An Expulsive Power of a New Affection


I am struck by the words expulsive, impulsive, compulsive and propulsive. All have to do with a driving force.

I have impulsive and compulsive habits. Some of these habits are related to food.

The love of God can both expel the love of the world from me and impel me to move toward His love. He can compel me to seek Him. His power can propel me to holiness.

In me are many driving forces in me to do actions: to satisfy my desires, to covet things of the world, to want to change, to seek God. What is driving me? Is my driving force God’s love or the love of the world and it’s pleasures?

I’m reading the sermon by Thomas Chalmers, “The Expulsive Power of a New Affection.” It is new words for a truth I know, but have not applied recently. It is not enough to get my bad eating habits out of me. (And I can’t even do this by reason or personal strength.) I need an expulsive power from outside of me to force those food affections out of me AND to impel me to move to God so that He can compel me to seek Him. I need to be propelled forward to new habits and behaviors that are God-pleasing.

I know these things. But I don’t KNOW them. I need that expulsive power of a new affection to both remove the affections I have for food AND to supplant these desires with new ones: specifically, a greater love of God. He needs to mean more to me than worldly desires.

All these words come from the Latin, pellere, which means drive. I need to understand what drives me, motivates me, compels me to action. And I need to give these drives to God and ask Him to supplant them with the drives that will cause me to seek Him, to love Him, and to desire Him, above all else.

So Yahweh, this is what I ask for a Christmas present. That You would expel the affections I have for food and the world by planting in me a greater affection for You. That You would impel me to seek You. That You would give me compulsions that are God-ly. That You would drive me, propel me, to Your heart.

I give You my bad habits, my compulsions for food, my impulsive behaviors. I ask that You give me a new affection: a passion for You.

Amen and Amen!


A New Christmas Sweater


When you make the decision to have Bariatric surgery, you don’t realize all the implications. I knew I’d have to deal with not having candy in my stocking. I knew I wouldn’t be able to pig out on food while watching Christmas movies or eat a whole large popcorn at the theater. I didn’t know I’d have to deal with dressing up for the holidays. Sigh!

There’s something special about decorating yourself for the holidays. Whether its the lapel pin or a fleece jacket with snowmen, it’s just fun to wear special clothes. I have some if these clothes, but all of them are 2-3 sizes too big. Should I wear them one last time and look a bit baggy, not wear any special clothes this year, or buy a new Christmas sweater?

I fully recognize that this is a want and not a need. The practical side of me knows that anything I would buy this year should be too big next year. Isn’t that a waste?

Yet when I was Christmas shopping yesterday, I found myself looking for a sweater I liked (I didn’t find one.) and it caused me to ponder these unexpected consequences of the decision to have Bariatric surgery. Like Sunday, I was at church and knelt during worship at one point. And I had no knee pain! I just had thought I was getting old and hadn’t realized it was all that weight loaded on my knees causing the pain.

I read a Christmas devotion today that connected God’s command to decorate the tabernacle with the decorations we put up for Christmas. Aren’t I a temple of God? OK, I’m not using that as an argument to spend money. I’m just pointing out that decorating ourselves with jewelry, pins and clothing that is special may have other meanings.

So, should I buy a new sweater? Maybe go to a used clothing store to see if there’s a gently used one for sale? Wear the items in
my closet one more time?

Decisions. Decisions!