The Dangerous Duty of Delight, chapter 3

Affections are not Optional

If you’ve not yet been able to get a copy of the book (eBook available here for $7), then you can read chapter 3 here.

Our ‘affections’ — that complex of feelings, will, emotions, and motivations which reside metaphorically in our hearts– matter to God. Our culture likes to paint us as victims of our own affections, suggesting we cannot change them or shape them. Instead we are bound only to instinctively obey them and serve them. Our affections have become confused with our identity: we are what we feel.

Such helplessness in the face of our affections is not found in the Bible. Instead, we are called to direct and employ our affections for the glory of God. As much as scripture commands us to reject negative urges and feelings (do not covet, do not bear a grudge), God also calls us to adopt positive affections and choices (be satisfied with what we have, forgive and reconcile).

At the pinnacle of God’s call to engage our affections is the command to love. We are to love the Lord our God, with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30-31). We are to love our neighbour; earnestly, and from the heart (1 Peter 1:22).

For consideration and prayer

  • Right now, how might you give expression to your love for God and your neighbour?
  • How might you nurture your love for God and your neighbour today?
  • When you don’t ‘feel the love’ for God or neighbour, what does Piper suggest you do? What will you do?

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