(LISTEN TO AUDIO VERSION)
I’m excited to talk about passion this week because I write these “Teaching and learning Articles’ with a passion. My desire is to write as I’m led by the Holy Spirit to boost the spiritual growth of someone.
I believe we all have a passion for one thing or another. Romans chapter 10 talks about a group of people who also have a passion. We will talk about them later on in this article.
So, what is passion?
Passion is a strong feeling about something or someone or excitement for something you do now or for something you aspire to do in the future.
Webster’s English Dictionary defines passion as “extreme, compelling emotion or intense emotional drive”.
I personally see passion as a strong feeling that comes from within one’s heart and soul. Passion is also associated with love. Our Savior Jesus Christ died for the whole world out of passion.
Passion is what makes you want to go the extra mile when nobody is willing to. It drives you to do what you do. It is the desire to take on amazing yet difficult challenges. Sometimes, one may never know they have a passion for something until they start it.
I can talk about passion all day because I pursued my television career out of passion. Without that, I could not have remained in that profession for more than a decade considering the fact that the salary was nothing to boast about. Aside from money, the environment was sometimes hostile.
Passion was the reason why I would wake up at 4:30 AM so I can be on air at 6 AM for the morning show and get home some days as late as midnight because I also had to anchor the late-night news. I spent the early years of my career life on such a tight and often stressful schedule without a car of my own. This means I was commuting by public transport or depending on friends and colleagues for a ride.
I have therefore concluded that when there is passion, excitement and satisfaction are more rewarding while money and all other issues become secondary.
Synonyms of Passion
The word passion can be replaced by synonyms including zeal, enthusiasm, eagerness, and desire. Therefore, depending on the translation of the Bible you have, you may not see passion but one of the alternative words.
I want you to know that having a passion is not a bad thing at all. The Bible admonishes us in Romans 12:11 never to lag in passion or zeal. It also encourages us to lead with zeal in verse 8. While passion is not a bad thing, the things that drive your passion may need to be reviewed. I mean you can have a passion for good things or have a passion for bad things that you’re probably not aware of.
For example, Apostle Paul once had a passion for persecuting. The Bible records that before his conversion, Paul then known as Saul had a passion for persecuting believers – Philippians 3:6. What a passion to have! It is captured in 1 Corinthians 15:9 that Paul (then Saul) persecuted the church out of his passion. What even caught my attention is in 1Timothy 1:13 when Paul talking out of regret says he acted out of ignorance and unbelief. He was ignorant about the faith he was persecuting.
This brings me to two important questions: What do you have a passion for? And is your passion accompanied by knowledge or by ignorance? The opposite of knowledge is ignorance which is a recipe for disaster.
Many people look back today with regret after investing time, money, and energy into projects that have failed because they followed their passion with little or no knowledge about many things.
“Enthusiasm without knowledge is not good; impatience will get you into trouble.”-Proverbs 19:2 (NET)
I want you to know that passion must be balanced with the right knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 19 verse 2 is teaching us to combine passion or enthusiasm or desire with knowledge. The verse specifically states that enthusiasm without knowledge is not good.
So how does one get knowledge?
In Hosea 4:6, God says “His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Let me put it this way; ignorance leads to destruction. But take note that the people lacked knowledge not because the knowledge was not available; they lacked knowledge because they reject knowledge.
As a believer in Christ Jesus, the right knowledge you need to pursue your passion comes from the word of God. The secret is to rely on the Holy Spirit living in you for help with understanding. Scripture says it is the Holy Spirit who reveals the deep things of God to us -1 Cor 2:10. Your teacher is the Holy Spirit -John 14:26. The verse says the Holy Spirit will teach you ALL THINGS, not some things or a few things. The Holy Spirit is always teaching but have you always been present in His class? Without the Holy Spirit, the Bible may remain just another storybook.
Information is easily accessible today because of search engines. When necessary, pursue further education. Enroll in a short course. Develop an interest in reading. Also, speak to people who have some experience in the field that you are interested in.
Passion with ignorance?
Now, let’s focus on Romans chapter 10. Apostle Paul calls out the Jews who have a passion/ enthusiasm/ zeal for God yet lack the right knowledge about God. In fact, Paul says he bears witness about their passion. That should tell you that their passion for God is not hidden. Yet they were not saved. Being ignorant about the righteousness of God, they sought their own righteousness. These Jews do not know that salvation is by faith in Christ Jesus-Romans 10:9-10 and that the same faith in Christ Jesus produces righteousness -Romans 3:22, Romans 5:17. These Jews do all manner of good things out of their passion for God and equate their good works to be their righteousness.
Today, we have such passionate but ignorant people in our midst. They are actually present in churches. Some occupy leadership roles misleading the whole congregation. They have a passion for God but their passion is not driven by a true knowledge of God and what He expects from us. The missing link in their passion for God is faith or absolute trust and confidence in Jesus Christ.
Such people like to boast in their good deeds and religious activities thinking it is their works that save them and also make them righteous. In John 6:29, Jesus says believe in Him.
There would have been no need for the Savior if we could all become righteous by our own effort. I want you to grasp it, that we are accepted as righteous in the sight of God on account of what Jesus did -2 Cor 5:21.
Go all out and pursue your passion but remember to balance your passion with the right knowledge and understanding so you don’t look back one day and regret your actions.
There is more you can learn about passion in my four-part series “PASSION” on our YouTube Channel.
Send all your comments or questions to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Your love donation will help us to reach many more people with the Gospel of Christ.