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Friday, October 7, 2011

A Closer Look at Inordinate Affection

Colossians 3:5- Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness which is idolatry.

When I first heard the term inordinate affection I wasn't familiar with the term or what it meant, but after hearing someone teach about it, I found it interesting and decided to do a little of my own research and learn more about it. In John 8:32, it says, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." If you look at the scripture reference prior to that you notice the word, if ,in there, which indicates that there is a condition to this promise. What is the condition? Jesus says to the Jews that BELIEVED in Him, If you CONTINUE in HIS WORD, then you are his disciples and then you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. It is important to develop a relationship with the Word if you want to know truth, and to learn to believe it in your heart. I personally have walked out of prison from some very difficult things, I can testify that it was the WORD of truth and the leading of HIS SPIRIT that provided the way out for me, and His love was what drew me to the truth and caused me to desire and hunger after it. Romans 2:4 It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. I don't think in and of ourselves we have the ability to earnestly desire and seek the truth on our own. If it is not prompted by God Himself the temptation is to rely on our intellect. And your intellect will not lead you into all truth. John 16:13- The Spirit of truth which is the Holy Spirit will come and lead you into all truth.


Let's look at what inordinate means in the Webster. It means, irregular, disorderly, excessive, immoderate, not limited to rules prescribed, or to usual bounds; as an inordinate love of the world; inordinate desire of fame.  I want to stop here and comment on fame. It doesn't matter what circles fame is achieved, there is a certain drive behind fame that I often question if it pleases the Lord. In my observations fame is often associated with success, however not every one that is famous is necessarily successful. It depends on how you define success. When fame becomes the achieved goal and something you will obtain against all odds, fame will eventually become your worst enemy. It is better to follow God's blueprint in Matthew 23:12 and 1 Peter 5:6. When we humble ourselves God will exalt us in due time. And one will be able to handle it better because that one has learned to walk in humility. Humility is an attitude that develops from brokenness, and becomes an indication or mark of maturity. Immaturity and fame can destroy someone.

Let’s look at a story in Ezekiel 23 that might help us understand in depth the term inordinate affection. It starts off with two women who have the same mother; one was Aholah which was the eldest, which is Samaria. The younger one was Aholibah which was Jerusalem. Both were God's people, the Israelites. Let's look at what characterized these women. It says that they committed whoredoms, there was no restraint of any kind. The younger one looked at the older one's idolatry and sins and became even worse in her whoredoms than the eldest one. In verse 10 and 11 see what it says. Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted. These discovered her nakedness: they took her sons and her daughters, and slew her with the sword: and she became famous among women; for they had executed judgment upon her. And when her sister Aholibah saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms. Remember this: Not all fame comes packaged the same. In fact if you choose to stand for the truth often times it will bring persecution not fame. In Matthew 5:12 we see that one of the commandments is to rejoice in persecution. It is important to allow God to develop in us a singleness of heart. What is this?  In Colossians 3:22 we read: Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye service, as men pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God; the bible uses a couple of words to define it: Simplicity, sincerity, and mental honesty. It also refers to it as a virtue of one who is free from pretense and hypocrisy. It is not self seeking, but through openness of heart manifesting itself as generosity. It is Strong's #573 for those that care to research it on your own.


Let's look at a practical example that might also aid in helping our understanding of inordinate affection. Let's say there is an individual that you highly esteem and honor, usually we esteem people who have influenced or touched our lives in some way or another for good. It is not wrong to esteem or show them honor, but let's say they get off track and fall into sin in a particular area in their life, but because you love this person so much you go along with them and justify them in their sin rather than face the disappointment or conflict that might come with disagreeing and taking a stand for what the Bible teaches is truth. To aid and go along with this person in their error or sin is to enter into an inordinate affection with them. This will cause a dynamic shift in any relationship and will bring a lot of unhealthy results, not to mention the potential it has to destroy the relationship. To justify their sin is to become one with them in their sin. Not only is it inordinate affection, it is idolatry. Why? You indirectly communicated that you love that person more than you love God and His truth. Isn't this what the Israelites did? They loved sin more than they loved God. Jesus hung out with the sinners; however he did not enter into inordinate affections with them in their sin. There is a big difference in hanging out with sinners and entering into their sin with them. No where have I read where Jesus would take those in sin and pat them on their back and say, "I love you, keep enjoying the pleasures of sin."  He told the woman that committed adultery, neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more. He loves people in their sin, but He does not love sin. This question would be good to consider, ponder and pray about. How do we learn to follow the example of Jesus? Jesus gave us himself as an example to follow and the Pharisees as an example not to follow. We know the Pharisees did not follow Him or His example. They fussed and caused Jesus trouble for hanging out and ministering to the sinners, but they in their self righteous judgments were also in need of His mercy and grace but couldn't receive it because of their religious pride. We must allow God to remove the pride from our hearts. Religious pride is one of the greatest strongholds to break, but nothing is impossible with God. It was pride that got Satan kicked out of heaven. In his pride He seeks to exalt himself above God.

 To conclude, let's summarize the characteristics of inordinate affection. It has no restraints. I shudder inside when I hear people define freedom as having no restraints in anything. This is not true freedom. It may have an appearance of freedom but it is a counterfeit to true freedom. The bible defines it also to be lustfulness. An inordinate affection can also be anything that you lust after. It is immoderation and creates disorder. One of the ways I noticed it will manifest is through insanity. When there is disorder you will always find insanity and no peace. God instructs us in Colossians to mortify the members of our flesh and mentions inordinate affections because He desires that we walk in the Spirit and bring forth life, and following our flesh will bring forth the opposite, which is death. I hope this helps some in your understanding, be a berean and search the scriptures and develop your own relationship with the Godhead. The Father, His Word and the Holy Spirit. If you have any thoughts related to this article please share. That’s all for now.

15 comments:

  1. Many thanks....and may JEHOVAH increase you in wisdom, knowledge, understanding, good health and draw you and all of us more closer to HIM through CHRIST JESUS!

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  2. Thank you for explaining the term "inordinate affection." God bless you sister. Do not worry about what you are doing here, because God has ordained it. He has placed you here to affect the lives of millions. I am just one of them. I thank God for you.

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    1. Thank you, I found your statement encouraging.

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  3. I Thank God for your ministry. Thank you also for the explanation given. God Blessed.

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  4. Wow what excellent information the Lord has given you to share. My thoughts on the term inordinate affection were completley different than what was explained. Thankyou in advance for clarity as I continue to research this terminology.
    May Our Lord and Saviour continue to crown us all with His wisdom and discernment.

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  5. I certainly found this useful. Recently I was witness to an incident in which my husband and neighbour were going to great lengths to bring down the choices made by another neighbour regarding the renovation of the front of their house. I took them to task over their interest negative I might add. My speaking out led to an argument with my husband. Had I stood by and said nothing I would be guilty of inordinate affection. I love my husband dearly but wrong is wrong. My conscious is clear, a wake up call was needed, it might not effect a change straight away but it is a start.
    Thank you for the further understanding. I've seen this happen so many times in my former place of worship, where this kind of affection is not bestowed upon our Lord and Saviour but on man.

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  6. Can you have inordinate affection for a child or parent? How do you know when your affection has veered from Godly and healthy to inordinate affection?

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  7. Anonymous
    Sorry for such a delayed response to your question. Yes I think you can have an inordinate affection for a child and a parent or for anyone else you are in relationship with. If you reread the conclusion in the article above it highlights some of the particular characteristics in inordinate affection that you might find helpful. I think you can tell when your affection for someone has veered simply by examining your own heart, and taking into account some of the truths mentioned above and at the same time asking the Father to show you via the Spirit of God. If someone sincerely desires the truth and cultivates a relationship with God, He will show you the truth. Blessings. Selah

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  8. I was reading Colossians 3 and came across this unfamiliar term. I appreciate your very thorough explanation.

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  9. Praise YAH. This is a great article. I would also add that inordinate affection also applies to unconventional sexual behaviors & acts that unfortunately are widely accepted as normal by today's society, such as masturbation, oral sex, anal sex, sex toys, etc. These are all idolatry

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  10. Thank you so much for imparting these words of wisdom. Your words have been an inspiration. I can now comfortably express to others the meaning of this very relevant scripture. Much blessings to you.

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  11. Thats exactly what I needed.Thank you.

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  12. Thank you so much I was reading this and 5 Minutes ago my wife was telling me how i up hold a Friend im his wrong when he says things bout how he see people and i dont say nothin)but as i was reading i see thats exactly what i have been doing but i thought if i give him a example of me looking at something different or the same thing in a positive way i thought by me doing it this way i was being a good friend now he just got in the truth and i did not want to beat him with the bible i try to find a way not to offend him and to My wife she feel im aiding him in his feelings by not telling him straight that he is wrong .thank you i hope the Almighty God continué to fill you with his spirit my email is ronniebrown590@gmail .com hope to here from you

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  13. Yes I realky liked this because my husband has a friend that has an attitude about certain things that is not right. He starts things with in my marriage joking or not that my husband may ponder and bring back too me. He buts in conversation, that he has nothing to do with my husband says nothing. He has even went so far as to play my husbands face, my husband corrected himself apologized to him. Like this Ordinate Affection thing really is deep. Like he does go along with things with this,man like it's ok only to keep a friend ship even when it has to do with his wife it's hurtful to me because his friend gets the upmost respect and i get left back!!

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  14. This was really God sent.....i am dealing with a Pastor that i sat under for over 15 years , i respected him and his wife very much, i esteemed them and honored them , well she left him over 2 years ago, we started a relationship but i had to end it for the reason of "inordinated affection" everyone thought that i was wrong since after all he was a "man of God". thanks for sharing

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