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Journalist Discovers the Ugliness of Lust

For most of his career as a British journalist, Malcolm Muggeridge was a quarrelsome writer known for heavy drinking and smoking, womanizing, and espousing his agnostic viewpoint. But towards the end of his life he came to faith in Christ. But as a younger man who wrote a letter to his father and described an incident that revealed the sinful bent of his heart and the power of the flesh.

Just after graduating from Cambridge, Muggeridge moved to India to teach English. One day as he was strolling by a nearby river in the early evening, he spotted the silhouette of a woman bathing on the other side. Muggeridge later wrote that his heart began to race with what he called the "wild unreasonableness which is called passion." Overcome by lust, he plunged into the water and started crossing the river. As he approached the woman, he suddenly realized that she was a toothless, wrinkled, and deformed leper. He quickly threw himself back into the river and started swimming in the other direction.

Years later, Muggeridge admitted that the real shock that morning was not the leper, as mind-bending as that would be. Rather, it was the condition of his own heart, dark, with appetites overpowering his weak will. He wrote, "If only I could paint, I'd make a wonderful picture of a passionate boy running after that and call it: 'The lusts of the flesh.'"

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