TODAY’s Guest Post is from a college friend of mine. Although I didn’t know much about her then nor was I close to her, I watched her; I watched how PASSIONATE she was about the things she did. And she came to mind when I wanted a post about the Monthly Word Focus of “Passion.”
My name is Jacquelin Tibbs. I accepted Christ as my Savior just before turning 16 and the Lord has given me a wonderful life! As high school came to a close, I began developing a myriad of symptoms in my chronic pain journey. I graduated from Pensacola Christina College in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and from West Coast Baptist College in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Bible and Missions. The Lord answered my prayer for healing through a Chiropractor I met my senior year. My husband and I started courting on graduation day from WCBC and were married in August of 2014. We were blessed with our first baby girl in 2017 and are having a boy in a few weeks. These are the milestones that God has allowed me to cross as I walk with Him each day.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “passion?” Do you think of a love scene from a movie? Or does a person pop into your mind? There are two main definitions which are: 1) a strong barely controllable emotion 2) the suffering death of Jesus Christ. If we get the true meaning of the word rooted in our minds, we can build an unshakable passion for the life God has given to us. To do that, we will compare and contrast the foundation, motivation, and direction of the two main definitions of this word.
The foundation for a false passion is emotions, while a true passion rests on Jesus Christ. An emotionally driven passion can fight to the death for 30 minutes kid-free. It leads us to aggressively defend our dietary choices. When the feelings establish a habit in our lives, they will lead in defending those habits.
Proverbs 23:19 says, “Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.”
I must guide my heart and emotions as if they were a large ox on a road. They are both powerful and can cause destruction if left uncontrolled. In order to guide my emotions, I must be honest with myself.
Luke 6:45 says, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
Listen to what you say and acknowledge your emotions. Line them up with the Word of God for a foundation to true passion.
Jesus Christ is the Word of God and the Cornerstone for true passion. Particular, the sacrifice of Christ is the basis for our passion. The word passion comes from the Latin word “pati” meaning suffer. This is where the phrase, The Passion of Christ, comes from. Everyone suffers in life as we live on a sin-cursed earth. However, the suffering of Christ was accepted by Him for God’s glory and His good.
Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Notice He saw joy as he endured the cross. I know all to well the suffering that marriage and motherhood have brought me. We cook what our husbands like and dive into their interests, while our hobbies lay dormant. We seek to be his companion and have an intimate relationship with him. As a mom, we miss out on some activities due to naptime or a child’s sport. It brings discomfort to pass up the things we love to do, but when they become the men and women we’ve trained them to be, it is all worth it. So the foundation for false passion is uncontrolled emotions, and true passion rests on the sacrifice of Christ. In addition to a solid foundation, we need the right motivating force.
False passion is almost uncontrollable, and true passion is controlled and clearly directed by the Holy Spirit.
The first definition spells out the unpredictable way of false passion, calling it “barely controllable.” It begins as a feeling that wells up inside of you and gushes out like a geyser. This applies to any feeling: love, fear, anger, discontent, and so on. Truthfully, false passion is barely controlled by choice because so few know how to reign in their feelings.
True passion has a very clear motivating force, the Spirit of God.
The Holy Spirit is the Person of the Godhead given to us to guide our passions. He often prompts us to do things we would rather not for the glory of God and our good. And rest assured, when we follow His leading we will suffer and be rewarded, here and in the life to come. We are promised in Luke 18:29-30, “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.”
With the Word of God and the Spirit of God we can head into this “suffering” with the ability to endure it and visualize the joyful reward. Now that we grasp the foundation and motivation these two passions, let’s look at their directions.
A false passion is always seeking self, and a true passion is sacrificing self.
As a mom, I know and have seen that we do not struggle to give of ourselves. The problem seems to come from some sort on giving imbalance and guilt for not giving more. This may be the most challenging idea to change, but one of the most needed for a wife and mom. False passion seeks self. And self has many disguises. Two moms can both train their children, one for self image and one for the forming of the child. The true passion will be revealed once that child becomes an adult. Two wives may help their husbands in their work. One does it so that she can make sure it’s done right and the other does it to help him achieve his goals. You can see how passion is revealed in the why behind the action. True passion can only come from Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The direction of true passion goes back to the foundation and motivation of the passion. In Hebrews 4:15 we read, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
He felt everything we feel.
Those emotions are real and made to be felt. And when we guide them into the truth and follow the Spirit of God, they drive us to sacrifice. True passion will balance all truth including how much to sleep, when to say no, and your “me time.” True passion will fill me with pain and joy as I do the difficult things in life for a much stronger marriage and for my children’s well-being.
There is no comparison between false passion and true passion. The have a different staring place, manner of movement, and direction. Philippians 3:13-14 summarizes my aim to live a passionate life for my Savior: Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
True passion calmly stays the course to do whatever my God desires, knowing that He will bring me great joy in the end.
What a blessing! Thank you, Jacque for sharing your heart and reminding us about what TRUE PASSION is.