The Perspective, Propriety, and Priority of Passions

What are you passionate about?  That’s not an easily answered question for everyone.  In fact, for some, it can be a downright difficult question, especially if they are of a less-than-emotional disposition.

Here are some questions to help further refine this self examination of passion.  What are your favorite things to do?  What are the hobbies you feel you couldn’t live without?  What do you get the most excited about?  What do you get the most angry about?  What has the greatest influence over your decisions?  What do you spend most of your free time doing?

Passion is great.  Let me just say that now.  I’m not one to advocate a Borg-like, no emotion, purely analytical, approach to life.  When tapped and directed, there are few things that can fuel the drive to accomplish more so than passion.  However, they can also be dangerous.  They can be destructive.

So how do you learn the difference?

For me, it seems in part, that I must begin by rightly deriving where my passion originates.  Either I am passionate about something because I have developed a strong sense of belief about that particular idea as a result of my Biblical world-view; or I am passionate about something because of what I think it can do for me.

What is a good example of how that works?

A good example of a passion derived of a Biblical world-view would be my strong emphasis on sharing the Gospel with others.  I take that extremely seriously.  A few minutes listening to any of my teaching, or browsing this blog will make that pretty clear.  It is a passion founded chiefly upon my understanding of the Word and God’s revelation of His desire to work in others.

An example of a more self-centered passion would be my enthusiasm for different kinds of pop-culture.  One glimpse into my office would reveal this, as it is covered in Captain America stuff.  Obviously there is not anything even remotely spiritually relevant about my love for nearly all things Cap.  It is just something I began as a kid and have continued over the years.

So what is improper concerning passion?

Passions become most dangerous when they are focused more on self-gratification than anything else.  I love video games.  This is another affinity for pop-culture that I began early in life and still cling to.  But, what kind of man would I be, what kind of husband, or pastor, would I be if I allowed this self-centered activity to interrupt or overrule the things that I am morally obligated to fulfill in my life.  Not a very good one.  A bad one actually.  I would be disconnected from the people that should be the most important to me because of my drive to engage in this self-centered activity.

I see husbands, fathers, wives, pastors, and students; I see people, who succumb to the skewed desire to live for and gorge themselves on passions beyond propriety.  Passions without perspective.  Passions given supreme priority.

It breaks my heart.  Wives living on Facebook and father’s swimming in football, leaving their children to raise themselves on Disney and DS.  We are a people in desperate need of bringing balance to our passion.

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