Sinful Desires

Jack Roeda

READ : 1 Peter 2:11-17

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. (v. 11 NIV)

We’re warned to abstain from sinful desires, but what makes a desire sinful? It’s not
the object of the desire, necessarily, whether it be money or sex or power. It’s the
excessiveness of the desire. Desires are sinful when they are so strong, so inflamed, that
the thing desired becomes, in fact, the source of our happiness. The very sight of it
makes us cry “O my God.” Or, when we lose it, to weep, “They have taken my God away.”
Sinful desires trump the desire for God. They become fatal attractions.

Peter urges us to abstain from them. To abstain means, literally, to distance ourselves
from whatever so attracts us that we would sacrifice our witness to get our hands on
it.

One good strategy in fighting sinful desires is to consider the cost. They “war against
your soul.” That is to say, these desires will kill you. The book of Hebrews tells us that
“without holiness, no one will see the Lord” (12:14). So we must ask: Would I really want
to forgo such a vision and destroy my soul for just a little more money, or a little more
sex, or a little more power? Jesus says “You fool! This very night your soul will be
demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself? This is how it
will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God” (Luke
12:20-21).

PRAYER

Dear God, inflame our hearts to desire you and your kingdom. Amen.