Passion. Just how important is it? Because you see, passion can be a good thing . . . until it’s not.
For this discussion, let’s set aside passion referring to physical attraction to another person. Instead, let’s talk about passion as it relates to opinions and enthusiasm about a particular subject.
The topic of passion tends to generate lots of advice:
- Find your passion
- Fuel your passion
- Fuel your fire
I know people who are passionate about their coffee, their job, or their dog. I also know people who are passionate about their brand of toothpaste or the direction toilet paper should be hung.
To be transparent, I can be very passionate when it comes to my opinions. If I like something, I’m all in. But the opposite is also true. If I don’t like something, I can dig in my heels and be more stubborn than Balaam’s donkey (if you’re not familiar with that biblical account, check out Numbers 22).
But I’m mellowing. I can look back in this season of life and see that I don’t have to be passionate about everything. Everything is not equally important. In determining appropriate levels of passion, I’ve learned to ask: Will this be important 5 days from now? Five weeks from now? Five months? Five years? What about in 5 decades?
The answers to those questions have a way of putting things in perspective. One way to live this out in marriage is to follow the principle of gauging passion when disagreeing. It’s one that served us well in 40 years of marriage. Whenever we disagreed on a decision due to different preferences, we asked one question. “Who does it mean more to?” In other words, who is more passionate about the choice being made? Of course, this principle won’t work if both parties are not totally honest. One person can’t be passionate about everything!
Still, there are areas where I need to be more passionate: my love for God, my love for His people, and my desire to glorify Him in all I say and do. In fact, the Bible has much to say about where to place our passion, including:
- Psalm 63:1 – O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
- Psalm 73:25 – Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
- Psalm 84:2 – My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
- 1 Corinthians 10:31 – So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
- Romans 12:11 – Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
- Galatians 5:24 – And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
- Colossians 3:5 – Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
- Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men
So, yes, passion is important. But even more important is choosing the object of our passion. How wise are you and I in those choices?