(This is the final installment of a twelve part series on passion.)
In his book Uprising, Erwin McManus tells about an appointment he had with the CEO of a large organization. After hearing Erwin’s passion for a project that he was promoting, the CEO looked at Erwin and said, “It’s rare to meet anyone with a passion for anything.”
Passion is a rare commodity.
Why is passion so rare? Is this true? Are most people satisfied with merely existing? Were we created to robotically go through the motions and stages of life without any deep emotion or vigor?
So many of us have forsaken our passions for obligations. We think that passion is a luxury that only young people can pursue. Somehow we have defined “growing up” with ceasing to live a life of desire and fulfillment. We have believed the lie that maturity equals conformity. We’ve accepted the myth that adulthood leads us to a dull and boring assembly line job doing the same thing over and over and over again until apathy sets in.
Unfortunately, the term passion has been identified with sin for years. If you briefly skim through the New Testament, you’ll see that it is often used in a negative light. This is why the Church set up a long list of rules to live by – to keep congregants from following their heart and their passion. Parameters were created so that God’s people wouldn’t stray away from him if their passions took over.
By doing so, the Church has turned us into Buddhists! Buddhism teaches that the ultimate end is the elimination of all desire. When we focus on nothing but rules, rituals, and obligations, Christianity is no different than any other religion.
But pure passion is a GODLY trait. it is not a sin to be passionate.
Passion is defined as a “compelling emotion or desire.” As you read the story of God – his creation, his mercy, his patience, his grace, and his love – you see his compelling emotion and desire. Ultimately, his passion for us climaxed at the cross, also known as The Passion.
Certainly, passion can lead us down the road to destruction or the road to life. The key to following our passions in a healthy way is to focus on our character. When you don’t care about your character but only what feels good, you’ll get yourself in trouble quick. Sometimes the fire that burns within us can destroy us.
Just ask any meth user. It brought so much pleasure when they started it. Then they became slaves.
Which reminds me of something I tweeted yesterday. “Sin creates the illusion of freedom. It is a free act that ultimately enslaves you.”
If you’ve laid a strong foundation of godly character in your life, following your passions becomes much easier. Evil character takes our passions and destroys us. Godly character ignites our passions for what is good and true.
When people come to me and ask me the age-old question, “How can I know God’s will for my life?” I often point them to Psalm 37:4. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
I truly believe that when we focus on God first and seek the desires he has for our lives we will find true freedom.
Doing what you love. Living for the things you are passionate about. Fulfilling your heart’s desires. Using your gifts and God-given abilities. Accomplishing godly goals. Living the dream. This is the ultimate freedom.
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