Are your desires to be trusted or not?
As little children, when we became hungry, we desired food, cried, were fed, and stopped eating when we’d had enough. But over time, many of us learned that food could also alter the way we feel—could excite our taste buds, give us comfort, wake us up or help us to sleep. So, in addition to hunger, we learned to go to the refrigerator with other desires, too.
But while “comfort food” may deliver calories to our guts and release chemicals in our brains, it doesn’t provide the actual compassion, nurturing, and friendship of comfort we really need. So our truest desires go unmet.
We can look to sex the same way we look to the fridge.
- We view porn to nurse a bruised ego.
- We have sex with different people to feed our self-esteem.
- We seduce to feel wanted.
- We masturbate to help us to sleep.
- We fantasize to experience ourselves and others the way we wish things were.
Like everything in our fallen world, our desires have been corrupted.
Desires were created by God and so they are a part of the “very good” of His original creation, but when sin entered the world, our desires were like signposts spun all around and pointing in the wrong directions.
Our desires got confused, disoriented, and disordered. On a physiological level, our brains and bodies have become habituated to the chemical hits or highs we’ve found in the wrong sources, so our brains now unwittingly point us to that which doesn’t satisfy. Sadly, some people lose everything they love most in the vain pursuit to satisfy God-given desires in the wrong sources.
We understand Paul’s cry in Romans 7:
“I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?”
Who will save us?
“Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
We do not strive our way out of this mess. Most of us have desires that are so intoxicated, so habituated, so attached to the wrong sources, we cannot do this alone. We need a Savior and we need the community of His people who can help us.
Don’t forsake desire. It’s too important. We each have to spend time learning what it is we actually want (If not porn, then what? If not more food, then what? If not revenge, then what? If not more money, then what?) and where we can find it (Keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking.)
And hope. You need hope. Not a Hallmark card, “Hope things get better soon,” but a hope established in the One whose desire for you and for your good is bigger, stronger, fuller, and more enduring than all your confused and addicted desires.
“Oh how I have longed (desired) to eat this meal with you,” Jesus told his disciples at the last supper—the inaugural Eucharist where he broke bread and poured wine signifying the breaking of his flesh and the spilling of his blood.
Come eat and drink. Press your every errant desire into His wounds, and little by little, step by step, confession by confession, day by day let your errant desires be consumed in His Passion…and then rise again new, clear, clean and pure. Regeneration is here to help.
This is my hope for you and for me.
Question: Do you think even our most sinful desires have good underneath? Why or why not? Leave a comment here.