But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:8-10)
As disciples of the Master, Jesus Christ, we are in a war. It is not one fought in physical terms. Our battle is in the the spiritual realm, against forces trying to steer us off the goal of pleasing our master.
Many Christians find themselves fighting battles against virtually every sin or shortcoming imaginable. However, we often fail because of the lack of understanding the root cause of our missing the mark, also known as “sin”.
The great sin of mankind is the sin of selfishness. The battle is a battle for the self, the centerpiece of our existence. It is the root cause of the problems and turmoil we face on a daily basis.
Most of the world’s large religions understand this. Buddhism, for instance, sees all suffering coming from desire which is based on the self. Therefore, the goal of the Buddhist is to eliminate all desire, whether it be good or bad. Once all desire is abandoned, the devotee has become enlightened and therefore reaches Nirvana. With some variances, the goal is very much the same in Hinduism and other eastern religions.
As a follower of Christ, however. our aim is not to get rid of desire or self. Instead, the “desire” is to replace our desires with our master’s desires. After all, it is impossible to get rid of desire. If our desire is to rid ourselves of all desires, does it not stand to reason that that very desire is a desire in itself? Discipleship in Christ is the process of turning our desires into the direction of Christ. We are being transformed from selfishness to self-lessness.
When our wants and wishes are in line with Jesus’ desires then we can find the real peace we all long to find.