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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

What Do You Feel Passionately About?

pas·sion
( P ) Pronunciation
Key
(pshn)n.
A powerful emotion, such as love, joy, hatred, or anger.
Ardent love.
Strong sexual desire; lust.
The object of such love or desire.
Boundless enthusiasm: His skills as a player don't quite match his passion for the game.
The object of such enthusiasm: Soccer is her passion.
An abandoned display of emotion, especially of anger: He's
been known to fly into a passion without warning.
Passion
The sufferings of Jesus in the period following the Last Supper and including the Crucifixion, as related in the New Testament.
A narrative, musical setting, or pictorial representation of Jesus's sufferings.
Archaic. Martyrdom.
Archaic. Passivity.

pas·sion·ate
( P ) Pronunciation
Key
(psh-nt)adj.
Capable of, having, or dominated by powerful
emotions: a family of passionate personalities.
Wrathful by temperament; choleric.
Marked by strong sexual desire; amorous or lustful.
Showing or expressing strong emotion; ardent: a passionate speech against injustice.
Arising from or marked by passion: a teacher who is passionate about her subject.

What do you feel passionately about?

Now that's a good question for a little lite banter. Possibly on the surface, or if you are someone other than me. My husband is a very passionate man. He will passionately discuss politics, sports, injustice...in fact, I think he could passionately discuss anything! I on the other hand am more guarded. Am I guarding my passion or the possibility that I have none? Am I afraid of getting my passion popped?

We will be beginning a new Women's Bible Study very soon. I was previewing the material and the very first question for discussion is: What do you feel passionately about?

In the context of Nehemiah, the desired response is obvious, and I tend to feel guilty on the one hand because at times my zeal for the Lord's will, His people, His name, and His holiness may be waning. On the other hand, if my zeal is at its zenith, I will feel quite self-righteous, sanctified and holy while composing my thoughts to answer...and then I have to face it: My zeal is never that lofty.

If you have read my previous posts about "The Mighty Hand of God..." or "Oh Wretched Man that I am..." you might realize my predicament. It is two-fold:

In the Mighty Hand post, I stated that if I am trusting God with my trials, casting my cares upon Him, then I am not worried or troubled, but at peace. How can you be passionate, which, according to the definition is all bound up with emotion, if you are at peace with it? When I am not trusting God with them, then I am worried, but I feel more passionate.

In the Wretched Man post, I exposed a darker side of myself. I did not bring everything to light, but just a portion. My wretched man struggles not only with the tongue, but with wrath. I have grown up with the ever present stereo type of the redhead. Part of the definition of passion is the aspect of wrath. Scriptures regarding wrath and malice and fretting pop up and tell me that this part of passion is a sin.

So on the one hand, I would tend toward passion's sin and allow anger to rule and worry to flourish. On the other hand, I might appear to be passionless by not worrying or exploding or seething.

I would say that I am passionate about my kids, step-kids, grand-daughter, parents and in-laws. I would dearly love to see them knowing and loving God; trusting Him. I have learned (see The Mighty Hand of God...) to trust God with their souls and to speak to God and to them as God gives me words and opportunity (see Evangelism... and Ezekiel's Warning...). Even as I state this I tremble that I might become complacent or seem not to care.

I am passionate about my sin. I do hate it. I love to hide it from others. I want desparately to be free of it.

I am passionate about God's truth and salvation. I hate to see it mingled with trivial side issues. I hate to see it distorted, hated, mocked, discarded, disregarded, and painted. (Then, when I go this way, I go a little too far, and I hate that I, alone handle God's truth properly!) I hate to see it hidden, especially by me.

I am passionate about my lethargy. I despise my inactivity. I loath my cowardliness. I am sickened by my lack of zeal in my private prayers and my public presence. Can it be that I am passionate about my lack of passion or about the lack of active passion?

Is passion, like love, an action and not a feeling?

3 comments:

Hind's Feet said...

That is so odd. That is my latest question to ask people. "What is your passion?" I have had such answers as "Uh.. I dunno." and then I have I had answers such as, "Serving God with whatever gifts He chooses to bestow upon me." It will be interesting.
Hugs, Kim

Hind's Feet said...

And, now to the nitty gritty. I guess I never answered what my passion is.

If one were to observe my life one would say:
1. she appears to want to be passionate about keeping a clean and ordered house (although she falls short--perhaps that is why I am passionate?)
2. she obviously is passionate about education, she spends much time, money, sweat and tears (but is it passion to educate my children to know Christ or to make my kids "look good" and reflect well on me and other homeschoolers?)
3. she is passionate about children, at least in speech and when it is convenient...

What am I passionate about truly? Perhaps I am afraid to be passionate lest I let too much of myself out and others do not approve. Perhaps my passion is 100% to protect myself so that I am not open to slander, hurt, abuse... Isn't that sad? If that is my true passion it is no wonder that the Lord must deal harshly to get my attention. I pray He helps me to be passionate about the make up of my soul, not the make up on my face, the fate of my spiritual self, not the weight of my mortal body, true wisdom and not wordly knowledge... perhaps then my passion will be to share Christ with others without shrinking and shirking.

Hind's Feet said...

I keep coming back. Now that I have begun the study of Nehemiah I can see the question. Nehemiah's passion is to do God's will. He does not strive for what the world labels important, he does not strive for "peer approval," he does not even strive for "self fullfillment." Rather, he knows God's word, He seeks God's will and then he acts. Ah... am I willing to "give up that much" that I might also be used of God?
May God continue to work in me... and may He give me the will to make Him my passion.