Toxic desire – our terms and our timing

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By Dave Henning / June 26, 2019

“Desire is only toxic when we demand our desires be satisfied on our terms and in our timing.  Knowing what we want and getting what we want are not necessarily the same thing.”- Emily P. Freeman

As Emily P. Freeman continues Chapter 8 of The Next Right Thing, she restates what we already know about Bartimaeus.  We know he of his  blindness, that he called out to Jesus, and he answered the question Jesus asked him.  Most noteworthy, Jesus called Bartimaeus’ answer an act of faith.  So, Emily wonders, is that also true for us?  Is stating our desire in Jesus’ presence actually an act of faith?  As a result, Emily observes:

“But here is perhaps the most important thing to remember as you begin to get honest about what you want: even if you don’t get what you want, knowing what you want can still be a great gift.”

In addition, the author describes the three best times to decide what you want:

  • Best time – before the decision is even on the table.
  • Second best time – when you’re confronted with a decision but still need to make that choice.
  • Third best time – after you make a decision, but then realize you based your decision on external pressure rather than your deepest desire.

Consequently, it’s valuable to know what you want in all stages of the decision-making process: before, during, and after.  Sadly, Emily notes, many of us move through our entire lives not knowing what we want at any stage of the decision-making process.  This results in living our lives in the shadow of our true selves.

Yet, the point isn’t whether or not we get what we want.  The point? – honor your God-given design and image-bearing identity enough to honestly desire what you want most.  Not for Jesus’ sake, but for yours.

Today’s question: What Scriptures help you overcome the toxic desire to want things on your terms and in your timing?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Practice pausing – create space for daily decisions”

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Dave Henning

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