photo courtesy of Randalyn Hill on unsplash

I’m quite a passionate person. Living in a passionate world surrounded by many kinds of passionate people.

Strong feelings and strong beliefs–which run the gamut of issues and faiths–drive us all. Passion flavors life with an intensity of desire that can be overwhelming.

I’m passionate about quite a few things. My family elevates my passion response quickly. Because I care deeply for each one of them, if any of them hurt, I hurt. A mom or nana is only doing as well as her least healthy offspring.

I have a passion for chocolate. Dark chocolate. The good stuff. A piece a day is a treat that satisfies my craving.

I’d never put my passion for chocolate above my passion for my family. The value of family exceeds the value of the dark bark exponentially.

Not every passion has equal value.

I have an even deeper passion for my God. For years I questioned His love, His heart for me, why hard things happened. Through the years, I’ve seen Him provide for my needs, walk me through times of darkness and pain that are part of living in this broken world, and loving me no matter what.

He is faithful to me even when I lack faithfulness for Him.

My passion for my faith doesn’t resemble other’s faith-based devotion. It would surprise many to realize how different our commitment to God looks among those who choose to follow Him. We reflect Him in ways that resonate with our stories.

Speaking with heart-felt conviction has an attending responsibility–listening. It’s the gift we give others that demonstrates our value of the speaker. Having a voice doesn’t remove the need to hear the voice of others. When we choose to listen, it often offers us a platform to speak our passion.

For those who are followers of Jesus, the demonstration of our passion might look different, but it all comes from the same place–a heart that longs to be used by God to help the world know that He loves us, has chosen us for His own and has paid a price we can never pay that makes us heaven-worthy.

Here’s the catch. Passion apart from truth and love is more of a weapon than a gift, one that can hurt us or others. Our exuberance to share what we feel so powerfully about must take into consideration those who hear us. Their context, their stories. If we don’t think in terms of our audience, it’s as if we’re screaming louder to a person who can’t hear at all.

Passion shouldn’t be punishing.

Jesus came because of His love for us–a sacrificial love and passion that would cost Him everything to save those who, at the time, disregarded Him.

He spoke of love and truth. They must go hand in hand because love without truth is permissiveness with no consequences; truth without love is legalism with no grace.

I admire people who follow their passions. It might make me feel uncomfortable, but it’s worth the conversation, especially if they care enough to ask the questions of others and listen with the intent to hear.

If not, just give me dark chocolate.

 

 

 

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