Let’s talk a minute about passion. How about we start with a definition? How would you define passion? Think about something you’re passionate about. What is it that makes you passionate about that thing? Why are you passionate about it? How does that passion direct your life?
Let me jump in here and say that I believe passion always involves a strong emotion that we have inside of us for someone or something. I also believe that when it comes to passion, we like being around passionate people. These are people who motivate us, who challenge us, who seem to have a life that we think is cool and we want for ourselves.
If you know anything about our church, at the very core – at the foundation – is this: we are about passionately pursuing LIFE in Jesus. Each of us is in the process of learning what that is all about, but in every situation we are asking ourselves, “What does a person look like who is passionately pursuing LIFE in Jesus?”
That’s a good question.
Here are some things to challenge those who want to grow in their passionate pursuit of Jesus:
First, it’s about not adding Jesus to your already busy and full life. It’s about making Him the central, guiding force of your life. It’s about weathering the storms of life with Jesus no matter how hard it gets. For example, if practicing for hours on the guitar makes the skin on my fingers hurt, passion says, “so be it.” If dancing ballet to the tune of the nutcracker gives me ugly toes, passion says, “so be it.” It’s about staying steadfast in all the seasons of life.
When we are passionate about following Jesus, we will give our full commitment and energy to our relationship with Jesus. We won’t see it as a half-hearted journey or a hobby. We’ll see our relationship with Jesus and the continual deepening of the realities and rewards of that relationship as first and of foremost importance. Being passionate is being invested. The time and effort – the costs – are paid because it is worth it. Because that’s what being passionate says.
It was Charles Spurgeon who said, “People love to see people of passion. Set yourself on fire and people will come to watch.” I don’t believe he is saying to literally set yourself on fire, but he is saying live in passionate pursuit of LIFE in Jesus. And when that happens, people will be curious and want to know what your life is all about.
I’m sure that as I write this some of you are saying, “But Gary, I’m not feeling very passionate right now.” If that is you, do a little recharge versus depletion assessment of your life. One way to do this is to consider the people you spend the most time with. Make sure you are cultivating that passion first by spending time with Jesus, learning of His lifestyle, and then being committed to living like Jesus. Then get next to people who radiate the passion of a LIFE lived in Jesus.
I believe when you make intentional decisions to grow in your passionate pursuit of LIFE in Jesus, it will result in a spiritually rich and meaningful life.