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As we mature, we start to see just how shallow some of our former desires have been. And naturally many of these might need to die and be left in our former season of immaturity. But often the path toward maturity is redeeming these desires and not merely trying to eliminate them. The desires for success, status, and sex can be of this sort.

To be sure, these desires are often pursued very selfishly, with the focus primarily on pushing our own agenda, making a name for ourselves, or taking whatever pleasure we can get from others. This approach lacks love and causes much heartache and damage along the way. But the desires themselves are not inherently bad, and the task of maturity is learning how to redeem them.

Of course, this process of redemption still requires us dying to the old. And a season to take a break from actively pursuing a particular desire allows time for this. All the same, taking a break doesn’t mean we have to give up the desire altogether. The work of redemption includes resurrecting these desires to a new life – now in service of love.

For instance, our drive for success can fuel our efforts to advance God’s kingdom throughout the realm of our influence. We’re no longer pushing our own agenda, but rather we use our ability to get things done in service of God’s.

Our status is also no longer a point of pride. Instead, we now use what position and admiration given to us to influence others toward God’s best, and provide them with what they need along the way.

Likewise, sex becomes an embodied vehicle of love. It’s no longer focused merely on what we can get, but rather on how we can experience, reflect, and share a taste of God’s passionate love through our very bodies.

We frustrate ourselves and leave ourselves vulnerable to returning to our old ways when we don’t allow our deep desires to be redeemed.

In the end, the desires for success, status, and sex remain good when submitted to God and used in the service of love.

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Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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