Desires must be harnessed and/or mastered. For example, no male today gets messed up in pornography if desires are harnessed. Such addictions gain a foothold when passions are unbridled. Self-indulgence leads to destruction; linking one’s desire to the yoke of Christ realizes an ‘easy yoke and a light burden’. “My yoke is easy” because we are yoked in discipline with Christ and there the burden becomes in reality quite light, because we are not doing it ‘my way’.
Desires are to be geared to serve others! How easily one’s faith can become derailed if we live for self. In the same Philippians 2 account, our brother and fellow trekker Paul reminds us to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.” If desires are not disciplined by obedience to Christ and others, our actions will be stumbling blocks to others, not to speak of ourselves. Often, to follow our own desires without gearing them to serve others, will result in a shameful indifference to those young in faith or years. When Jesus said we cannot serve God and mammon, He surely was saying we will have great difficulty indulging ourselves and pleasing God at the same time. It is a tough pill for a high-spirited American to swallow, but to exercise one’s ‘liberty in Christ’ to the extreme, may be to mimic the sneer of Cain, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” If we do not discipline ourselves to be our brother’s keeper, we surely will not be, and we will be cast aside. You don’t hear much about Cain after he killed his brother. He was buried in the trash heap of history, the greatest example we can imagine of undisciplined desire! Such lack of discipline - unfocused, unharnessed, and not in gear will always prove over time to be a stone of stumbling rather than the building block the Lord Christ desires and requires.
- Jim Meredith
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