Dangers of Desire

Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

James 1:15

Desire…when uncontrolled

1. …is never satisfied.

Whether it is the desire for food, money, weight loss, or even children. No matter how much you get, the default is that you will want more.

For example, I have found that for myself, my desire to have a child has not diminished just because I now have a five year old and a two year old. If anything, my desire to have a baby has grown greater. Now that I am on my seventh pregnancy, I find my current longing has not been satisfied by prior fulfillment of that longing. After the birth of each of my boys, I felt that I was satisfied and complete…for a time.  The desire always came back.

– HollyBesser

For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life —is not from the Father but is from the world. 1 John 2:16

2. …requires instant gratification.

If we desire something, we most likely want it NOW.  Most desires are for the immediate, not for “later.” If we don’t make a conscious effort to think it through, we may find ourselves doing whatever it takes to make it happen right away.

You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. James 4:2

3. …can cause us to make bad deals.

When we are blinded by desire, we can easily choose to trade something precious for something we want.  Whether it is pre-marital sex or that new car we just “have to have,” if not careful, we will live to see the negative consequences of a poor choice made in emotional haste.

“Don’t sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.” – Dr. Bob Jones III

Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted.  And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!”  Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.”  Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?”  Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob.  Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright. Genesis 25:29-34

Desire…when controlled

1. …can drive us to action.

Desire is a God-given emotion that gives us a reason to move forward.  Many times, the desire itself is necessary to get beyond the negatives associated with the result, or we may not continue, or may not even try at all.  Think about morning sickness, birthing pains, being up all night with a screaming baby, sore body parts, etc.  Who, in their right mind, would choose those things, if the desire didn’t outweigh the negatives? When the desire is gone, we stop pursuing it. This applies to most areas of our lives.

2. …keeps hope alive.

As long as there is desire in our hearts, we will find hope to keep believing it is possible.  When we have hope, we can plod on, even in the hardest and darkest of times.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Romans 8:25

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

3. …is sanctioned by God and fulfilled by His hand.

God has not promised to give us anything and everything that we want; However, He has promised that if we desire His will for us, He will carry it out in our lives. Seek first God and His righteousness and then, your desires will be His desires.

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. Psalm 145:19


Be sure your desire doesn’t become dangerous.

Whom have I in heaven but you?

And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.

Psalm 73:25

Original material by Holly M. Besser, ©2012. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bp22p01-06-13

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