What Are You Passionate About?
Life is meant to be lived with passion! Have you ever noticed how even the most mundane tasks come alive when done with passion?
One great example of this is my friend, Charise Miles. She has become known as the singing flight attendant. It all started when she noticed that most of her passengers tuned her out as she reviewed the standard safety protocols for the flight before takeoff. Many were on their phones, making final calls to loved ones. Others were surfing their social media feeds. Some were already asleep in their seats. Less than half even cared enough to scan the safety card that was conveniently placed in the seat pocket in front of them to provide instructions and a diagram on what to do in case of an emergency. I am certainly guilty of underappreciating the value of moments like these. Maybe you can relate?
Here Charise was distributing vitally important information that people urgently needed to hear, but they were totally unenthused about it. So, how did she solve this problem? One day she decided to bring passion to what is otherwise a forgettable task.
She sang!! She didn’t just sing the safety instructions; she sang them passionately. Her voice soared through the plane’s cabin, capturing the attention of each of her passengers. They were riveted, enthralled, and absolutely caught up in the moment; best of all, they listened attentively to her safety instructions.
Since then, Charise has been recorded singing many songs to her passengers, and her videos have gone viral — all because she decided to live out her purpose with passion.
Charise is just one of many examples that have changed the way we see the world simply because they decided to live life with passion. Consider for a moment the millions of Food Network viewers that tune in to watch cooks like Emeril Lagasse prepare food with a passion. I love hearing him say his iconic “BAM!” as he adds spices to the delicious meal he is preparing. And who among us hasn’t wanted to renovate houses after seeing the creative passion of Chip and Joanna Gaines, or embark on some extreme adventure after being inspired by Bear Grylls’ enthusiasm for the wild? Please make no mistake about it; there are others who cook food, fix houses, and climb mountains. However, these people compel and captivate us not only for what they do, but for the passion with which they do it.
Likewise, the scriptures urge us to live our lives with passion. The Apostle Paul encourages believers to “never be lacking in zeal…” (Romans 12:11). Later on in his letter to the Galatians, he says to them, “It is good to be zealous, provided the purpose is good…” (Galatians 4:18). So what is a good and godly purpose for us to place our passions?
While our career is certainly a worthy place for us to bring our passion, it pales in comparison to the ultimate answer we find in the Gospel: knowing Christ and making Him known. The greatest passion of our lives should be for Christ. We have all heard Jesus’ answer to the question, “What is the greatest commandment?” Matthew 22:37 records His response,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
This verse is His way of saying we are to give our whole selves in a loving relationship to God. Simply put, He deserves the entirety of our passion.
It was the disciples’ passion for proclaiming that Jesus was the Messiah, empowered by the Spirit’s presence, that turned the world upside down. As the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection spread from Jerusalem to the nations, their love for Him became contagious, and many men and women became followers of Christ.
Similarly, God wants to use you and me to draw others to Jesus. Several years ago, I came across a tweet by Pastor John Piper that I believe perfectly captures God’s desire for His people to live with a zeal for His glory through the Gospel.
This is exactly what the Apostle Paul commands in 1 Corinthians 10:31 when he states, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.”
This year my prayer for our church family is that our zeal for the Lord would increase and become evident to all who know us. I believe that as we live with a humble passion for seeing Christ honored in all things, our friends, family members, and neighbors will take notice.
A passion for God always begins with a dedication to worshipping Him in community with other followers of Christ. It is within this Christ-centered community that we fan the flame for the Gospel that burns in our hearts. As our knowledge of His Word deepens and grows, it compels us to embrace the great adventure of sharing Christ with others locally and to reach the nations through global missions. A passion for Christ also moves from our heart to our hands, causing us to live generously and to look for opportunities to compassionately serve the hurting and those in need.
Living with a passion for God is far from a formulaic construct for our lives. However, it does promise the hope that we will have an impact on the lives of others for Christ. The great 19th century Evangelist Dwight L. Moody* once said,
“The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.”
May this also become the aim of our lives. By God’s help, let us live as men and women who are fully devoted to one single passion: the honor and glory of Christ in all things.
Today, I invite you to live a life of passion.