Passion is a noun meaning strong emotion. Some of the synonyms for passion include; fervor, intensity, zeal, eagerness, and frenzy. Most of us have activities in our lives that we are passionate about. Sometimes those passions can consume us.
The Bible is chock-full of practical wisdom for daily living. It offers us this nugget of wisdom in regards to our passions:
“Do not fall into the grip of your passion, lest like fire it consume your strength. It will eat your leaves and destroy your fruits, and you will be left like a dry tree. For fierce passion destroys its owner and makes him the sport of his enemies.”
While this exhortation might have been directly pertaining to sexual passion, for today’s message I think it can be seen as an admonition against any of our passions. Let me explain with a couple random silly examples of my own.
I once owned a boat. I think anyone who has ever owned a boat can tell you that if you have one it becomes a passion. I was constantly planning activities around that boat and frequently buying things for that boat that I just “had to have.” I sold that boat many years ago and I rarely even think about boating anymore. But while I had it, it was all consuming.
Another passion I had when I lived in Florida was flying stunt kites. Once, while at the beach, I saw several people flying two string stunt kites. I located the kite store and soon discovered just how expensive these kites were, nonetheless I just “had to have” one. Over time, I bought many more kites and spent way too much money on them. I always “had to have” the coolest, newest kite. Well, fast forward to now. I live in the mountains of South Carolina. Needless to say, I am a long way from the coast and I rarely, if ever, think of my kites anymore.
After moving to the mountains, hiking, backpacking and tent camping became my new passion. I have approached my zeal for these things in much the same way as I approached my zeal for the kites. There is always new gear that I (you guessed it) “just had to have”.
As demonstrated in my examples above, my once all-consuming passions were fleeting. While caught up in these passions they seemed to capture all of my attention. Later, they became somewhat meaningless.
We all probably know someone who is a sports fanatic….maybe you are one. The sports they love and their favorite teams become their passion. Everything is put aside if it gets in the way of that sport. God forbid, if their sports activity falls on a Sunday because church just gets shoved aside.
So now let me ask you an easy question first. What are some of the things in your life that you have a passion for? If you can take just a minute, write them down on a piece of paper. Now study your list. Is there anything listed that perhaps occupies too much of your time, thoughts and money? Are any of these passions consuming you? Do you need to pull away from some of these things or at least re-evaluate your priorities?
I will wrap things up today with a few hard questions for all of us. Does our passion for Jesus rise to the same level of those things on our list above? Based on where our thoughts, time and money go, can we honestly say that faith in Jesus is the one thing in our life we are most passionate about? If not, what can we do today to make Him number one?
Heavenly Father, never let me forget that it is Thy will that must be done, not my will. Help me to put you first in my life, and help me to make following Your Son my biggest passion. I ask this in the name of Jesus, amen.
- Choosing To Be Orphans - June 4, 2023
- Competing Voices - May 28, 2023
- Sharing His Kingship - May 21, 2023
Thank you very much for writing this, I really needed to read this after the past few weeks. I often succumb to unhealthy passions and need reminders to not just put God first in my life, but keep Him there and not let myself justify rearrangement, no matter how logical or brief I come up with a reason to make it so.
I’ve noticed that everytime I fall back into a repeating sin, I’ve also had my focus elsewhere as if I wasn’t keeping watch sufficiently. Reminds me of an old AA sponsor that once told me it’s impossible to go get drunk like an alcoholic if you maintain your gratitude towards God. With that and your article in mind, it seems that keeping God my primary passion is actually the easiest path to freedom and peace, while putting other things there purposefully or indirectly, is just a shortcut that sounds great but never turns out well.
The past few weeks it’s been being a workaholic and in the past it’s been alcohol and before and after that it’s sexual acts, and every hockey season my wardrobe consists very nearly entirely of Dallas Stars victory green. I’ve never felt comfortable giving myself a singular $foo-oholic label, and in reading this I think it’s because I’m not yet proficient in governing any of my passions therefore any one of them I’m apt to let go wild and remove my focus away from Him where it should be.
I’ll definitely be keeping this article on my mind, thanks again!
I think you described an internal battle we must all contend with daily. We need to keep God in the #1 spot in our life. Thanks for writing. May God’s blessings be with you.
This is just what I needed to hear. I tend to minimize the amount of time I don’t focus on Jesus. Thank you for the important reminder.
I am glad that you found this message helpful. May God’s blessing be with you!
Just awesome, thank you
Thanks! May God’s blessings be with you!