God created us with the capacity to desire.  Can you imagine what life would be like if you suddenly lost your ability to desire anything?  It would make life unbearable. 

Many of our desires are, in fact, very good.  I desire God.  I desire to live.  I desire to be with my lovely spouse.  I desire to be a good parent.  Some of my desires, however, are wrong and sinful.  I sometimes desire to be admired and praised.  I sometimes desire to see others fail, especially people who do not like me.  I sometimes desire to be rich because I could buy all the things I think would make me happy.

Desires expand when we give them a place in our lives that they do not deserve.  Even our good desires become sinful when they become all-consuming.  Many of our sins are the result of disordered natural desires.  Paul does not say: ‘Put to death money.’  He says: ‘Put to death greed’ – an inordinate desire for money.

Desire becomes sin when it moves from something we enjoy to something we seek as our main desire.  When our deepest desire is for God, all other desires take their natural place.  But when God is not the centre, other desires cannot fill the void.  They can become insatiable.

So Paul is not counselling us to put an end to all desires, rather he is saying: ‘You are Christ-inhabited, fully loved and cared for.  Don’t seek solace in some earthly desire – keep them in their place.  Enjoy your life, just don’t try to find your life in your joys.’

Desire in itself is not a bad thing, but a gift from God, a part of how I was made.  But pure delight, delight in God, is what I was made for.  That alone can reorder the desires of my heart.

AFFIRMATION

Desire in itself is not a bad thing, but a gift from God, a part of how I was made. But pure delight, delight in God, is what I was made for. That alone can reorder the desires of my heart.

PRAYER

Gracious Abba, help me to find the hunger of my heart and soul in you and not in some earthly thing. Teach me how to enjoy the good things of this world in their proper order. Amen.

REFLECTION

What is one craving or desire you find it hard to say “enough” to?