Temptation or Lust?

I was watching a video of Youtube of someone on Youtube and my eyes wandered to a certain part of their body. I turned my eyes away fast but then my eyes drew themselves back in. I knew something was wrong about it and turned my eyes away again and closed down the Internet webpage. Is this me defeating the temptation by turning away from it or was I lusting. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and God Bless! :slight_smile:

This is the kind of thing that I think everybody – men especially – struggles with from time to time. It’s especially difficult these days, where people don’t tend to dress very modestly and the media seems to thrive on hyper-sexualizing everything.

I can’t know what is in your heart, but from what you describe it sounds like you fought the temptation and defeated it. Having the temptation isn’t sinful in-and-of itself, but you must avoid giving in or cooperating with the temptation. From what you describe I think you acted rightly.

Try not to be scrupulous. There is nothing sinful in finding somebody physically attractive, so long as it doesn’t cross into lust. You saw it was heading that way and got out of the situation promptly, which is exactly what you should do. You didn’t cooperate in the temptation, so you didn’t sin.

God bless you.

Some general info on temptation and consent…from another post i did that can help one in ones judgment:

The classic stages of temptation when we are tempted are:

  1. Suggestion (the evil is proposed to us in some way) this can be quite attractive …can be thoughts that happen, ideas etc.

  2. Pleasure (a kind of automatic pleasure can happen from the suggestion) this pleasure can just happen…one is not “trying to have it” not wanting it…this is just a reaction.

3…one either consents or does not consent.

(I would add that such can happen of course quickly…each thing and person is different…)

(one can either consent fully and thus engage in things willingly …or not consent and perhaps thus grow in virtue…following Christ!)

Now it can often happen that one begins to “partially consent” but then rejects it and thus does not give full consent.

When one is tempted…

Some signs that one lacked consent or gave only “partial consent”:

If even though there was some instinctive pleasure …we do not want it…we are unhappy or horrified about the evil…or struggle to not be overcome …we turn to God in Prayer --these are some signs of no consent (if of course we stay in this stage…and do not later consent)

(For example some thoughts come out of the blue just cause one happened to see an attractive person…and one does not want the thoughts but turns to God in Prayer or is horrified by them and turns to something else etc…no matter how much they come back…if one does not consent at all…there is no sin…but rather possibly growth in virtues)

If one hesitates for a moment but then does not want to sin and so rejects it and does not give full consent (thus a fault against prudence)

If one resists but the resistance is half hearted…one does resist but it is weak or slow…but in the end one rejects it…such would seem to be half consent and thus venial

Of course if one then gives in and gives full consent…then such can be mortal…remember…partial consent or half consent is not full consent…and thus not mortal.


of course too we are to avoid near occasions of sin (in particular to grave) …and seek to use reasonable custody of the senses etc…

All that you experienced was a physical attraction of the opposite sex. Its a normal reaction as a heterosexual male. This is the first stage of courtship, which is usually based on physical attraction. You did nothing wrong by looking.

Although, I can see where this looking would be a problem, if you see and imagine that person on youtube as just a sex object and nothing else. Also if you happen to be in a relationship, be it married, enaged or have a girlfriend and your “looking” ends up having a negative impact on your relationship by taking the place of the feelings that should be there for your partner.

as long as you are fighting it, then you are not sinning, keep that in mind,
in this case i think you defeated the temptation by looking away and turning it off, but if you want some helpful advice, a good way to gain strength over these temptations is to confess your temptation to them in the confessional.
and also, pray when you first realize a temptation, because it is by neglecting to seek Gods help that we fall into sin in the first place, and by neglecting to use the help He sends us.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.