Desire for Sin
ONLY BY GOD'S GRACE CAN OUR DESIRE FOR SIN END
We Reject Eternal Life if We Desire Any Sin
The desire to sin is a dynamic topic. It sounds simple, but it isn’t. There are three kinds of desire for sin, one we must rid to be saved, another must be removed to enter into Heaven, and the other, even if we have grown into the highest state of Christian perfection (not able to choose to sin again) and have atoned for our sins, will still be within us until we leave this earthly body.
Oh, this desire for sin is complicated…and I’ll do my best to simplify and explain it, but there are different degrees of desire we have, different wills which desire the sin and even a stain of sin that we want to remove, which all are from this desire to sin.
This is an important topic because if we die and still have a desire for sin on our souls, we reject God’s saving forgiving mercy for sin.
“The souls in hell having been found at the moment of death with a will [desire] to sin, have with them an infinite degree of guilt; and the punishment they suffer, though less than they deserve, is yet, so far as it exists, endless.”
–St. Catherine of Genoa
Many of us are humble enough and realize we still desire many sins, but some of us, from our pride, will say we don’t desire to sin at all. Sure, this desire is greater in some than others, but unless we have been toiling and toiling away seeking God’s grace over and over again to remove that desire, we all still suffer and most greatly from a horrid desire for sin. Most have just been blinded to our misery. Yet, our constant habitual sins very clearly prove we still have a great will to sin.
Regular or Irregular Mortal Desire
Like I said, desiring any sin is deadly, since if we want to accept God’s saving forgiving mercy, we must hate all sin, so to not reject God for sin, and we can’t truly hate anything if we still desire it (have a will to commit it).
If the sin we desire is venial in nature then it is an irregular mortal sin, because even if the sin is just venial in nature, it is the desiring of the sin that makes it deadly. To learn more please read, “What are the Mortal Sins.”
Therefore, regardless of whether the sin we desire is mortal or venial if we desire to commit it, as we do with most sins, we still reject Eternal Life for that sin. Wanting to offend God in the slightest way is an abomination of Love and rejects His saving forgiving mercy for that sin.
Unless we remove all desire for evil (sin), which we were born with, and grow in grace to, at least, at the moment of our death truly hate all sin–have no will for sin–we can’t accept God’s saving forgiving mercy, which He died to give us, since we still prefer sin over God’s love. Therefore, removing our desire for any and all sin is of the upmost importance. Eternity is forever!
What Is The Desire For Sin
To understand our desire to sin, we need to know the “desire to sin” is defined as concupiscence: which is the desire/inclination to sin (wanting to sin). Concupiscence doesn’t just refer to our sinful sexual desires, as many think, but it refers to our entire disposition for anything sinful.
“[Being] inclined to sin – an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence” (CCC #405)
This desire is a direct consequence of Adam and Eve’s original sin that is upon each human soul.
God made us perfect, without sin or any desire for sin, but from having a free will to choose good or evil, our ancestors scorned Perfect Goodness by choosing evil (love of self) over love of Him. Then from Divine Justice, since the consequence of Adam and Eve’s sins were so great against Perfect Goodness, all mankind deserves death (Hell) because Adam and Eve’s one sin. However, God in His mercy spared us from death and gave us a recourse to Life through His mercy.
So, even though we all suffer from the consequence/punishment of original sin, which gives us a will to sin (making us all sinners) and death to all men, God shows us His mercy. And if we just believe in Him enough to seek to truly love/obey Him, having great/true sorrow when we fail, from His mercy, He will spare us from the death we deserve.
God delivered all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all” (Romans 11:32).
Yes, even though we were born with a will to disobey, if we seek God, He can change our stony hearts, which are that of sin, into natural hearts that are of love…saving our souls.
“I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26).
Innate Nature to Sin
This inclination to sin is so great, we even see a desire to sin in very young children. Have you ever watched a toddler struggle against his will. His parent will say, “don’t touch that”, and the toddler might hesitate for a moment and then go ahead and do exactly what he was told not to do, because he wanted to do what he wanted (sin) more than he wanted to please/obey his parent.
Yet, when we desire to sin that means we want to offend God, which means we have a lack of true love for God and a lack of true horror for sinning, which are deadly mortal sins. That is why our desire for sin must be abolished from our lives, because if we don’t come to truly love God and truly hate our sins, we aren’t sorry for offending God, and we reject His saving forgiving mercy.
Boy will it take much of God’s grace to banish this desire that has been so prevalent in us since a very young age. But for young children, since they haven’t matured mentally to gain a full understanding of right from wrong, they aren’t accountable for their wrong doing (it isn’t a real sin yet). But for the rest of us, we are. We should know better.
This basic understanding of love, God placed in each one of us at our creation, since “the law is written on their hearts” (Romans 2:15). But most have blocked out this basic innate understanding of God’s law from our consciences and don’t even associate blatant disobedience with, wanting to offend God (not loving Him) and the rejection of His saving mercy. We don’t really understand what is a deadly sin. To learn more please read, “What Are the Mortal Sins.”
Tragically, most think little of most of our sins and neglect even working to live them, which proves our lack contrition, but yet, we have been deceived into believing we are saved. But to be saved, we need a horror so great for our sins–that it destroys our desire for sin, as we strive with all of our hearts to not offend God and are willing to suffer anything so to never neglect a single law of God so to love Him. To learn more please read, “How Can I Be Saved.”
“Neglect of God’s law [any law] brings inescapable punishment for the soul and that unquenchable fire.”–St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church
And if we want to be welcomed into Heaven, after we have grown into obtaining continuous true contrition (become saved), not only does our temporal punishment that is due for each sin we have committed after our baptism need to be atoned for (paid for), but all stain (habitual inclination) left over from our sins need to be purified as well, which is all part of our desire for sin, as I explain later, which, from God’s mercy, can be removed in Purgatory. But please don’t be deceived; obtaining enough grace to just remove our desire for sin that rejects forgiveness is very great and few obtain it. The time to seek God for assistance to change is now.
Our Will is to Sin – to Make Us Happy
This desire for sin, which is so ingrained in us, is what makes our will that of sin. Yes, without grace, our entire desire, by nature, is not a desire to do all for God’s honor and glory (to love God) according to His will, but to do all to MAKE OURSELVES HAPPY. From original sin, this has become our goal.
Most don’t see how desiring to make ourselves happy as being sinful, but that is really the whole culmination of our desire for sin…it is really a desire for self-love. You see, God didn’t give us our lives to love ourselves and seek to make ourselves happy. If we think that, the devil has tricked us. We were given our lives to know, serve and love God…to do ALL for His honor and glory, not our own. But from Adam and Eve to all of our actual sins, we commit them all for reasons of self-love (pride).
Sadly, without our will united with God’s, even our acts of, what seem to be that of great love are unknowingly done to make us happy. Most just don’t have the grace to understand how this is so, but this is the truth.
Without God’s grace truly moving our actions, everything is tainted with self-love. This is because by nature, we enjoy doing good for others, praying and hearing Mass…or perhaps we feel satisfied if we did what we thought was right. Oh, there are many reasons why we do what we do, and for most it isn’t really driven from desiring to obey/love God, but to do what we want or feel we need to do, with the ultimate goal of making ourselves happy. And from this enjoyment, unknown to most, we allow that pleasure to be the driving motive for what we do and not God.
Since we are so inclined to sin (self-love), we don’t only seek happiness with our good works, much of the time we go about trying to find our happiness with the created, instead of the Creator, as God told Eve, “your urge shall be for your husband [not God]” (Genesis 3:16).
That is why we need Our Savior, to break our natural urge to find happiness with the world (people, power and possession) and make our hearts desire God alone as our source of joy and to even move us beyond this into only doing all to LOVE God…not caring about ourselves and our happiness but living for God and His will alone.
Christ’s laws, His example, the sacraments, the saints and angels, which instruct and help us, are from His mercy to assist us in receiving grace so our natural desire to love God, which is also in us, can supersede our very predominant desire for sin. Then our will won’t be that of self-love but that of true love for God.
How to Truly Love God
Many of us have felt this kind of love, that is true, at least for a certain period of time, perhaps not with God, but with a person. Have we ever fallen in love and were so in love, we were willing to do anything for that person. We didn’t care if they did anything for us, what kind of trouble we had to go through…nothing was too much. We were willing to do it all, without complaint/happily, since we truly loved them.
Later on when that love started to dwindle away, our selfish desires in our relationship began to come about; we wanted equal treatment, fairness, gratitude, time, gifts, oh, what ever it is that makes us feel satisfied/loved in a relationship we sought that. Sadly, our self-love cause us to remove our true love. We lost our satisfaction in loving alone and wanted to be loved. We lost our desire to be served, but wanted to be served. When we didn’t feel like we were getting what we wanted–our happiness wasn’t there any more and now we live a life of dissatisfaction, because we allowed self-love to reign.
To remove our desire for sin, self-love–seeking happiness for ourselves, we need to obtain the same selfless relationship with God that perhaps we had with a person. But we are never to allow our hearts to lose that true love and stay focused on only wanting TO LOVE…not seek to be loved and being grateful of what ever God allows in our lives as the ultimate good for our souls.
And we do this by letting go of everything we desire and allowing God His will to move us–in everything, especially our works of love and to banish our pursuit of worldly pleasure (sin and attachments) in everything else we do. To learn more please read, “How to Desire God Alone.”
Having our will–our constant thoughts and desires–unite with Christ’s is so essential for salvation, without it I don’t see how we can be saved, especially today with such unfathomable temptations towards self-love.
From not correctly uniting our will to God’s, many lived deceived into believing we are doing God’s will, since we do some acts of love, but unknown to most of us, we still have our wants (sin) driving many or all of our actions. To learn more please read, “What is God’s Will.” Oh, most of us are very far from truly living for God’s will and doing all for His honor and glory, since we still greatly desire sin. We have been deceived. Frankly, most don’t even know that that is.
Some might be able to partly do what God wills, but unless we learn how to surrender our will (every thought…every breath) for God’s and literally want nothing but His will, even many great sacrifices for God and acts of love, are still tainted with this horrible self-loving (wanting our happiness) sin. To learn more please read, “How to Desire God Alone.”
This surrendering of our will is really the fullness of our entire spiritual journey into a saving faith and perfection, because we can’t get their doing things our way. But to get to the point to where we surrender our every thought, word and action to God takes much work. To learn more please read “How to Become a Saint.”
Please don’t think just doing God’s will–becoming a slave of God–is something horrible. Being a slave of love is full of joy. To grow in faith–learning how to let go of ourselves (our sinful selves/everything we want) and allowing…watching God–His grace–move us, so all we do can begin to become like Him, is wonderful…sure it’s full of many challenges and much sorrow for our sins, but wonderful at the same time, and of course most needed for God to save us from ourselves.
We need to change our focus from “I do this because it makes me happy” to “I do this because it loves God.” And seek throughout our day to more perfectly love God in literally every thought, word and deed. Then we will have a life of real happiness. To learn more please read, “How Can I Find Happiness.”
Deliberate and Non-Deliberate Desire for Sin
This desire for sin is more complicated than what I have explained.
Like I said, there are really three kinds of “desire to sin” the first two being:
- deliberate (intentionally) choosing of sin
- non-deliberate (unintentional) choosing of sin.
The deliberate choosing of sin is the kind of sin most commit and what damns us.
But the unintentional choosing of sin is when we sin either from not gaining full knowledge of right from wrong or when God’s grace is moving us–when we have allowed God’s grace to move our desires–but we still technically sin (but it isn’t a real sin in God’s eyes, since we didn’t desire it).
For the most part, the unintentional choosing of sin is pretty much only for those who have not developed true knowledge of right from wrong (like young children or the mentally handicapped) or those who have acquired so much of God’s grace, from a hatred of sin so true, they can’t intentionally choose to sin. Some of us who have obtained continuous true contrition can also unintentionally choose to sin, but this is more rare.
If we fall into the above categories and do a wrong unintentionally, it is our sinful nature sinning (the remnants of original sin)…not ourselves. Therefore, they aren’t guilty in God’s eyes if they commit a wrong doing and have no loss of love with God.
“What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I concur that the law is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me [from my sinful nature]. For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh. The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want. Now if do what I do not want [if I have no desire for sin], it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me” (Romans 7:15-20).
Like with St. Paul, as he describes above, and with St. Steven the first martyr who was “filled with grace” (Acts 6:8), and with St. Therese de Lisieux, as she became full of grace too during her life.
From God’s love (His Grace), which repels true sin, they crucified the flesh of such desires and were constantly being renewed in that love and no longer could sin–no longer commit a sin they were accountable for.
“Now those who belong to Christ [Jesus] have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:24)
They are no longer slaves of the devil, desiring sin, but slaves of Christ, since they can no longer deliberately choose sin and have arrived at Christian Perfection.
“Since that day [when I had made my Act of Oblation on June 9, 1895], [Christ’s] love has surrounded me and penetrated me through and through. Moment by moment, the Merciful Love of God renews and cleanses me and leaves my heart without a trace of sin.”
–St. Thérèse of Lisieux
We also see this non-deliberate desire for sin–our sinful nature–in Christ, who God “made him to be sin [our sinful nature]” (2 Corinthians 5:21) so to save us from our sin.
Christ, who we know couldn’t sin deliberately, unintentionally chose to do wrong against His parents during the finding of Jesus in the temple, when He didn’t offer His parents the courtesy of communicating or asking permission to study with the teachers in the temple.
His “sin” was obviously non-intentional and from His sinful human nature, which He took on, not His free will choice, since Christ doesn’t deliberately sin because He is full of grace.
But at that time even though God was full of grace, He wasn’t perfect. You see, Christ was born without original sin and full of grace, but not perfect. He had to become “perfect.”
“When he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (Hebrews 5:9).
Just like all human-beings, we have to LEARN right from wrong. Yes, God places knowledge of good from bad within all of us, but it is something we have to learn. The Christ child wasn’t born speaking, understanding or knowing right from wrong. From our human nature, He had to learn it, just like all of us.
As the human body develops it acquires more and more knowledge. That is why one might ask, “How could Christ not know just going off and doing what He wanted without seeking permission first wasn’t wrong?” Well, Christ wasn’t given that life experience up until that time, and didn’t fully understand as of yet.
But of course after He that experience when He saw the great concern and confusion He created within His parents, His heart was grieved and “He learned obedience from what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8).
After He learned the law of Love correctly and arrived at Christian Perfection (since He was already full of grace), “He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, (Hebrews 5:9).
This law which is learned is developed differently and at different rates for each person, but it takes time to fully understand all God’s laws. We might fully understand one law–fully understand one sin as being wrong and be accountable for it, but not another. The crime or crimes [sins] we have full knowledge of, are the sins we are guilty in God’s eyes for if we commit them. But the crimes we are still learning about, we aren’t.
The point in life in which we fully understand our first law of God as wrong, if we commit it, and are now guilty of offending God is an unknown point in time, but it is young.
“All of us once lived among them [those not in Christ, but still in sin] in the desires of our flesh [sin], following the wishes of the flesh [following our desire to sin] and the impulses [to sin], and we were by nature children of wrath [sin], like the rest.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, [from His grace] brought us to life with Christ [by taking away our deadly desire for sin]” (Ephesians 2:3-5).
Deliberate Choosing of Sin
While, the deliberate choosing of sin is what it sounds like; it is when we intentionally choose to offend God. We offend Him from not following the knowledge of right from wrong He placed within all of us that we learned or when we ignore of learned laws of the land and we respond to our sinful impulses. Sadly, this is how pretty much all mature people sin.
The deliberate choosing of sin has two forms:
- The deliberate choosing of sin with sorrow: having a true hatred of the sin with a true resolve to stop.
- The deliberate choosing of sin without sorrow: lacking a true hatred for the sin and having no real resolve/desire to stop. (deadly desire)
The second desire to sin, the lack of detestation for the sin, is the deadly desire we must rid from our lives that most unknowingly have much of, which leads to us rejecting Eternal Life and cause us all sorts of the depression, anxiety and problems in life. These are the sins that rejects God’s saving mercy and choose an eternity in Hell. They are mortal.
This is why growing in our sorrow/hatred for sin is so important, not only does it lead to a saving faith, but it even leads to Christian perfection.
There are two kinds of deliberate choosing of sin without having sorrow:
Great Desire to Sin
Frankly, we desire sin so greatly, it is impossible to grow in our sorrow/hatred for sin to come to a saving faith without much of God’s grace transforming our hearts. Why do we think Noah was the only man on the entire planet who truly loved God? Most can’t obtain enough grace…sadly, even with Jesus’ example and instructions on how to obtain grace most still can’t amend our lives to love God. Tragic!
It takes so much grace to remove our great desire for sin, but if we have ears that can hear, we must run to God daily and even constantly throughout our day to transform our lives…to transform our every thought to make it unite with God’s.
This horrible reality of sin is what we must come to truly understand in order to run to Our Savior, with enough fear of the Lord (fear of sin) we need, so to allow Him to save us.
But most don’t understand the consequence of sin well enough (believe enough) to where we will sincerely turn to God. However, without turning to God correctly for His strength–His transforming grace–to be able to amend our life and gain a true horror for sin, we will surely die.
This desire to sin runs very deep with in us and is practically unknown to most, since the evil one has been so successful at causing us to cover/hide our sins so we won’t see our crimes against God…so we will never develop true sorrow for them. Then we still prefer to commit them and not love God and belonging to the evil one for eternity. Everyone who is suffering eternally in Hell died from their still desire for sin that was on their hearts when their hour of judgement came. Tragically, God’s unfathomable love was waiting for them, and sadly they choose their sin instead of their Creator’s eternal love because of their still known or unknown desire/love for sin. They forfeited eternal life and choose eternal suffering instead. Incredibly tragic. We don’t want to do that, but horribly so many do.
To accept God’s forgiving mercy we must hate all of our sins, not desire a single one of them from the smallest to the largest–even if the sin is venial. It is true a venial sin won’t break our relationship with God, but if we desire just one venial sin (don’t hate it) by not seeking to amend any one of them, it is now mortal. That is because the “desire to sin” is a mortal desire. Wanting to offend our Creator is a grievous crime against God. We simply must want to love Him or we reject Him.
“[A] venial [sin]…becomes mortal,” when someone “fix[es] one’s end in that venial sin [has no desire to amend]” –St. Aquinas.
I know many people, who are trying to live faithful holy lives, and don’t feel they desire any sins. However, this simply isn’t true for most of us. Unless we have advanced so much spiritual from toiling and toiling to remove sin after sin after sin, constantly imploring God’s grace to successfully eradicate the sins we desire (our habitual sins), and have the proof of correct discipleship–have grown in wonderful virtue and live a life of wonder peace (never complaining or worrying when things don’t go as we desire), bearing the all the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) especially during those great tests from God (to show us if we do have the faith or not)…you know…our sufferings/problems–the crosses. If we fret, become angry, don’t rejoice in the cross…then we still desire sin…at the very least we still desire our will (what we want and not what God allows). That is because when someone finally removes all of the sins we desire, God rewards them with fantastic peace in all circumstances, especially during horrible suffering and trials.
“Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble” (Psalm 119:165).
When we love God’s law and not any sin, we have fantastic peace. If we think we have removed all the sins we desire and yet, still continue to suffer outside of great peace with anger, frustrations, worries, etc., especially when we are tired, hungry, sick, treated poorly, grieving, hurt, or suffer pain or injustices, etc., then the devil has caught us in his trap of deception and has blinded us, like he has with so many others. This is because unless we have the fruits of the faith: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, especially during the cross like when others treat us poorly or we are suffering some trial, we should know something is really wrong as we are still lacking a saving faith from not truly loving God’s law.
“Happy are those who keep his decrees, who seek him with their whole heart” (Psalm 119:2).
A person with a saving faith has removed all desire for sin from loving God’s Word and they live a wonderful happy life…especially with their crosses. They desire God and His will alone and have removed all of the attachments to the things of the world they once ran to for happiness and have one by one removed them and replaced them with loving/desiring God alone. They choose the cross (God)…not pleasure (the world) and whole heartedly want to suffer out of love for God–what ever He wills–for His children for the salvation of souls. They don’t demand things to go the way they feel is good, but trust that God knows what is best and never complain or worry if they must suffer. They want to live the faith and really “follow Me.”
However, to come to this kind of faith, that wants to live the real faith, at least, at the hour of our death, takes much grace from God so we can gain the humility necessary to come to know ones true sinfulness and develop the contrition we need to accept God’s saving mercy and not reject it. However, we don’t want to only scrape into salvation at the moment of death, we want to desire to live the wonderful life God has planned for those who love Him and not their sins. A life of great joy awaits us. Therefore, lets first look carefully at some different ways we prove we still “desire to sin:”
- don’t work hard to remove/amend our sins (are lukewarm)…if we sincerely hated our sins, we wouldn’t bear committing them and would do all we can to stop and obey.
- don’t examine our choices/behaviors to see where we are failing to love as Christ has loved…if we sincerely hated our sins, we would want to know how we are hurting God, and would look deeply into our conscience to learn why we do what we do, so we could see sin in order to stop.
- don’t choose to frequent the sacraments…if we sincerely hated our sin, we would run to God seeking His incredible grace He provides in the sacraments for the strength to amend our ways.
- don’t make resolutions to stop our sins…if we sincerely hated our sins, we would come up with different things we need to do and remove obstacles that are hindering our progress towards perfection (stopping our sins).
- don’t seek to become a saint…if we sincerely hated our sins we most certainly would wholeheartedly want to stop them…we would work to become a real saint of great self-denial.
- aren’t removing our attachments to things of the world and still run to our TV, Internet, food, sex, success, money, friends, for our happiness and not to God alone.
- become angry, worried, frustrated, etc. when things don’t go as we desire. If we truly wanted God’s will, we wouldn’t be outside of peace with whatever God allows.
more coming soon.