I like Fritos... a lot. There's something about their fried corn-y goodness that makes my mouth water. It doesn't hurt, of course, that they put some kind of secret ingredient that causes me to eat an entire bag of them - they're not one of those "oh, I'll just have a couple, thanks" foods.
The problem is that, well, Fritos don't like me. More specifically, they are involved in a secret plot along with my stomach to betray my body & manufacture huge amounts of stomach acid. It's not pretty.
So, I have a hunger or desire for something that is wrong for me - bad wrong. Incapacitate me temporarily & potentially do long-term damage to my esophagus kind of wrong.
I'm betting you won't be surprised by the lesson I draw from this - but that's not going to stop me from writing about it anyway: Just because you hunger/long for something or someone doesn't make it right.
And as long as we apply it to other people, it's easy to see. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that just because someone wants to cheat on their spouse - just because they feel a strong emotional attachment & a burning physical desire - does not mean that adultery is a good idea. Or even a marginally bad idea. It's sin.
But when we look at our own longings, all we can see is the gaping hole of need in our lives. All we can hear is the sound of our hearts grumbling with hunger for something that feels good right now.
And our hunger - like my hunger for Fritos - fools us into destructive choices. We make sinful decisions that, in the short term, take us away from God & those we love... and potentially destroy marriages, careers, families & our chance to tell other people about Jesus.
The Pantry (part two)
We need instead to cultivate a hunger - a desire - for the right things. And the only way that happens to stock the metaphorical pantry of our lives with "the good stuff":
- Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good. I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness. (Psalm 119:39-40, NLT)
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6, NIV)
- Jesus replied, I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never be hungry, and he who believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me will never thirst any more (at any time). (John 6:35, AMP)
- On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (John 7:37-38, NLT)