Is your passion for life at a low, embers about to burn out, at a high or somewhere in between? It is important to carry out our responsibilities regardless of emotion, but some things are hard to initiate or fight for without passion, such as being so moved by injustice that we must act, having the heart to go the extra mile to help someone in need, or engaging emotionally and joyfully with the people in our lives. These are only a few examples where duty alone is rarely enough. We need passion.
The reasons we lose passion don’t have to be mysterious or attributed to our ability to simply flip an emotional switch. First, let’s look at the meaning of the word. One meaning of passion is eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, or activity. It is synonymous to zeal, which implies energetic and unflagging pursuit of an aim or devotion to a cause; a strong liking or devotion to some activity, object, or concept. In short, it is about desire and motivation. Last week at International Christian Assembly in Kiev, Paul Pierquet addressed 7 specific things that can rob us of passion. Here are the points, borrowed from Rick Warren’s message.
1. Unbalanced schedule
Too much to do, too little time. Is every commitment on your schedule necessary? Do your top priorities get crowded out because you don’t have the time for them? Maybe it is time to refocus and do less or do what you do more efficiently, cutting out time wasters.
2. Unused talent
Do you find that you actually become more energized when you are doing what you do best? All the better if your vocation matches your talents.
3. Unconfessed sin
Sin robs us of passion, joy and peace because it gets in the way of our relationship with God. It also hurts others. But when we ask for forgiveness, we are cleansed, refreshed and strengthened to walk in ways that please God.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)
4. Unresolved conflict
Trying to move forward with unresolved conflict can be like trying to hold a ball underwater; it keeps popping up. Long-term conflict is wearisome. Constructively working through our conflicts can not only help renew passion, but strengthen our relationships. We can’t be problem free, but we can have peace and strength when we deal with conflict together.
5. Unsupported lifestyle
We are created to flourish in community (family, church), caring for and encouraging one another. Isolation from others is simply not conducive to health.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another . . .”
6. Unclear purpose
Laboring to no purpose, with no goal in sight, and no hope of breakthrough can rob anyone of passion. But clearly defined purpose and expectations serve to motivate. Even better to purposefully use our talents, serving others.
7. Undernourished spirit
Not only do our physical bodies require nourishment and care, our spirits do as well. We need to devote a part of our day to prayer and Bible study. We never “grow out” of our need for spiritual nourishment.
If we can remove the “un” from any of these we may find in our lives and pursue health in these areas, we may find our passion renewed.