The driving force behind all great art, music,
literature, drama, architecture, athletic accomplishments and
achievements in science is passion
A man walked up to Jesus and asked, "Which
is the first commandment of all? Jesus answered him, 'The
first of all the commandments is:…you shall love the LORD your God with all your
heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all
your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second,
like it, is this: 'you shall love your
neighbor as yourself.'" Mark 12:29, 30, 32
Two things that really matter in life is to love
God and love people with a passion. If we do that everything else of
importance will follow. A song you may have heard drives this truth
home, Love God, love people. That's the Center of the Mark."
The Bible uses the phrase "with all your heart" a
number of times. It carries the idea of "passionately".
The Old Testament book of Deuteronomy
teaches us to:
Seek God passionately, 4:29
Love God passionately, 6:5
Serve God passionately, 10:12
Obey God passionately, 30:2.
From Proverbs we are to trust God passionately,
3:5, and Colossians tells us to do everything passionately, 3:23.
Americans seem to be passionate about almost
everything! We are passionate about every form of sports. We are
passionate about current fashion, certain kinds of cars, movies, and
soap operas. You can check Amazon.com and find hundreds of books
with passion in the title: birds, cactus, chocolate, fashion,
fish, flying , gardening, golf, hunting, jazz, mushrooms,
needlepoint, pasta, ponies, potatoes, shoes and steam.
Jesus said "If you're going to please God with
your worship and service you're got to do it with passion."
We are born with a God-given sense of passion.
God gave us feelings and emotion. Just look at small children. They
are extremely passionate. They feel everything deeply,-the highs and
Do you remember your passion when you graduated
from high school? "Get ready world, here I come! All required
education is over. Anything more is our decision. We can now do what
When we got married we felt passion. "Wow! I'm
married to the one person on earth I want to be with for the rest of
Every one of us who trust Jesus Christ as our
Savior felt a passion when we really got our salvation settled. Our
sins were forgiven. God was now our Father. Heaven was our eternal
home. We felt passion about this new relationship.
So what happened to the passion? It seemed to
have leaked out of our life. Our enthusiasm, excitement, motivation
and expectations seemed to evaporate into the air. Our fondest
dreams began to gather dust. Every Monday it was, "Ho hum. Another
week of the same-old, same-old". We don't feel the same about our
job or have the feeling about our spouse we once did. And we don't
feel anywhere near as close to God as we used to feel.
Passion for life is lost because of one or more
of these seven passion stealers. Perhaps you can identify where you
lost your passion and how you can gain it back.
The Seven Passion Stealers Are:
Living Without Purpose
Living without purpose
is THE most common reason people lack passion. If you don't have a
purpose for living, why bother? Life seems futile. The longer you go
through life without clarifying what God's purpose for your life is,
the less passion you will have.
On the other hand, a clear purpose creates
passion. The greater your purpose, the more passionate you will be
about living. The highly respected psychologist named Hobbs, says
"Passion is waking up in the morning,
wherever you are, however old or young, and bounding out of bed
because you know there's something out there that you love to
do, that you believe in, that you're good at, something that's
bigger than you are and you can hardly wait to get at it again.
It's something you'd rather be doing more than anything else in
the whole world. You wouldn't give it up for money; it means
more to you than money. And hopefully, it's something that makes
the world a better place for other people and not just for
If you come to know God's purpose
for your life and commit to it you will find that God's purpose is
huge and will generate enormous passion in your life. Clarify your purpose in life.
Not Using Your Special Talents
God has placed in the gene pool of every family
tree some specific inborn talents and abilities. "Jabal…was the
father of those who live in tents and have livestock. …Jubal was the
father of those who play the lyre and pipe…Tubal-Cain, the forger of
implements of bronze and iron…" Genesis 4:21, 22.
Christians have one or more spiritual gifts that
are imparted to them by the Holy Spirit at the time they receive
Jesus Christ by faith as their Savior. "As each one has received
a special gift…´ 1st Peter 4:10. Our highest levels
of passion are experienced when our talents and abilities are used
productively in our vocation and our spiritual gifts in fruitful
Studies have revealed that up to 70% of Americans
are stuck in the wrong job. They are only using about 30% of their
talent, abilities, and brain power. That leaves a 70% boredom factor
and squelches passion.
Sadly, most Christians have never discovered what
spiritual gift(s) God has bestowed on them and are not using them in
ministry. Discover and use your talents, abilities and gifts.
An Unbalanced Life
Most of us are overworked or under-worked. Either
way it tends to cause us to lose our passion. A balance between
input and output is needed in our life.
Some people are always giving out. Unforeseen
work comes up and they are the designated one to do it. Or, they
volunteer. In the Christian community there are always people who
need help, comfort and care. Those who always give out and rarely
take in respond to these. Eventually they develop what some have
labeled "compassion fatigue". The end result is emotional and
spiritual numbness. They stop caring: about others, about themselves
and about God.
There are others who are always "taking in". They
take in the love, care, and support from others. They take in the
teaching of others where they work or attend church. They go to
seminars and take in the teachings of renowned experts. They read;
listen to tapes; and watch videos, but they don't personalize what
they learn. They do not put it into practice by "giving out" to
others. All of their unused knowledge stagnates. So does their
passion for life.
The answer is balance. Take in from others
what is needed for knowledge, encouragement, comfort, and
motivation. Then, it is important that we use this in giving out to
An Unconfessed Sin
There is a difference in the effect sin has on a
person who is believer and one who is not. To an unbeliever sin
stands like an impenetrable wall between them and God preventing any
relationship with God. In reality Jesus has already received the
full punishment for their sins on the cross. God's justice has been
satisfied and God stands with open arms ready to receive them. Then
a person turns from their sins and accepts Christ's sacrifice for
their sins by faith; the wall is dissolved and they enter into a
relationship of Father (God) and child.
Believers already have that relationship with
God, but unconfessed sin breaks their fellowship. A
sense of both guilt and this loss of fellowship causes passion and
joy to vaporize.
Believers have this promise "If we confess our
sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1st John 1:9.
Confession brings restored fellowship with God and a renewed joy and
An Unresolved Conflict
Did you ever wake up feeling great and think,
"This is going to be a great day!" And it is, until a verbal fight
with your spouse, or your boss. Then all the zip leaks out like air
from a punctured tire.
Sadly, some people find it necessary to live or
work in situations of constant conflict that cannot be resolved.
Even so, there is a way to maintain our passion. It comes by letting
go of the hurt; turning it over to God and leaving it in His hands.
Anger and resentment will steal our passion and even destroy us. "For
wrath kills a foolish man, and envy slays a simple one." Job
Resolve conflicts or turn them over to God, and
keep your passion.
An Unsupported life
Passion for life can be lost because we try to go
through life alone. God never meant for life to be a solo act.
Whether single or married, we all need relationships. Remember the
most serious form of punishment is called solitary confinement.
Each of us need a circle of close friends who
provide fellowship, encouragement, comfort, counsel, support, --and
even a kick in the rear when we need it.
The support of loving, like-minded friends goes a
long way to keep our passion from dissipating.
An Undernourished Spirit
At its root, passion is a spiritual issue. God
created man a spiritual being as well as a physical being. In order
to have a passion for life, the spirit of man must be nourished.
Virtually every day things come into our lives
that tend to depress our spirit. People are rude; they criticize and
misjudge. There are disappointments. Some situations leave our
nerves on edge and others leave us bone tired. If we don't know how
to nourish our spirit our heart will grow cold, our spirit will
shrink and we will wind up a crotchety, cranky old person that no
The antidote is to purposely nourish our spirit.
"As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so
walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the
faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving" Colossians
We are to develop a daily, vital, growing,
vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ and draw from Him the
nourishment for our spirit. To put it simply, we talk to Him in
prayer and He talks to us from the word of God (the Bible).
The people who make the greatest impact on any
generation are those who have a passion for life. If you have lost
yours, I encourage you to get it back and make your impact for God
and for Good.
Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scripture quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted