“A strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something”
We are all passionate about something, it could be our family, our faith, politics, a form of education, a hobby, or thousands of other subjects too numerous to list. But we all have at least one passion and some of us no doubt have several passions that we like to pursue. For some, their passion becomes a hobby, for others, they make it a career, a “cottage industry” or even a movement within their circles of influence.
As Christians, our passion does not define who we are in Christ, but it does define our actions and how we are seen by others. God knows our hearts, others know our actions. Our hearts are usually expressed by our actions which are defined by our passions. The Bible has something to say about this:
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:…”
“…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”
An apple tree is not defined as an apple tree solely on its ability to produce apples, but the fruit is a visible characteristic of being an apple tree. That being said, looking from the outside in, as Christians, our fruit should be what differentiates us from the world.
Having a passion for family, for an educational process, a hobby, or a political bent does not necessarily distinguish us from the world. You can easily find non-Christians passionate about these things. As Christians, these may be mere avenues of expressing the underlying passion for the Trinity and the Word of God. My concern in America today is that we have allowed secondary passions to suppress what should be our primary passion for Christ.
If someone were to ask you today what your passion is, what would you say? Have you thought about it recently? What makes you tick, what excites and motivates you? My purpose today is not to condemn one or another, but to spark something inside each of us to encourage us to rethink our passions because often the passion(s) that we should have as Christians can become sidetracked by otherwise good or secondary passions. What should be our primary passions can be consumed or overridden by the secondary.
Why is it important to understand what is our true passion? Because what we are truly passionate about is what will ultimately flow out in our actions. Our passion is not necessarily what we claim it to be, but our true passion is usually evidenced by the fruit / actions we actually produce. It is this visible fruit that defines us by those around us.
If you and I were to be judged solely on the fruit produced by our passion, what would people say is my passion, what is your passion? While we think about this topic, let me put out there several things to consider:
- What pops first into your thoughts may not be correct. Our initial thoughts may be what we think is expected of us and what others expect us to say. As an extreme example, a spiritual leader may state that their passion is God’s Word and the feeding of God’s flock, but in reality, the fruit of their passion, may show something else. We need to think deeper about what makes us passionate and not settle for the expected reply.
- If we asked your closest friends what was your passion, what would they say, how do they see you?
- If we asked your peers and co-workers what was your passion, what would they say, how do they see you?
- And if we asked your immediate family what was your passion, what would they say?
Now the answers to this question may not be completely accurate because man can be a great deceiver that will often go for years fooling many, but if we consider the fruit that others see in us, it can be a good indication of what we really value.
Here is Paul’s passion:
Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
As we clarify in our hearts what our real passions are, the big questions are: How does that stack up against the Word of God? and What changes in our lives do we need to make to reflect the right priorities in our lives?
“Purpose may point you in the right direction but it’s passion that propels you.” – Travis McAshan, Entrepreneur and Web Strategist