Sunday, April 01, 2007

Powlison on Lusts of the Flesh: Question 11

David Powlison answers question 11 (of 15) on lusts of the flesh:

11. What about fears? They seem as important in human motivation as cravings.
Fear and desire are two sides of a single coin. A sinful fear is a craving for something not to happen. If I want money, I fear poverty. If I long to be accepted, I'm terrified of rejection. If I fear pain or hardship, I crave comfort or pleasure. If I crave preeminence, I fear being inferior to others. With some people the fear may be more pronounced than the corresponding desire, and wise counseling will work with what is pronounced.
For example, a person who grew up during the Great Depression might manifest mammon worship through a fear of poverty that shows up in anxiety, hoarding, repeated calculations of financial worth, and so forth. A wealthy entrepeneur might manifest mammon worship through unchecked consumer spending. With the former, address fear; with the latter, address greed. They are complementary expressions of cravings on earth.