Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington

Misplaced Passion


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 73:25Whom 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?



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  1. Clella Camp

    Oh yes Ava and our passions change as we grow older. 🙂 We find that some of those things we were so passionate about in our younger years really aren’t that important. And the list of those things I am passionate about at 84 is much shorter than at 34 or 44. Now it has become God, His family and my family (one and the same) and what can I do for Him and them in the time I have left.
    Always read your blog posts even though I don’t always respond.

  2. Ava Pennington

    Thank you so much, Clella!

  3. John Williamson

    Wonderfully wise counsel!
    Thank you for always leading us back to God’s Word, Ava.

  4. Melissa Henderson

    Thank you for this inspiring message. I pray I will always put God first in all my passions.

  5. Stephen De La Vega

    Yes, Ava. There is a lot of passion out there but not necessarily for what really matters to God. And what matters to God is pretty clear in His Word. Thank you for this inward look at what does and should fire us up.

  6. Yvonne Morgan

    I pray for God to guide my passions to accomplish His purposes in my life. Thanks for a wonderful message Ava.

  7. Jessica Brodie

    This is a great perspective. Passion ebbs and flows, and it says a lot about the priority we place on interests in our life. I pray my passion remains centered on Jesus always.

  8. Karen Friday

    I enjoyed your take on this, Ava. I pray to pursue godly passions and God himself with a passion unlike any other!

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