10 Cravings of the Sinful Nature

What are the cravings of the sinful nature? What kinds of strong desire does the sinful nature produce? What does the intense longing that comes from your sinful nature look like?

Here are 10 examples. You’ll recognize them immediately.

1.  When you are blessed, the sinful nature produces pride: The sinful nature wants to take the credit.

2. When others succeed, the sinful nature produces envy: The sinful nature says, “It should have been me.”

3. When you do something good, the sinful nature is self-righteous: It says, “Look what I did!”

4. When you do something wrong, the sinful nature goes into denial: The sinful nature says, “It wasn’t me!”

5. When you suffer, the sinful nature indulges in self pity.

6. When you don’t get what you want, the sinful nature gets irritable, frustrated, and angry.

7. When your work is not recognized or appreciated, the sinful nature gets resentful.

8. When you are in a conflict the sinful nature produces self-justification: It says, “I’m right!”

9. When you hear about the love of God, the sinful nature produces unbelief: It will say, “That can’t be true!”

10. When you hear what the Bible says about sin, the sinful nature responds with evasion. Thinking about the sin of others do you think, “Well, I wouldn’t have done that. I’m better than that.” Guess where that comes from?

The list goes on and on, so learn to detect the voice of the sinful nature. Learn to read your heart and predict where your sinful nature will go.

  • If the fires have burned low in your marriage, expect your sinful nature to produce thoughts about divorce. Something within you will say, “You deserve better than this. There must be another person out there for you.”
  • If you are discouraged in ministry, expect the sinful nature to produce thoughts about quitting. The sinful nature will say, “You deserve better than this. There’s something else you could do.” The sinful nature will always produce these cravings, strong desires, and intense longings.

The Christian life is a sustained battle against the constant impulses of sin that rise from the sinful nature. If you are a Christian, your sin is forgiven, but it has not yet been expelled. You are now involved in a lifelong struggle, with the help of the Spirit of God, against the desires of the sinful nature.

Which of these ten is the biggest struggle for you? Which do you think is the most tragic?


sinful nature


Colin Smith (@PastorColinS) is senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition.

Date Posted: Apr 26th, 2016

  • sunni all day

    Im a new beginner of the christian life and i struggle with ciggarette habits but i will soon stop with the help of jesus christ

  • Oh, I’m pretty much 10 for 10.

  • What I think is most tragic is blaming a person’s actions and responses on a “sinful” nature (which describes a surface characteristic, not innate quality). We’re responsible for our own actions, and those actions say something of our hearts before God (ref. Matthew 7:18).

    Perhaps what you said wasn’t what you meant, but you have denied that fact in your list, and you have misused some grammar and words altogether.

    See, you explicitly write that “the sinful nature” experiences and causes the negative things (“the sinful nature [verb]”—and that phrasing necessarily sets things up as a specific X—>Y formula that necessarily happens, not that it’s a possibility. (Possibility needs “can [verb]”.)

    You’ve also misused “self-righteous” and “self-justification”, where the example behaviors are completely different things from what those items are—which is true of many of your examples, actually, with the example actions being non sequiturs or hasty generalizations from the summary statements. This produces an overall structure of equivocation or fallacy of four terms.

    (“Self-righteousness” = “Of course I was right to do what I did!” & “self-justification” = “Of course I was right to do what I did because X & Y & Z!”—with the “of course!” indicating that any and all evidence to the contrary is outright ignored. So it’s “See how great I am!” and “I must be right!”. Your examples of “Look what I did!” and “I’m right!” can happen without any self-righteousness or self-justification involved.)

    You even misuse the definite article “the”, such as how you call your list one of examples and yet introduce it as “the cravings” and “the intense longing”. (“The” can never mean “some”.)

    My day job’s communication, so I can’t help but notice these sorts of things.

    On-topic, your list is incomplete enough that none of your specific examples describe me. Note that I’m not saying that I’m perfect, just that your question is faulty and your list of examples are incomplete. (Ex. Pride can stem from a form of over-reliance on self—believing that a person or situation would change if only you were good enough.)

    Hope this helps for the future! 🙂

  • Your comment doesn’t address what I actually said and responds as if I said something I didn’t, which is bearing false witness. You additionally speak as if I am necessarily not “before the Lord”—which is assumption treated as fact, which is what gossip is.

    If you want to consider features of the sinful nature as it manifests in those who claim the faith, I Corinthians 5:11 gives an outright list. Misrepresenting others’ words is a form of loidoros, which that verse condemns.

    Pointing all this out on the assumption that it was an accident, on your part.

    • Linda Maldonado

      Wow, Misti, Clance simply stated to put your requests to the Lord. I did not read this as if he was implying that you were not before the Lord? He was just responding in a humble way to direct your inquiries to God. We can not rely on man, surely he will fail you. But God will not fail you and Clance is simply stating that with a personal relationship with God will help sort out these things you question. Matthew 7:7 Ask, Seek, Knock…..Correcting others like you did in your first post, of things that are so minor speaks volumes of who you really are as a person. Jesus drew a line when men were stoning a woman. He said to them that if they had no sin, they could stone this woman. None did and they left. Then Jesus asked the woman, “who judges you?” she said no one. He said, then go and “sin” no more. You, Misti, were casting stones in your post, being petti about the language, the grammar, etc., i say this, the person that points a finger is always guilty of something! What ever your issues are you need to re think when you read someones post and when you do have something constructive to say without prejudice, then speak. And just for your information, when you stated above that Clance made you feel “as if” you said something ….right there is where you actually showed your colors. As if you feel guilty about something he did not even say or write in his post???

  • Rufus Nganga

    My sin is put on display especially when I really hope to get something done my way n it does….DAT humbling effect produces pride which is just bad when I think of it when am sober-minded, may God help mature spiritually