Wrong Desires

February 26, 2009

I look at some of the sins that I’ve had trouble with in the past (or have had bigger trouble with in the past). I’m glad to have made some progress in sanctification. But, is this progress a result of changes in outer circumstances rather than a true inner transformation? Am I just sinning less because I have less opportunity? There is undoubtedly a real benefit to putting yourself in circumstances where you are tempted less often. This is something like wisdom. But if outer circumstances are all that is different, if i have not changed the very things i enjoy, the very things i desire, than this ‘sanctification’ is all for nothing. would i enjoy the same sins that i’ve been addicted to in the past? and sometimes, sadly and frighteningly, the answer is a shameful, pitiful yes.

The heart of the issue, then, has not been resolved. The source of any addiction is the longing for that which is good, true, and beautiful. This longing isn’t wrong; it is only human to desire so. Yet when we try to fulfill this longing with something that isn’t good, true, and beautiful, we either become addicted to it (for nothing besides God can provide this infinite goodness, truth, and beauty), or we come to despise it. Every moral depravity is deterioration of moral goodness; every lie a truth untold; every ugliness beauty deformed. The most powerful evil we have seen in the last century is the one that claimed utilitarianism. Better to kill off a few vermins for the good of the nation. The most powerful lies are half lies, for then they are believable. The most disturbing pictures are those that could possibly be true. When we try to fill our longings with this deteriorated, half-true, deformed created things, our desires are not satiated, our hearts not satisfied. We are left to want more. yet despise what we have already attained.

So how do I fight this? How do I get at the heart of it? A good start is of course to change the surroundings. Done. But i must address the inner problems; I must change what I desire, what I enjoy. Desire Christ, for only in Him will I find everything that I’ve longed for. And every thing else that I want, every relationship with other people, every thing that I own, may they only be fulfilling and desirable to me, because they help me to taste the One who is behind it all.

May every word, be His love letter; every song, his ballad; every sound, His whispers. It is not wrong to love the created things; love them for the right reason, namely that these loves point to the infinitely greater, infinitely weightier love, of Love Himself.

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2 Responses to “Wrong Desires”

  1. enoch Says:

    sometimes i eat cheese even though i’m lactose intolerant

  2. HG Says:

    i had a friend who was allergic to watermelons but loved how it tasted. he would eat some and get all these blisters inside his mouth. so sad 😦 if only he wasn’t born korean, he wouldn’t love watermelons so much!


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