It gets complicated when we start to talk about our individual lives – who we are , what we want, etc. – and our commitment to something bigger than ourselves – the cause of Christ and our communities. On one hand, we are called to die to ourselves – to sacrifice our flesh-centered desires for the sake of the common good. Yet, on the other hand, we discover (paradoxically) that we find the truest expression of our individual desires within service to the common good.

The main distinction is in what might be called human appetites. The kind of selfishness that does not consider others. The kinds of things we want immediately, superficially, like a craving or a dopamine punch. The end of our appetites is sin and disconnection.

On the other hand, our true desires are manifested when we lay down our appetites, trust God, and serve others. We no longer live in the sense that our appetites have been slain and replaced by our true desire – to be an indwelling of Christ and participate in His Kingdom.

Only through faith can we step into those things we truly desire. And only through the suspension of our appetites can we allow ourselves the trust faith requires. 

When we do this, we look less like our childish selves and more like a mature version of a human soul. We look less like tyrants trying to run our own little universe and more like Christ, the true and sole King of the Universe.

The bad news is that laying aside appetites costs us something. It is a kind of death. The good news is that the life in Christ we get in its place is not only better for God, for His Kingdom, and for the communities around us. It is better for us as well.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
– Galatians 2:20