I had a great conversation with some folks awhile back about the topic of passion in our relationship with God. I feel like it was a stalemate, not that we were competing, but because I still don’t fully grasp the idea. What is biblical passion anyway? It’s only mentioned in the bible in a negative light, so why is it such a buzzword in the Christian community? Everybody seems to want passion. Worship albums are named Passion, songs are sung about it, but is it necessary?
Passion is obviously a strong emotion, an attachment to something which you are fixated upon. It certainly sounds like something I’d want in my relationship with God. You see people that are passionate about their careers, about their schoolwork, or their favorite T.V. show and you think “Man, I’d like that…” Passion by its nature is attractive…
“If you believe something, passionately, people will follow you. People hardly care what you believe, as long as you believe something. If you are passionate about something, people will follow you because they think you know something they don’t, some clue to the meaning of the universe. Passion is tricky, though, because it can point to nothing as easily as it points to something”
From “Blue Like Jazz” by Donald Miller
So even though passion is attractive, I guess I don’t want people following me simply because I’m being passionate about something. If they follow me purely as a result of that passion, they will eventually run out of passion for God themselves, get discouraged and turn away. Like the seed that fell on the rocks, sprang up quickly, and eventually withered in the sun because it had no root. (Matthew 13:5-6)
There have been true moments when I have felt passion for my Lord. But they seem few and far between. I want to have those moments more, I want to have people look at my relationship with God and say “Wow, I want something like that.” Not that I’d be showing off, but that God is simply working through my life and people are inspired to be a part of that too. I want to follow God with all my heart, I want to use all of my abilities to give him glory, I want to pursue him with all the strength I have.
But I’m not sure I have enough energy to keep that going all the time. Maybe God could sustain me with that kind of energy. But is passion something that he desires in my life? Is it a requirement for my walk? Or is it merely a fringe benefit?
I don’t want my relationship with God to be an emotional feeling. Emotions are temporary, they never last for very long. I want my belief to endure even when the supporting emotion is not there. My friend Norm once told me that he wasn’t sure that passion was a requirement in your walk with Christ, only dedication. He said some of the wisest Christian men that he knows have not been the most passionate.
So where does this Passion play a role in our Christian walk then? That’s what I’m left wondering. I cannot fully bring myself to say that Passion is unnecessary. Who wants to follow something they never feel strongly about? I suppose the answer hangs in the middle somewhere, like always. There is a certain place for it, but it cannot become the most important issue. I apologize for my stream-of-consciousness post here, I feel like I’m rambling. What do you think? Is Passion a necessity?