Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | November 13, 2008

Living with Passion

The word “passion” is from the Latin word passus, a form of the word pati which means to suffer. Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ” used the word passion in reference to the sufferings of Christ following the Last Supper and including the Crucifixion. Webster defines passion as a powerful emotion or appetite; ardent love; strong sexual desire or lust; boundless enthusiasm. We often refer to people who are passionate as being “on fire.” Consider the following characteristics of one who is passionate.

P = The letter “P” reminds us that purpose is at the core of passion. Purpose changes everything. It impacts the decisions we make and the directions we take. We must clearly know and understand why God placed us on the planet and how we are to relate to Him and the interests of His kingdom. The Westminster Catechism (1647) states, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.” Have you discovered your purpose?

A = The letter “A” reminds us that we give attention to the things about which we are most passionate. When we are not thinking about other things, thoughts of what we are most passionate about generally occupy our minds. Paul said, “Set your minds on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2). What do you think about?

S = The letter “S” reminds us that we speak concerning what we are most passionate about. Those passionate about God and His kingdom always look for opportunities to talk about or to turn conversations toward Him. Peter said, “for we cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). What do you talk about?

S = The letter “S” reminds us that those consumed by a passion for God and His kingdom are those most willing to make a sacrifice. They are willing to lay it all on the line for a cause bigger than themselves. They demonstrate courage and take risks. Jim Elliot, martyred in Ecuador in 1956, said, “Do not give yourself to what others can and will not do, but to what others cannot and will not do.” What are you giving yourself to?

I = The letter “I” reminds us that those consumed by a passion for God and His kingdom make involvement a priority. They cannot sit passively by while others pray, give, and go. They are willing to get their uniforms dirty. William Lindsey, the man who ran the entire distance of the Great Wall, said, “My experience is that unless you make a commitment opportunities pass by. Life seemed full of people who talked about achievement yet never did anything more adventurous than watch television.” Are you in the race?

O = The letter “O” reminds us that those consumed by a passion for God order their lives around His Word. Their priorities reflect their commitment to bigger-picture concerns. Paul said, “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ” (Philippians 3:7). Are His priorities yours?

N = The letter “N” reminds us that the those consumed by a passion for God nurture their passion. They reject anything that causes their love for God to grow cold and intentionally work to cultivate closeness with God. The Psalmist wrote, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God” (Psalm 42:1). Are you drawing closer to God every day?


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