What sorts of “affections” does Jesus call us to?
“You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also.” -2 Corinthians 6:12-13
The spirit of religion is all about restriction. “Don’t do this.” “Avoid them.” “Stay away from that.” In the name of holiness, religion more often produces segregation.
The biggest danger in this is that it suddenly becomes very natural to also restrict our love and compassion, giving it only to those who are “like us” and who have passed some test of moral orthodoxy.
This is nothing more than self-imposed slavery and nothing less than an affront to the Gospel.
Religion says, “We look after our own.” The Gospel says, “We look after all of our neighbors that we can.”
Religion says, “We love the family of God.” The Gospel says, “We love the family of humanity that God made in His image and loved through the blood of His Son.”
Religion says, “We take care of the needs of our church members only.” The Gospel says, “We take care of our church first, but then spread as wide as we can to meet the needs of as many as possible, in Jesus’ name.”
True joy and holiness does not come from restraining evil deeds, but in the holy overflow of an unrestrained heart whose affections are unrestricted, both towards God and our fellow man.
Be free today!