The Objects of our Passion

I’ve been thinking…

I believe we’re meant to live passionately.

There’s a sure difference in my life between when I’m focused on my teaching job, which I’m not passionate about, and when I’m focused on my writing projects, which I am passionate about. Perhaps our passions are a means through which God communicates His will for us. Some people may be called to lay down their passions to pursue Him for a season (or for life) but perhaps God more commonly calls people to pursue Him through their passions.

OR…

Is He Himself meant to be our only passion?

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Sometimes I get excited about a project and I revel in the excitement of pursuing it with a passion. But at some point or another I wonder, am I really supposed to get consumed with excitement for writing, reading or publishing? Those three things won’t get the same passionate response from everyone. For others, it might be dance, graphics design, origami, cooking, gardening… you name it!

Each of these is a niche in the vast selection of human activities. Each one has us interact with different people in different ways, and hence provides different opportunities to serve others and live as God’s ambassadors before them.

But for me and others like me, the niche itself can become an idol. It can become the object of my greatest devotion and the place where I seek my identity. I speak for myself, but I sure that others could relate.

Whether we call it passion, or something else (an interest, hobby, skill, or so on), I’m not denying that the Lord created us to be uniquely attracted to different things and to find joy in exploring and interacting with His world in different ways. But I am wondering what the best way is to answer the question, “What are your passions in life?” And I am wondering how our passion for activities relates back to our passion for God.

A lot of this is semantics, but what are your thoughts?

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4 thoughts on “The Objects of our Passion

  1. That’s something I’ve struggled with in the past… of course it still comes up time to time.
    I’ve gotten passionate about the wrong things. Things that aren’t necessarily bad, but are when you turn them into a obsession.
    For me now then I’m usually passionate about writing… but through that I need to ask myself, am I bringing glory to God through this? I think that’s what we need to do. We’re all passionate about different things and there is nothing wrong with that… as long as Jesus is our number one passion and those other things we use to bring honor and glory to His name.

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    1. Frankly, I get frustrated with my struggles that “still come up time to time.” I wonder if I’m trying too hard by my own strength and missing God’s outstretched hand wanting to sanctify me His way. I kind of feel that way about my interest in / passion for writing.

      Thankfully writing is something through which it is very easy to see how we can glorify God through it. In that sense, it’s quite clearcut. But though it may be easy to write words that lift Him up, we can’t make ourselves have a heart passionate about Him apart from His divine work. I think that, like you said, asking ourselves if we are bringing God glory is a good place to start in surrendering our hearts to Him for Him to work. May He help us to be at peace concerning these things. Thanks for writing, Sarah!

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  2. I think there’s a lot of truth to people turning thing into their passion before God! I think everyone has their idols – lots of them. And I see how something which I might call my “passion” (more like a hobby/potential job, but I could probably call it a passion in the loosest sense of the word) – e.g. my writing/other things related to it – could get in the way and interfere with my relationship with God.

    I don’t know if it is or not – I can only pray it isn’t and strive to always put God first – and to make Him the reason behind my passion, if you will. Make Him be why I write, why I live, why I do everything! I don’t believe I’ll ever get there – until Heaven, of course! – but I believe it’s my job to keep trying!

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    1. I don’t know if this is something that comes with age, or if it’s a stage that the Church is going through corporately, but when I was younger, I don’t think I heard or thought much about idols of the heart. It seemed like such a horrific revelation to realize for the first time that I have idols, too. Nowadays, it’s a concept that I hear constantly in sermons, studies, blog posts, etc. I fear it’s become less shocking and appalling to me now – despite still being as detestable a thing to God as it ever was. I want to hate what He hates; I want to hate idolatry.

      I think you’re right, Kell. Given all the forms that idolatry can take, it’s probably not such an overstatement to say that everyone has their idols, and lot’s of them. But I don’t want to take that statement casually. May God help us not put our writing before Him. May we keep short accounts with Him.

      On a positive note, I think writing has SUCH potential to be a channel for God to be glorified through us to the world. It can be such a dilemma!

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