This morning I want to talk with you about desire—not as an evil force inside of us which we must repress, but as a gift from God to use for the sake of God’s mission in the world. You heard that right: desire is not an evil to avoid, but a good gift to use for God’s mission. Our focusing questions for today are: How are our deepest desires for intimacy are gifts from God? How do they draw us to whole relationships with God and others?
Christians sometimes feel suspicious about desire. We associate desire with things like addictions, adultery, pornography, and with plain old selfishness. Mennonites might have a negative view of desire because of our emphasis on discipleship. “Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus,” we say to each other. From this viewpoint, desire is an enemy of Christian living. Desire is bad because it leads to selfishness, addictions, or sexual misconduct. Or so we think.
It’s true that some desires can propel is in the wrong direction. Our desires for power, fame, wealth, and security can derail the train of our better natures and crash our life with God. We can call these disordered desires or unhealthy desires. These desires we try to hand over to the Holy Spirit for healing and transformation.
- Isaiah 49:14b - 16a
- Psalm 42:1 - 2