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.