Summary: Rather than pursuing our passion we have to kill it.
4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.
Kill, Kill, Kill?!
God calls us to kill. We have to kill p???e?a? (porneian)- sex outside of marriage, things that are not clean, p???? (pathos)- passion (translated by NIV as lust). Yes. Passion. Rather than pursuing our passion we have to kill it. (I’ve written on this elswhere-if you’d like to take Google my name & The Problem with Pursuing Your Passion.) We are also to avoid evil desires-the word for desires here is variously translated covetousness, lust, and, even, i think my favorite, concupiscience. I found this definition of concupiscience online:
Concupiscience. The never satiated desire to draw as much of reality as possible into one’s self; the unlimited striving, for example, for knowledge, sex, and power. The seeking for one’s own pleasure through another being without the desire to unite with, affirm, or love the other being.
We have to put that to death. And, finally, greed-the word here is a constant desire for more things-a greater number of things. How many shoes or tops or pants or dresses or scarfs do you need? (i have two functional pairs of shoes-one formal, one informal, both black. They go with anything.) We live in a society of costant bombardment of advertisments and other cultural influences that direct us to want more things, more pleasure, more input, more stimulus, more, more, more? What unifies all of the things Paul instructs us to kill is the pleasure pathways in the brain. We can become addicted to food, or sex, or messages on the phone from friends, or a tv series, or telling dirty or juicy stories, or using foul language. All such addictions distract us from the great high calling God has placed on our lives. He calls us to somthing better, something higher, a better addiction. God wants us to be addicted to Him, to prayer, to study of His word, to becoming stronger and wiser and better at loving others-to be truly and positively connected to those around us, to helping others become what God has called them to be. To do all the better & best things we have to kill our desires for lesser things.
Last time Paul talked about how we ARE dead in Christ and risen with him. Now he discusses our role and responsibility in this reality. We have an inward job today-to kill those things.
Prayer for Today
Father, Be my great addiction. You are my life. You are my longing, my passion, my destination and crown. You are my greatest desire. Father, clothe me with your glory. Fill me with your goodness. Let the sweet sound of your voice be all that motivates me to action. Kill within me all those desires that distract me from you. In the name of the LORD who is my great desire, Amen