Saturday, March 8, 2014

Perseverance Without Passion

As I look back over the years of my life, I have enjoyed many special things and moments.  Many of the things that I was excited about and enthused to be a part of ended up being short-lived and not at all what they were made out to be.  For many of us it would appear that there are things that come our way that bring a great deal of short-term satisfaction.  Some might say that we are chasing pretty rainbows and not embracing the reality of life.  I have found that my fervor and passion in life for what I see as important does impact other people.  People are searching and want to be a part of something larger than themselves.  People want to see authentic joy and excitement for things of significance. However, it is hard to teach passion as I believe it flows from deep within. 

 Early in my adult life I recall a friend of mine making a comment that I should be in sales.  His comment was framed around the fact that most of the things that I was involved in at the present time seemed to be my passion; therefore, he thought I could be very successful in the sales world.  Looking back, I was successful in being the number one candle seller in our junior high school (my mother didn't appreciate having to deliver them for me).  I was blessed to be a top seller of subscriptions when I delivered the Detroit News as a boy.  Even when I sold a tile or wood floor when I had my business, it came very natural as I was enthused and committed to delivering what I had promised.  I just knew I had what others needed and that they would not be disappointed with the final product. I truly believed that my passion, confidence, and excitement was key to the success of what I believed in.

I said earlier that it is very difficult to teach passion as it flows from deep within.  This is true, especially spiritually.  I could have moderate success training someone to be passionate about selling material things; however, when we are talking one's faith, life principles and spiritual disciplines the motivator is God, His Word, His Spirit's working, and then our response.  Why are not all Christians thrilled and passionate about sharing the best thing that has ever happened to them?  Do they really believe it themselves?  Has God really caught their hearts?  I have come to believe that people act out according to where their heart truly is.  Christ said that our hearts can be found with the very things that we treasure most (Luke 12:34).  I do believe that we grow into a knowledge of our salvation and that we understand Jesus Christ more and more (2 Peter 3:18).  As well, our appreciation for what God has given us should become greater and more precious to us as we mature in Him. The tough question could be "are we passionate about the right things"?

As a servant of Christ and child of God, it is necessary for me to step back and examine my passion and ask God's Spirit to examine my heart to make sure I am not hungering and thirsting for the very things that pull me further from the heart of God.  As a Christ Follower, my passion must be fueled by Him.  I cannot persevere in my Christian faith without a passion to be obedient and make Him known through my life.  I pray that when others see my passion that they see JESUS CHRIST.

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