HEARTLIGHTTogether In His Grace







Recent Together in His Grace Articles:
Enrich Yourselves
The Sirens Wail
10 Reasons Not to Get Married
More Articles...
Related Sites:
Promise Keepers
Where is Your Passion?
by Byron Ware

    What do you think of when you hear the word passion? My guess is that 8 out of 10 American adults would say, “An intense sexual desire.” I immediately thought of the millions and millions of romance novels that are sold ever year in the United States. I am sure that almost all of them contain the word passion at least once in their pages.

    There are obviously other definitions for this word. Another definition, from Webster’s New World Dictionary, is “extreme, compelling emotion.” This would probably be the second most common definition, today. Have you ever dealt with someone who was not passionate about his or her job? It could have been someone working in government, delivering health care, selling cars, or dishing fast food. But whatever it is, this person really needs to find something they can find satisfaction, enjoyment and passion in doing.

    What is it like to deal with someone who is passionate about his or her job? Sometimes this can be a real enjoyment. A recent news feature, in the Dallas/Ft.Worth area, highlighted a doorman/greeter at the Dallas Fairmont Hotel. He is one of the first persons you meet at the hotel and he exemplifies passion in his work. Repeat customers look forward to coming back and seeing him again. Wow!

    Here is the big question for you; what is it that really compels you? What are your passions in life? Is it your job, your family, your faith in God, money, fame, sports, alcohol, drugs? Some passions are good. Then there are others that can kill you, ruin your life, ruin your family, break relationships, and waste the precious time God has given us. I asked my wife what she first thought of when you she heard the word passion and what she said shocked me. She said, “When I hear that word I think of Adolph Hitler.” His passion brought about so much unspeakable death and destruction, and yet we can bring about some of the same results if we do not prioritize our passions. How do you prioritize these different passions?

    I have started reading a book about unprioritized passions by Bill McCartney entitled, Sold Out. Bill is the founder of Promise Keepers, and was the head coach of the University of Colorado football program. His life story of wrestling with his passions surprised and encouraged a fellow struggler.

    The passage where a visiting preacher speaks at Bill’s church leaves a question for every man prioritizing his passions.

“He began his sermon with a simple yet unsettling question: ‘Do you want to know about a man? Do you really want to know about a man’s character?’ The whole church was silent. I was perched on the edge of my seat. He continued: ‘If you want to know about a man’s character, then look into the face of his wife. Whatever he has invested in or withheld from her will be reflected in her countenance...’ I turned and looked squarely into Lyndi’s face. My heart sank. What I saw stunned me. Her face. It was sad and empty. Her eyes, once so bright and effervescent, had lost their sparkle. They were dull, downcast, and discouraged.”

    Men, when was the last time you took a look at your wife across the dining table or in church? Have you elevated your job above your wife and family? In Bill McCartney’s terms, have you “sold out?” The same question could equally be asked of women today. So many things can come in and choke out our passion or disorient the proper priorities for our passions.

What is happening with America’s children?
    Someone once said that no victory in life—no professional advancement, no championship trophy, no monetary reward—will compensate for failure in the home. The time and focus we give your career can be disastrous to the ones we love the most!

    Do you know the original definition of passion? According to Webster’s, it was “a suffering, especially that of Christ. The agony and sufferings of Jesus during the Crucifixion or during the period following the Last Supper.” What a contrast to what most Americans think this word means!

    Here is another good definition for passion, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) I would definitely call that command an “extreme, compelling emotion.”

    In his book, Bill McCartney sold out to his job and alcohol. It was a painful, heart-wrenching struggle to right his skewed priorities. How about you?

    My prayer is that you will spend some time today evaluating your passions and prioritizing them the way God intended. This will be a lifelong process that you will do for God, your spouse, your family, and for yourself. But let’s make sure when we sell out, it’s to the right ones and the right things!


HEARTLIGHT(R) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Copyright © 1996-98, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.