Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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What is the difference between love and lust?

The Book of Esther reveals the two sides of one man who operated in lust at first; but then learned love. Notice how King Ahasuerus was driven by lust when he requested of Vashti, the queen, to parade her beauty before the drunken crowd. When she refused this exploitation, he dethroned her. However, although Queen Esther was even more beautiful, he recognized her virtues and honored her: "The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. Then the king made a great feast, the Feast of Esther, for all his officials and servants; and he proclaimed a holiday in the provinces and gave gifts according to the generosity of a king" (Esther 2:17,18). Also read 1 Corinthians 13:4-13. If you line up all the definitions of what love is and what love does, you can write alongside the opposite which is lust: Love gives but lust takes; Love empowers but lust exploits.
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