To Desire and To Crave

I was asked a question by my wife  the other day which took me by surprise.

It's the surprise you often get when you put two powerful notions side by side - each of which consisting of unsearchable riches in and of themselves. You wouldn't think you could ever understand either of them but you're asked the question: "What's the difference between the two?"

Craving and desire. What's the difference for you?


A favourite author of ours, Erwin McManus wrote a book called Soul Cravings. In it he explores how our soul craves 3 things: intimacy, destiny and meaning. We have deep-seeded longings for these things and often express it in misguided ways.

Why do we crave? What compells us? And what does that suggest about what we crave?


My and my wife's story has been interlaced with another question over the years: what does it cost us to desire? We both enjoy to be involved; to commit ourselves to projects and to success. And often it's easier to not desire. It's safer to not let ourselves hope and feel, for then there's room for dissapointment and pain.

We know it costs us something to desire. Paying that price is found at the core of living a vulnerable life (as I'm sure Brene Brown would agree).

Dare we expose ourselves to desire? Do we have the courage to truly desire?

  • Do we desire a job we're passionate about?
  • Do we desire a healthy and lovig marriage?
  • Do we desire to care for our neighbours?
  • Do we desire to get in shape?
  • Do we desire to travel?
  • Do we desire to be free from fear and guilt?

Well, do we allow ourselves to live out these desires and truly pursue them?


Perhaps there is no significant difference between craving and desire. I found one for myself but perhaps this will change over time. But one last question remains after all of this thought, and it is the question I ask myself regularly. It's a driving question behind the most fruitful areas of my life:

Will I own and pursue that which I crave? That which I desire? Will I live courageously?

- ts

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