Desire

God wants us to fulfill our desires.

This is a very general statement that could be interpreted many ways.  I will endeavor to explain the thoughts that have lead me to it, giving you, my dear reader, a context within which to place this generalization.  Those of you who are more theologically astute than I (anyone who has any form of theological training, then), feel free to correct any mistakes or errors you see in my reasoning.  Please.

In general, people find energy, vitality, and life when they fulfill desires they have, whether existential or .  A child is able to learn a new skill–he is full of energy and excitement.  A student receives top marks on an exam she studied hard for–she celebrates.  A religious person is seeking, seeking, seeking God, and finally receives a revelation of God–he or she is filled with joy and jubilation.  Lovers consummate their love, whether for the first or hundredth time–they feel alive.

Conversely, whenever people are prevented or forbidden from fulfilling those desires which they possess, and/or forced to do or become things they do not desire, life itself seems to be sucked from them.  A man sought a promotion at work for years, and he has continually been denied–he sinks into self-pity and becomes embittered.  For years, a woman has wished to learn to play the piano, but her two jobs and four mouths to feed consume all of her waking time–she lives a tired, ragged existence.  A teenager is refused acceptance to all of the colleges he applied to, crushing his dreams of becoming a doctor–he becomes depressed.  A girl is sold into sex trafficking–her very soul seems to have left her.

Granted, all of the above are hypothetical examples, and there is the potential for many different outcomes.  However, it seems that in general and, I have found, in my personal life, that the fulfillment or prevention of our heart’s desires has such a profound impact upon our lives.

This brings me to my first statement, God wants us to do what we want to do.

Desire comes from one place – the human heart.  If you believe in such categories as good and evil, then you will probably accept this statement without question: from the heart of man come forth desires both good and evil.  Both love and lust, creation and destruction, protection and manipulation, at their root, come from the heart of man.

Religion, government, and any sort of societal structure often attempts to put in place rules to govern the behavior of humans.  These rules, in general, make for a civil society.  However, if rules become too restrictive, the society will fizzle out and die, along with any type of desire, or rebel against the restrictions in order to follow it’s desires.  The heart of man is most fully alive when he is pursuing his desires.  If the heart of a person is evil, then that person will find satisfaction, even energy and life, in following evil desires.  Doing so will excite and arouse them.  This is why religion (a set of rules) almost never succeeds in giving life to those who enjoy evil/sin.  Why would someone follow rules that compel him to keep himself from that which he feels gives him life?

On the other hand, whenever a person’s heart is good, he finds life and joy in following the (good) desires of his heart.  Doing good to others comes naturally, and brings him happiness.  He delights in following the spirit of the rules/laws of the religious structure, not in a legalistic way, but in a way that may change with every situation.  He recognizes the good in and behind those laws, and the positive outcome following them will have on his own life and the lives of those around him.  When a person follows the good desires of his heart, he finds life and peace in his everyday activities and relationships.

I do not think God wants those with evil desires to falsely submit themselves to religious tyranny simply because they think it will please Him or other people.  What God desires is an evil heart to be transformed, to be made new, purified.  He desires good to come forth from a good heart and desires for good, not being forced upon one by external religious authority.  Thus, God wants people to do what they want to do, because good will flow from the good desires of good hearts, whilst evil will flow from the evil desires of evil hearts, those free to choose their path. (This is not to say that God approves of evil or desires it for this world; but He will not force good upon anyone, thus violating our free will.)

Granted, none of us have completely evil or completely good hearts, as our desires demonstrate.  Often, good desires will rise up, and within a short period of time, evil desires will rise up within the same heart.  So, the question is, what desires will you allow to rule you?  Which will you act on?  That, my friend, is completely up to you.

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About rd734467

I am a seeker. A doer. An encourager. One who loves. One who longs to be loved. One who desperately yearns to make a difference in this world.
This entry was posted in Psychological Musings, Theological Reflections. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Desire

  1. Hmm. Good thoughts, especially the first half. But I question this statement:

    “I do not think God wants those with evil desires to falsely submit themselves to religious tyranny simply because they think it will please Him or other people.”

    Well, tyranny is a loaded word. While the ideal state of man is to have only good desires and act upon them, as you pointed out we all have at the very least a record of both good and evil behaviors. While our ultimate goal is transformation, the thing that keeps my evil inclinations in check is simple submission. God is my ruler, and if he tells me not to do something, I shall refrain from doing it because He ordered it.

    In other words, we are all in a sense rebels, and one of the more practical roads to sanctification is simple obedience, even when our obedient actions are contrary to our desires.

  2. Anika says:

    Woah.

    I probably need to read this another time…or two…to process it fully.

    And I am intensely stuck on the words “…So, the question is, what desires will you allow to rule you? Which will you act on?…” I wish I could explain how much I needed that challenge tonight…

  3. Daniel Rubio says:

    Interesting reflection.

    I think you’ll run into Problem of Evil issues, however, asserting that some hearts are nominally good or nominally evil (why would a just God give one person a good heart and another an evil one, when it was within His power to give everyone a good heart?)

    That being said, I like the emphasis on life having, well, life in it. All too often we forget that our religion is supposed to be a source of life, not a consumer of it. Asceticism is good such as it goes, but an overly ascetic life will rob people of one of the greatest benefits of Christianity: the vitality of a life lived well.

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