Are You Controlling Your Desires or are They Controlling You?

Desires. We all have them. To have desires is to be human. We were created with the ability to have desires. Desires turned to dreams move us to achieve good and great things in life.

A desire is a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen. We have physical, emotional, spiritual and mental desires. Not all desires are good for us; the fulfillment of some desires would negatively impact us and/or those around us. Imagine what would happen if you went through with the desire you felt when a driver cut you off, or when a person cut in line in front of you?

To have everything we desire would certainly lead to our demise. We literally could not handle getting everything we desire. Imagine that you actually did get everything you desired. Where would your life be today? “I’ve learned that if you give a pig and a boy everything they want, you’ll get a good pig and a bad boy.” Live and Learn and Pass it On, by Jackson Brown Jr.

Many of us look back and are thankful we did not get some of the things we wanted. At the same time many of us may have been better off had some of our desires been realized.

Here is a challenge we all face: We cannot stop having desires, nor can we always decide what desire will result in positive or negative outcomes. This is part of the human condition. So how do we deal with our desires in a way that is good for us, good for those around us, and honors God?

Your desire to be obedient to God should guide all other desires.

This should be the compass that gives direction for all our desires. Psalm 37:4 tells us, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (NIV). This is a promise from God. As we learn to delight in God, we also begin to desire the things God desires: peace, forgiveness, grace, love, equality, respect and dignity for all.

Your desires fulfilled should reflect your core values.

This is big. Many times, we give into the feelings of desire without considering how it will impact our core values or how it will affect the person we aspire to be until it’s too late.

“Sin comes when we take a perfectly natural desire or longing or ambition and try desperately to fulfill it without God. Not only is it sin, it is a perverse distortion of the image of the Creator in us. All these good things, and all our security, are rightly found only and completely in him.”  Augustine, The Confessions of Saint Augustine.

Too many spouses have left their marriage in pursuit of a strong desire for someone else. Too many leaders have fallen by giving into a desire which led them off course.

While desires may be strong, always take the time to measure it against your core values and the person you aspire to become.

Get your desires out of your head.

This is probably the biggest mistake we make when it comes to dealing with our desires: we keep them in our heads. Getting them out helps to release the emotional stronghold desires can have on us. Write them out and go over them; compare them to where you are going with your life. Share them with others you trust to give you fair and objective feedback. A word of caution: the desire you find yourself wanting to keep to yourself is the desire you most need to share.

For Consideration

  • What do you desire right now, and is it consistent with your core values?
  • How have you dealt with strong desires you knew were unhealthy for you and dishonoring to God?
  • Are you confused about a strong desire, or struggling to break free from a desire that has been holding you prisoner? Reach out to someone so you can get out of your head to start breaking the emotional stronghold it has on you.

If you would like help in achieving your goals as a leader or in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.