Do You Know What is Shaping Your Desires?

Henry Kaestner

Every so often I (HK) hear a sermon that isn’t necessarily about being an entrepreneur, but is very much about being a follower of Christ, and so it has everything to do with being a FAITH DRIVEN entrepreneur. This is one of those.

I’ve now listened to this 5 times. Twice by myself, and 3 times with my boys, especially as he talks toward the end about buying and selling shoes at speculative prices online - something that my oldest son spends way too much time thinking about. But this sermon, and that illustration, is not just for him, but for all of us.

As a bonus, Toby goes in to the work of mimetics as advanced by Rene Girard. I love Girard not just for his work, which is great, but because in endeavoring to perform academic research as an atheist/agnostic he came to understand and know God and become a follower of Christ. Another example of this comes from Rodney Stark through his work of “Rise of Christianity” and “Triumph of Christianity”. He was an agnostic during the former, and a follower of Christ by the latter.

Toby asks us:

“Do you know what is Shaping your desires? Do you know why you want want you want?”

I think that this is important for us, but I also think that we need to think about this dynamic when we think about how we market and advertise our products and services.

Toby talks about some of the most effective advertising campaigns being those that are about shaping our desires by selecting the type of people that promote our product and their setting. I won’t give this topic the weight that it is due (though maybe we’ll tackle this on a podcast), but I think it’s really important. Our nation is expected to spend more than $183 billion on advertising…that’s more than $700 for every man, woman, and child. Selling and advertising are good. Are we thinking though about what we are doing as we shape others’ desires too? There is far more here than I can properly summarize.

Toby does a great job of giving us a series of Scriptural references that help us to understand what we are to imitate and how our desires might be shaped in a Godly way, how we can live in this world, and how God wants us to live.

Sounds simple, and you might expect what passages he might select, and yet he does it very, very well, and it’s very much worth you listening to it. Maybe not 5x….but maybe.

Christ Church San Francisco - Shaping Your Desires by Toby Kurth

Some quotes that I love:

“Do I know why I want to what I want to do when I wake up on a daily basis? Do I know what about my motivation and my desires is tainted by sin and bad stuff and brokenness, and what part is God speaking to me through his Holy Spirit? Do I have a grid to even understand that?”

GK Beal says this in his book, “We become What We Worship”. “All humans have been created to be reflecting beings and they will reflect whatever they are ultimately committed to. Whether the true God or some other object in the created order. We resemble what we revere either for ruin or restoration.”

“You knowing what you desire and why you desire it directly impacts your relationship with God and your relationship with others. How you exist in the world is shaped by knowing your identity at a deep enough level to be able to identify these types of things. Is the impact you’re having for good or for bad. Is it to make things whole or to break things down.”

If you like this sermon at all, I want to encourage you to check out another one of Toby’s sermons we highlighted a few months ago:

I am the Light of the World by Toby Kurth

Want to see other sermons that we think are particularly helpful for the entrepreneurial journey? Search the category Sermons on the blog page.


Special thanks to Aaron Sebastian on Unsplash for the cover photo.