Wanting What We Don’t Want

In a March, 2001 quote, Christian philosopher Dallas Willard
says, “One of the hardest points to get past in spiritual formation is that in
order for me to be spiritually transformed, I have to want to not want what I now
want.”

I thought of this yesterday when I realized that a part of
me thinks it’s okay not to lose the three pounds I gained on our March vacation.
I thought I was all in agreement about losing. If I don’t eliminate them now, I’ll
gain three more when I go help my daughter with the birth of our first grandchild
in June. Not until yesterday morning, when I stopped and thought more seriously
why my efforts over the last few weeks haven’t been working, did I notice her
hidden in the corner.

Lifting her nose, she said:  “My clothes still fit, my lipid panel numbers
are okay, what’s the problem here?”

I pulled her out into the light: “Oh, no you don’t. If I don’t
lose these pounds now, I’ll gain more in June. I won’t be so mindful of my
eating then. I am not going there.” 

Sometimes, even as Christians, we fully want to disobey in a
particular area. But aren’t we usually of two minds? Part of us wants to do the
right thing; part of us wants what it wants and doesn’t want to change. Part of
us wants to read the Bible, the other part says, “Oh, what’s the use?” Part of
us wants to tithe, the other says, “I need that money myself.” One part says, “Don’t
even look,” while another part says, “Just one glance at that X-rated site won’t
hurt.”

With renewed prayer, I managed to reduce my portions
yesterday. By grace, I’ll do it again today. Jesus is Prince of Peace. He is
the one who exposes and settles our conflicts. Only he gives power to change
our wants.

Lord, we come to you, just as we are, conflicts and
all. Please grow our internal peace and unity.

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