting for you? How can you limit your time in these places? 4. What five little battles do you need to be fighting more faithfully? Describe in detail what it looks like for you to fight-and win-these battles. (pg. 74)
I think my two favorite parts of this book were the ways he 1) emphasized developing a community of accountability who will provoke you to live in holiness and integrity and 2) emphasized the power in the Word. "Your Bible is no lifeless book. It has power. When you read it, speak it, and memorize it, the Holy Spirit uses it against sin like an offensive weapon" (Heb. 4:12, II Tim. 3:16-17)(pg.150). He strongly encourages memorizing verses to help the reader battle temptations of lust, including Job 31:11-12, Romans 8:6, Gal. 6:7-8, Rom. 13:14, Matthew 5:29-30, II Tim. 2:22, Col. 3:5-6, Eph. 5:3, I Cor. 6:18-20, I Thes. 4:3-6, Prov. 6:25-27, Ps. 101:3, Rom. 14:12, James 1:15, Prov. 5:3-5, Prov. 5:8-11, Ps. 84:10-12, Ps. 16:11, Lam. 3:24-26, Prov. 19:23, Mt. 5:8, Ps. 11:7, Is. 33:17, Ps. 119:9-11
I very rarely award books 5 stars, but this was an exception. I only wish I had read it sooner. Unfortunately, I was thrown a bit by the creepy title and so let it sit on my shelf for over a year before picking it up (it was given to me by a friend. I don't think I would have bought it based on the title/cover). Joshua Harris offers a humble and honest perspective of the damaging effects of lust in our lives. And from what I have experienced in my own life at times and in watching my friends lives through the years, it is spot on. Lust is the cancer that sits just below the surface in a hidden place and corrodes us from the inside. Beginning with our confidence, it goes on to eat our consciences, our minds, our inhibitions, our integrity, our self-respect, our honesty, our prayer lives, our identity, and eventually our spirits. If it has completed it's job successfully, its victims are left as hollow shells of people, stumbling numbly toward the grave, any trace of their former joy and intimacy with God grotesquely cauterized at the roots, damaged beyond repair. This is lust.
Joshua Harris, best known for writing "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" , tackles the tough subject of lust in his third literary outing. Harris candidly writes about his personal struggles and also recounts stories and insights from others who have written letters to him.
The simplicity of his language and the organized chapter structure make for an easy read. In addition, the fact that he’s done his research is evidenced by the resources he quotes (C.S. Lewis, John Stott, Jerry Bridges and others.. astig tlga!!!!) and the practical advice he offers.
This particular message of hope is directed to everyone — male, female, married or single — who struggles with lust or any habitual sin. One part theology, two parts testimony and a generous dosage of biblical teaching, "Not Even a Hint" provides valuable guidance on the path toward holiness.
This is the best book I've read on dealing with lust and sexual sin. I highly recommend it. Josh Harris, author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye, deals transparently with the roots of lust and the real issues behind it. Then he equips the reader with the tools needed to fight it. The biggest problem we have in the fight for moral purity is that we've let the lies of the world influence our thinking. Josh helps us see where we've gone astray and realign with God. One other key point about this is that it is not just for men, but for women as well. We all battle it in different ways and Josh deals with it evenhandedly. Read it!
This is the best book on this topic I've read. It's honest and clear without going too far, it's biblical and gospel-centred, and it's very practical and helpful. Starts with an affirmation that "sex is not the problem (lust is)" -- which is the title of the new version of the book -- in a helpful reminder that sexuality is healthy and God given. Next is the simple message that our only hope of reaching God's high standard ("not even a hint of sexual immorality", Ephesians 5:3) is through grace and through God's power -- "we can't do it ourselves". Parts 2 and 3 follow up with realistic and practical advice.
This was really interesting and looked at the issue of desire in a whole new light. When dealing with physiological urges and whether we listen to them or not, I found this quite informative in distilling my thinking in what living holiness looks like and purity of mind and spirit. Very useful for having a language in pastoral discussions on issues which can be very difficult for people to express themselves.
Joshua Harris has done it. In "Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is)," Harris captures the lessons and essential truths that have taken me nearly eight years of searching, floundering, succeeding, messing up, and trying again, to figure out. If this book is taken to heart, it can spare many men and women a boat-load of trial and pain.
Harris begins by framing the discussion in chapters 1-3 before jumping into his practical advice. In chapter 1 he answers the question "Why can't we ever seem to beat lust?" by revealing how we have "the wrong standard for holiness, the wrong source for power to change, and the wrong motive for fighting our sin" (23). In chapter 2 he discusses how the sexual drive is a good creation of God, not the enemy, and how lust is the perversion of that drive. It is "an unholy desire for the forbidden... [and] the result is that lust can never be quenched" (41). In chapter 3, he lays the final foundation piece in discussing how lust will never be overcome by our own effort to follow a "legalistic set of guidelines" (50). Not only do our self-powered attempts displease God, but our hearts—where the real issue is—aren't changed. He contends that it is the "Holy Spirit who enables us to change, to resist sin, [and] to apply God's word to our lives" (56).
Harris goes on in chapters 4-7 to discuss very practical ways that we can address the issue of lust in our lives. He clarifies how we can keep from feeding our sin in the ways that we individually struggle to (chap. 4) and how guys and girls can better understand and help each other (chap. 5). In chapter 6, he pulls the curtain back on the issue of masturbation. He states that although "lust is a serious sin," we should not make masturbation the "primary barometer of our spiritual lives" (100). He goes on to discuss the destructive nature of masturbation because it is "built on a self-centered view of sex" (103). He still reiterates, however, that masturbation doesn't make people dirty, "it only reveals the dirt that's already in our hearts" (101). This backs up his assessment that the core issue is a heart issue—which only the Holy Spirit can help us to resolve. Chapter 7 is filled with eye-opening insights into how an "unhealthy media diet" can feed our lust and negatively affect our spiritual lives. He contends that no matter how much we study the Bible, pray, etc. we will "never move forward in holiness" if we are filling our minds with "lustful images and ungodly themes through entertainment" (116-117).
Harris' closes out the book with one, final section (chapters 8-10). In chapter 8, he emphasizes the need to face the battle against lust in a community of believers, stating that "lone rangers are dead rangers" (131) and giving insightful tips on what good accountability looks like. In chapter 9, he shows powerfully how the truth of scripture can combat the lies told by our sinful desires, referencing John Piper's statement that "the fire of lust's pleasures must be fought with the fire of God's pleasures" (159). In chapter 10, Harris closes the book with a practical discussion of how we can "sow seeds to the Spirit every day" (167) in order that we may, in time, have a "harvest of righteousness" in our lives (171).
This quote from Harris sums up the most important message of the book: "I don't think we should make overcoming lust our primary preoccupation—we need to make the gospel and God's glory our focus. We need to give ourselves to knowing Him, worshiping Him, and meeting with Him every day. The result will be the weakening of lust and a growing passion for godliness" (170).
The simplest and still one of them best books on the topic. Don't be put off by recognising the author as the 'I kissed dating goodbye' guy. This is actually a simple, gospel centred book on struggling Witt sexual immorality with heaps of practical advice for both male and female. I've been reading it with people for 10 years and it's always been greatly helpful in spurring on our conversations, prayers and accountability.
*(I read the title "Not Even a Hint", but am reviewing this title because the book was quickly retitled, with the same pagination and everything from what I can tell)*
This was probably the most practical and helpful book on lust I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and easily give it 5 stars. He is clear, encouraging, biblical, convicting, theological, and very practical.
In the first three chapters (Part 2) he talks more about the theology of lust and finding the path of freedom between legalism and indulgence. This was helpful, but not the best part of the book.
Parts 2 and 3 are where he shows his practical and theological wisdom. In chapter 4, which was my favorite chapter, he goes very detailedly through different triggers for lust, encouraging each person to come up with a detailed realization of where, when, and how they struggle, and to make a custom plan to stop it. His insights here were very helpful and practical.
Another great chapter was chapter 7 in which he talked about the temptation to think that a little bit won't hurt. He talks about it especially in reference to things like media. This was very convicting and he spoke well on the issue.
Then in chapter 9, he talks about the necessity to fight these internal passions and arguments with the Word. But what was especially helpful here is that he didn't just give a list of Bible verses, but he provided Bible verses which combat specific lies that we feel when tempted with lust. I loved this. I will memorize many of them.
Then in chapter 10 he has this great (biblical) idea about holiness being a harvest. Meaning, what we sow has great results--either for the flesh or for holiness. This is a good last chapter because he shows that these seemingly little decisions not to look at women, or these seemingly small decisions to read and pray, have massive results. They make us who we are. I enjoyed this idea and it gives more reason to pursue God and not give into small (or big) lust.
Besides all this, he has a pretty good chapter on masturbation; he I think generally tells the difference for lust for men and women; and he has a good chapter on accountability.
Overall, it was an excellent read. It was easy to read (I like his writing). He was a vulnerable author, who, although a prominent leader and pastor, was very open and honest about his struggle. This helped his points out even more. And his provided a lot of theological and practical wisdom. I would recommend this to literally anyone.
This is a very good short, readable, gospel-centered, and practical book on this subject. Josh Harris' tone throughout the book is hope giving.
In the first three chapters he lays the foundation for the application section of the book. Chapter 3 entitled "You Can't Save Yourself: Where Can I Find the Power to Change? was worth the price of the book. It is the kind of chapter that I would give to someone to read even if they were not struggling with this specific sin, but were needing hope and reorientation in their fight against any sin.
In the application section of the book he does a good job addressing both male and female struggles in this area. Even in chapters that he addresses awkward topics such as chapter 6 "Self-Centered Sex" he does a great job at getting past the awkwardness and speaks with clarity and biblical wisdom. I found that chapter 7 "Half a Poison Pill Won't Kill You: How Do I Cope with the Temptations of Media? to be a refreshing look at the dangers of the mindless entertainment mindset that Christians often have today. His emphasis on accountability and a daily growing walk with Christ in the Word and prayer were spot-on.
No doubt there are books out there that go into more detail that focus in on more specific struggles within the broad category of lust, but this is a great global treatment of the issue. I highly recommend it.
I've read many books similar to Josh Harris' take on sexual purity over the years, starting when I was in high school. I only wish I had had this in my back pocket then.
Josh provides lots of relevant, practical steps to guard our minds and hearts in Christ Jesus, while not being fooled by the cunning draw of impurity, be it pornography, masturbation (yes, he uses that word), or fooling around with someone not our spouse.
Something else I appreciated is his reluctance to label this a "male" problem. Very often, I think guys (to a degree, rightfully-so) get labeled as sex-crazed, deranged, savage, inhuman monsters who simply cannot control themselves. That's probably true, but it's tiresome when that's the label you grow up under amidst the calls for purity from your youth pastor, books you read, friends, etc. He extends the invitation in this book to girls/women who struggle with sexual sin as well, albeit in very different ways. I have no idea what these battles look like for the opposite sex, but I can't imagine we (men) are fully alone.
All in all, I strongly recommend the book. There are MANY books out there on this subject, but this is definitely one of the better ones. Thank you, Josh, for making such a difficult and shameful topic accessible and [practical, with truth and relevant steps for us to fix our eyes on Jesus as we are sanctified towards true purity.
I think a lot of people from my generation will dislike this book. Holiness and sex just seem antithetical. Yet, I was thinking recently that a lot of paganism in ancient times revolved around sexuality; a lot of ancient pagan religion made sex the mode of worship. We can read about the "spirituality of sexuality" in various places regarding the worship of cerain pagan gods or goddesses, like Diana, Aphrodite, and Ashera. In fact, the "Ashera poles" were possibly phallic symbols. So the question arises: how come Yhweh was so against all this sexual autonomy? I think Josh gives part of the answer, really. IF the theistic God is really there, sex belongs to God. As self-worship it destroys men and women. I am a saint because of Christ, but a pretty sorry one otherwise. I just think Josh's message is pretty humble and right-on in this book, and it sure helped me. When you're right, your'e right. And the King's right: "Whoever sins is a slave to sin..." Lust IS slavery; this I know. But there's a better way.
I thought this was a very well written , un-intimidating look at the sin of lust. The author spoke about this problem without giving inappropriate descriptions. I think it would be good for people to read this wether they think they have a problem with lust or not . I think that the principles in here can be used towards any unhealthy activity that comes between us and the Lord. Wether it be an addiction, Food , television or money. He talked about how Lust is a greed problem and how god made sexuality, and lust is the devils perversion of it. I loved how he talked about scripture meditation , what we allow our selves to watch and the effects that has on us. I also liked how he talked about trying to do things on your own power without the Lords help. He said " No matter how righteous we can act we will never be Holy until we embrace Christ and he sacrifice. "
Excellent! Harris gives practical and godly advices for those who are struggling with lustful temptation. I am not struggling with lustful problem but I decided to read this book because it can help me understand how to be accountable to those who do. Harris' books are very inspirational to me!
-No one should be ashamed to want to marry young and enjoy the wife (or husband) of their youth. Marriage is GREAT.
-Keep His Word always before you. Hide it in your heart. It will keep you close to Him and far from sin. Glory in God's promises. They're so much better than anything lust can offer.
-Remember, God doesn't call you to sacrifice as an end in itself. He calls you through it. On the other side of sacrifice is unspeakable beauty and indescribable joy. It's not easy, but it's worth every minute. Sop welcome to the persevering fight. Welcome to the mystery of dying to yourself and finding real life. Welcome to the pleasure and freedom of holiness.
Pretty good book. It has most of the same contents I've found in similar books, BUT.. .the major difference is that he clearly stresses that victory is NOT about just having a better plan or a formula -- it's about getting God's help and trusting God.
However, this theme seems to get somewhat lost in the latter pages of this book (with calls to shore up your plans, etc.) But the heart and focus in in the (general) right place.
Still, I think Kris Vallotton of Bethel Church (Redding, CA), put it best when he said "My yes to God must be louder than my yes to anything else." Meaning, I must have so much value and love and devotion and passion for God that anything else just looks like a waste. And there, I think, is the true heart to victory -- having out love and passion and devotion for God being far bigger than everything else, so that the "everything else" doesn't even seem appealing!
I've heard that short stories "begin when you put the book down". I find that to be true with Christian books as well. They may be good or otherwise while reading, but their real impact will only be visible in the life change that they begin. Anyway, Josh Harris has a lighthearted, comfortable writing style that I like a lot. He aslo goes right at the tough issues without being gross or squeamish. Very good book: definately the most insightful look at lust per se I've ever seen, and comes with some of the best strategies for fighting lust I've heard yet. Now comes the hard part, i.e. doing them. One of the most fun lyrics I've heard come out of rap ever came from a Christian artist whose name I forget. He said "my man is like the sixers, gon' put the answer to practice." It's a little dated now, but still good. Anyway, that's what I need to do.
I did not like the book because there were explanations and teachings that were inaccurate to Catholic knowledge; maybe because it was written by a Christian author. Anyway, not that I am being biased but it just confused me now with my knowledge with the teachings I already know and I regret reading it. I wasted my money on buying the book because it just made me doubt the teachings I already know especially when the author said, "Jesus was completely human and that He also had sexual urges and desires." I surely disagree with this because I was taught that He wasn't completely human. Moreover, verses from the Bible are translated and explained LITERALLY and that is one thing I also didn't like about the book although it does help one to be in knowledge about lust being a sin.
I was recently convincted once again of my own sinful nature of the past few years and decided to revisit this book again even as I renewed my own personal efforts in my struggles.
I've always enjoyed Harris' writings which I believe are filled with Biblically-convicting truths - that our sinful nature is the true cause and relying on our own strengths will get us no where. Harris writes with pleadfulness, understanding and never condemning. He lays out the principles that believers need to understand, and also some practical steps that can be taken in this area of struggle.
This book serves as a great counterpoint and reminder againts our present world where sexuality is rampant and unrestrained, and that we all need God's grace and strength against it.
I love how this book talks about the thought process of lust. I think that a lot of people believe they are ok because they haven't done anything wrong physically,but it's the mind that leads them to wrongful actions and thinking about something wrong or doing something wrong is a sin. We need to protect our minds and what we put into them through our eyes and ears. The author talks about what kinds of movies we should avoid, as well as other precautions we can take to have a more pure mindset and lifestyle. He also emphasizes that taking these precautions isn't just a list of to-don'ts but rather a freeing up of ourselves so that we can experience what is truly good, what we really want and yet try and fail to find in lustful pleasures.
I was hesitant to read this, as most Joshua Harris books I've read come down to legalism and I always felt like the readers who mostly follow him are people afraid to have any freedom in Christ. This book, for the most part, was a refreshing change. While I still feel like it had a lot more of his ideas and experiences rather than the bibles, it was very well put together and had some important truths about lust and any other sin really, and gave many great tactics as to how to battle lust, making the claim again and again that ultimately only Christ can free us from lust, as well as any other sin. In the few final chapters it did take a turn to a bit more legalism, but overall, it was a good read.
I absolutely loved this book. If you're a Christian (male or female) and struggle with lust I think it is imperative that you read this! I honestly wish I would have read this to grasp a better understanding of the topic of lust way earlier, I hope parents of teens encourage their children to read this book!
Joshua Harris does an amazing job of addressing male and female struggles throughout the book. He gives honest and truthful examples and opinions from not only himself, but other struggling Christians as well. I love that Joshua uses scripture throughout the book to keep the focus on defeating lust to serve our Lord. The Lord does not want us to stumble, he wants to encourage us to overcome our struggles through Him! All in all, the book is amazing. Give it a chance and read it!