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Passion Vs. Affection - Is there a Difference?

This is incredibly interesting. We have all been somewhat influenced (if not brainwashed) by the culture and generation we happen to be born into. This brief explanation will make so many passages in scripture so much more meaningful and understandable:

Not all emotion is created equal.

In fact, the category of emotion itself is fairly novel. It is a category that was created near the dawn of the Enlightenment to describe the experience of humans as mere animals.

Premodern thought understood a distinction between kinds of emotion. At the time of the writing of the New Testament, common Greek thought articulated a distinction between the splankna — the chest — and the koilia — the belly. The splankna was the seat of of the affections, things like love, joy, courage, and compassion. The koilia was the seat of the passions, things like appetite, sexuality, fear, and rage. The affections were to be nurtured, developed, and encouraged, and the passions were to be held under control. The passions were not evil — they were simply part of man’s physical makeup, but in any contest between the passions and the intellect, the passions always won unless the intellect was supported by the affections.

This was the common way of articulating things in Greek culture, and therefore NT authors wrote with such distinctions in mind. For instance, Paul says in Philippians 3 that enemies of Christ worship their koilia — their “belly,” their passions. In Colossians 3 Paul tells Christians to put on splankna — the “chest,” affections — of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, and longsuffering. In other words, this distinction is not explicitly defined in the New Testament because the original readers would have already understood it, but the distinction is clearly evident. Enemies of Christ serve their passions while God-pleasing Christians nurture noble affections. This distinction has been lost in our day, largely because of the influence of secularism and especially evolutionism, but premoderns understood it.


Mel said…
This is excellent! I'm so glad you take the time to seek out these precious nuggets of truth, and to share them with us. I believe you have a mind that has been deeply renewed by the Spirit of God to be able to recognize and value what is truly valuable. Your blog inspires me and stokes my hunger for truth, righteousness, and true beauty. :)
Donna said…
Very well written and studied.

So do we love God with our chest or our bellies?

Or is there a third love? One that does not come from either?

TruthMatters said…
Jesus tells us, "you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." How is this possible? I believe it is supernatural in nature and only possible by the Spirit of God who indwells all "born-again" believers. Perhaps that is a "third" kind, i.e. a taste of the glory of God that transcends human limitation.

Love is a word that is impossible to describe with words, it must be experienced. It would be like attempting to describe (with words) the fragance of a lilac. Try as you may, one has to smell it for themselves. Verbal descriptions are almost futile.
Donna said…
That's exactly what I meant. The passion we have for Christ is like what would come from the belly. Passionate...raw...jealous...,but then when it comes to our brothers we have to love them from the heart....

Our love for God we may portray in our flesh, but I believe it does transcend our flesh

Interesting subject you bring up my dear.


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