"If you are living out of a sense of obligation, you are slave."
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a slave to anything on this earth. Being a slave means you don’t do things because you WANT to, but rather because you HAVE to. There’s a big difference.
Nothing is more frustrating than living without passion and just going through the motions. When there’s no passion, even the smallest and most trivial task becomes burdensome and exhausting. However, when you’re passionate about something, the most challenging and difficult task seems enjoyable and something you look forward to. Passion makes a world of difference!
I don’t want to be without passion in my marriage, my career, my relationships and in my spiritual life too. I WANT TO LIVE PASSIONATELY!!!
But how can we maintain that passion? Life will inevitably try to rob me of it. Imagine a helium balloon where the balloon represents your life and the helium represents your passion. When you’re full of passion, you fly high. But inevitably that passion starts to wane and you start to lose some steam.
That’s life isn’t it? We get on a high and get energized – again, you can apply this to any aspect of life – but then we soon lose steam and begin to sink. When we're on our high, we make promises and commitments and we think we'll live like this forever. And then the world begins to beat us down day after day and eventually the spiritual high is just a distant memory.
How can we maintain our passion?
Life is full of PASSION KILLERS – things that aim to rob us of our enthusiasm and zeal. We need to learn how to handle these passion killers and deal with them in a deliberate and intentional way. What are they? Here are three passion killers that I struggle with:
Passion Killer #1: LACK OF BALANCE
If you want to get your body in shape, what should you do? Eat well or exercise? Which one? The answer obviously is both. If you exercise all day long and then follow up each workout with a big fat donut, that won’t be very effective. But then if you swing to the other side and eat healthily but just sit on the couch all day and never move, you’ll have all kinds of physical problems as well.
We need BALANCE. The same applies to life. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that “this one thing will solve all my problems. If I just did ________, then everything will be fixed.”
That’s not true. In our spiritual lives, we need time for private worship, but we also need time for communal worship. We need time to serve, but also time to rest. We need time to pray and “cast our cares upon Him”, but also time to “be still and know that I am God.” We need balance.
Passion Killer #2: LACK OF SUPPORT
Passion is contagious and the easiest way to catch fire is be close with people who are on fire (literally and figuratively). Start investing in those relationships now and start avoiding some of those passion-quenching relationships. If you want to be passionate about your marriage, spend time with married couples who are passionate about one another. If you want to get motivated in your career, spend time with someone whose career you’d like to emulate.
Don’t wait till the flame is dead; do something about it now while you can. Passion is contagious!
Passion Killer #3: LACK OF REPENTANCE
Passion and guilt are mutually exclusive of one another. So too are joy and shame. You can’t have both at the same time. When we make a mistake and fail, instead of carrying the burden, we need to learn to repent and let go of the burden to Christ.
King David – a man who lived very passionately for God – once said:
“My iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds are foul and festering because of my foolishness. I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.” Psalm 38:4-6
His sin didn’t just affect his ability to pray or sing; it affected his ability to run the country as king and to rule his household as father. The effects of unconfessed sin are often underestimated, but they are there. Learn to deal with your sins, failures and mistakes immediately – don’t let them fester. Take action today and do something about it.
Whatever it takes to maintain our passion, we must do it. If not, we are doomed to a life of routine and going through the motions. We are doomed to living as slaves. Someone once said that passion “makes the impossible possible.” I couldn’t agree more. There’s nothing quite like living passionately. I think that’s how God created us to live.