The Expulsive Power of a New Affection

Posted: May 13, 2013 by thoughtsfrommyshelf in Book reviews, Theology, Thoughts

        There are mostly two ways that people try to dissuade others of a particular point.  One would be to show the cons or negative points of something or someone. The second would be to make an object or person look like the lesser in comparison to something else. Chalmers argues that the latter is the most effective way in his article, The Expulsive Power of a New Affection.

        For example, my brother is a nutrition freak. His idea of a cheat day is adding croutons to his lifeless salad.  He has tried to tell me time and time again why I should stop eating burgers, fries, and all things good. All I gather from that is no calories, no fat, and no sugar equals no good. (Side note: I have yet to be convinced that I should let go of eating half a dozen doughnuts for breakfast)

        But I have been able to drop 25 pounds within a month. Now how do you get a food-lover at heart to let go of everything considered unhealthy? The way Chalmers would go about it is by persuading me of a greater desire.

        I remember training for a fight and wanting to win my bout. The last thing I wanted was to lose a fight. I didn’t want to show up unprepared. I definitely didn’t want the fight to be canceled because I wasn’t disciplined enough to make weight.

        This led me to give up foods that would stop me from reaching my goal. I not only gave up fried food, but on certain days closer to the fight, I gave up eating carbs, meats, and only ate vegetables. One day before the fight, needing to lose 3 more pounds, I crash dieted and worked out on an empty stomach. Now that I think about it, and ask myself why, Chalmers makes perfect sense- I had a desire for something that was greater than my desire for food.

        The only way we will give up ungodly desires for godliness is if we have a growing desire to be conformed into the image of Christ. Position can only be given up when we see the status we have in our union with Christ. Rejection seems a small price when we are aware of the acceptance and adoption of our heavenly Father. Resources are no longer hoarded when we see all of the riches we have received from a generous king. How can anyone really threaten a believer with loss, suffering, and death when Jesus has won on our behalf, promised unfading glory, and eternal life in which death is no more?

        Chalmers provides Christians with a template and blueprint for any impulse we want to expel. I don’t know of any other way of removing impulses that seek gratification better than introducing a greater desire. God is the ultimate satisfaction and satisfier of our souls. The promise of everything we desire finds its root in Him. This article would make great material in helping anyone struggling with a particular sin that seems greater than the promises of God.

If you would like to read this article by Chalmers you can download the PDF Chalmers, Thomas – The Exlpulsive Power of a New Affection.


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