In my last post I asked this question, “What’s Your Passion?” It is a question that has been on my heart since entering 2017. Figuring out what I am passionate about (and the motivation behind that passion) has been a healthy challenge for me. I decided to pass it on to you–What are YOU passionate about?– in the hope that you also would be challenged to identify your own passions.
In that post I wrote about a developing passion of mine: writing. I say, “developing” because I really don’t think of myself as a writer at all. For me, writing is difficult, often frustrating work that continually morphs from one idea to another. I keep at it (and all of its frustrations) because of a mysterious “something” that happens when all those thoughts–those bunny trails of ideas–finally begin to tie together and I can finish my post. I write because it’s a calling–it is what I know God would have me do. It has become a “developing passion” as He has opened my mind and heart to the thoughts and ideas I am privileged to pass on to you.
After publishing that post, I was forced to dig deeper into why I am passionate about certain things.
Finally I asked God to help me
not only to identify my own passions,
but also to grasp the influences that drive them.
That is when I gained the wisdom and perspective
I was looking for.
It was as if He opened a gate into new insights that go far deeper than I imagined, fulfilling what King Solomon was referring to when he wrote about relationships:
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
God has given us relationships so we can help one another through life. Two are better than one! But, when it comes to facing difficulty, we need God’s strength and perspective to provide the wisdom we lack. I share these insights into my personal passions, in the hope that it will encourage you to go deeper in understanding your own. I am passionate about (not necessarily in this order):
- PEOPLE–People matter. I am passionate about listening to people, especially when they are hurting, because I know it helps to be heard.
- GOD–God saved me from myself for Himself–He heard my cry for help! In the nearly 50 years since then, He has proven to me His faithfulness in difficulty as well as in times of ease.
- SCRIPTURE–Probably my deepest passion is connecting hurting people to a faithful, caring God, with the wisdom and perspective of the Scriptures. I see miracles all the time as God faithfully ministers to the hearts and minds of those who seek Him. It is an addiction that I hope will never leave me.
Only now am I beginning to see, that the foundation of my passion for writing
has been built upon my love and passion for people, God and Scripture.
But there’s a problem with passion; it can lead us into darkness when left unchecked. I have known such darkness many times, times when it appeared there was no hope remaining . . . when despair ruled and sickened me with fear and anger. So how are we to avoid the passions of others that swirl around us without getting pulled down with them? Many times we are tempted to distance ourselves . . . to turn our backs for whatever reason. But when we do that, we lose the window of opportunity God has opened for us–“to love as He has loved us.”
Instead of abandoning others in distress, God calls us to submit ourselves to Him as we first examine our own hearts. This passage in James chills me to the bone with it’s truthfulness, yet it reminds me to keep my own passion in check as I love others by following God’s lead:
“What causes fights and quarrels among you?
Don’t they come from your desires (your passions) that battle within you?
You desire but do not have, so you kill.
You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.
You do not have because you do not ask God.
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives,
that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
You adulterous people, don’t you know
that friendship with the world means enmity against God?
Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world
becomes an enemy of God.
Or do you think Scripture says without reason
that He jealously longs for the spirit He has caused to dwell in us?
That is why Scripture says:
‘God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.'”
To listen and act in the love and humility of Jesus is what Christians are called to. In these times of uncertainty I am saddened when I see blind passion assuming the worst of others with differing views. Whatever your passion, I urge you to:
- Go to God with thanksgiving for His love and mercy extended on the Cross through His Son.
- Give thanks that His plans ARE being worked out in these uncertain times as you confess our own struggle with fear.
- Ask Him to help you look for the good that is being accomplished despite the turmoil–sometimes even because of the turmoil! (Believe me, there are amazing things God is doing if you take time to look!)
So dear friend . . . what’s YOUR passion?
All to His Glory!