WHAT IS PASSION?
The first story that comes to mind is the story of Jesus. After all, the very words we use to describe his death is, “the Passion of Christ.” At the core of the story we see a passion for people that was willing to die under false pretense for the sake of everyone of us, so that we may be free to be loved by his perfect love. Here is our first answer:
Passion is sacrificial.
Passion is not just about what you do. It’s why you do it. Stop and think about what you do, and ask yourself, “Am I sacrificing my purpose to help the needs of my family, co-workers, company, city, world...?” Are your actions helping to lead us into a better world that is loved by the diligent hands who work it, because they love the people they serve? Sacrificial passion says, “Everything I have is yours, with no reservations.” Sacrificial love like this must first be felt, before it can be lived.
The second thing I think about is how passion is a powerful motivation in leading people. Which leads me to realize that passion, when lived out, can be highly compelling form of attraction to your cause and your beliefs, yet with that influence, are we being responsible? Here is my second answer:
Passion is responsible.
We are gifted and capable to do many things. Those gifts are tied to areas that we feel compelled to act on, or pursue as careers. Anyone can be passionate, which means people can be lead in all sorts of directions by the whims of your passions. If you believe that passion is sacrificial, then you must also believe that with that sacrifice comes the responsibility to lead others well with that power. Are you choosing to use your passion as an example of how to lead others sacrificially, or for your own gain? Passion is a call to be responsible to ourselves and the areas of influence we are given through passion.
The last thought that comes to mind is the importance of diligence. I recently read this quote from Timothy Keller book, Every Good Endeavor:
“The Greek word for zeal, (an interchangeable word for passion) means a combination of urgency & diligence. It is possible to be urgent without focus and discipline. It is possible to be plodding, or diligent without a sense of urgency.” - Tim Keller
This leads me to my last point:
Passion is diligent.
I love that passion/zeal means focused discipline. Passion without focus is reckless and destructive, passion wielded with diligence and discipline is productive and life-giving. Passion itself cannot be self-sustaining, it is merely the volcano that erupts which changes the landscape around us and forms new land, and diligence is what we choose to build upon that rock. If you try to live off passion, you will burn out, or jump from whim to whim. If you live a life of diligence, then passion will keep you alive when forces come against you, and diligence will keep you steady when you feel nothing and see no results.
When I step back to ask what is passion, for me passion represents living out of a diligent sacrificial love that is responsible with the gifts and influence I have been given. By understanding the value of our passion, the why behind the do, that passion becomes infused with meaning and purpose. Take time to step back and ask yourself what is passion for you?
Live out of a passion that is, and not one that is talked of.