"Where do the conflicts and where do the quarrels among you come from? Is it not from this, from your passions that battle inside you? You desire and you do not have; you murder and envy and you cannot obtain; you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask; you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions." James 4:1-3
There have been numerous seasons when sharing my thoughts, ideas, desires, and feelings have been difficult for me. Somewhere along the way, I was made to feel guilty, crazy, embarrassed about what was in my mind and heart. So, instead of sharing, I pushed these thoughts and feelings deep down inside.
As my hesitancy to ask for what I wanted increased, my desires did not decrease. This meant I had to get creative in getting what I wanted. One of these creative methods I employed was the idea I now call, Pork Barreling Desires.
Pork Barreling is a term used in our government. When lawmakers in our government add financial "bonuses" to laws for their local districts usually having nothing to do with the actual law. By piggybacking on others' desires we realize we can get what we want and avoid a potential conflict.
How does it play out in real life?
I love Chick-Fil-A, and I love the Spicey Chicken Sandwich. This desire used to come with a guilt about wanting something for myself. I felt I was being selfish. I also wanted to maintain a certain image to the world and to my wife so I couldn't come across as selfish.
Out of my own self-righteousness, I got creative. I knew she loved the vanilla milkshakes, and I knew if I offered to get her one she would not turn it down. I would go to her, without disclosing my own desire, asking if she would like me to go get her a milkshake. She said yes, and I went.
Then, while I was at Chick-Fil-A getting my wife a milkshake, I went ahead and ordered that Spicey Chicken Sandwich while I was there. I served my wife, and I got what I wanted. It all worked out well, right?
My actions looked clean, but my heart was tainted. I was attempting to maintain a certain image of myself and get what I wanted secretly. In writing this, it seems silly to think I behaved like this.
What do I do now? I'm upfront and honest. I say I'm heading to Chick-Fil-A to get some food. Would you like something while I am there? Easy and open. No confusion. No hiding desires. No facades.
What desires are you pork barreling at home? At work?