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What are you passionate about?

Here’s a passage of Scripture I like to skip over: “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ…Their work will be shown for what it is…It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.  If what has b…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Here’s a passage of Scripture I like to skip over:
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ…Their work will be shown for what it is…It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the
quality of each person’s work.  If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward…If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved-even though only as one escaping through the flames.”  (1 Cor. 3:
That’s an unpleasant thing to think about. I mean, what if I spend much of my life missing the point? What if I’m passionate about the wrong things?
It’s a question worth asking: What are you passionate about? Golf, football, fashion, art, some hobby, your job?
Passion is inherently visceral.  Passion resides in the gut, not the mind.  When someone is passionate in their relationship with Jesus, we are more inclined to think of John the Baptist than we are of a seminary student.

Passion has the connotation of focus.  One of the great enemies of passion is the cloud of distractions that fill our 20th century minds.  Our lives can underscore this poem,
Some men die by shrapnel,
Some men die in flames,
But most men die inch by inch
Playing little games.
If you’re like me, you may tend to compartmentalize rather than focus your life.  We can become spectators to our own demise.  Dizzy from distraction, we can become an example of Bob Pierce’s credo: “We never do anything well unless we know for sure what our aim is.”

When you die and your life passes before you, what will you want to show Jesus?  As your life’s work passes through the fire described in I Corinthians 3, what will burn and what will remain? 

Comments (12)

  • Yea, this hurts. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “fun things” That the “fun things” becomes our life. We over indulge ourselves in the games and not in the Spirit.
    I’ve found lately that I enjoy the fun things but afterwards I feel sorta empty. But whenever I’m walking in the call of God I feel the passion in my gut!

    Yay! I got an extra dose of passion today!

  • Ouch! Just last night after reading John 12:24-26, I journaled some of these same things about how I (and many in the church) waste our lives with meaningless things like games, tv and hobbies. (Thank you Lord Jesus for the confirmation of your voice).

  • Good post! I find that I’m not really struggling with the frivolous, but rather the feeling that everything is important. Covey labels it “being in the thick of thin things”. Another great quote is “if everything thing is important, than nothing really is.”

    Trying to find some balance…

  • Great post! This is on the back of John Piper’s book “Don’t Waste Your Life”:

    I tell you what a tragedy is. I’ll read to you from Reader’s Digest (Feb. 2000, p. 98) what a tragedy is: “Bob and Penny… took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30 foot trawler, play softball and collect shells.” The American Dream: come to the end of your life – your one and only life – and let the last great work before you give an account to your Creator, be “I collected shells. See my shells.” THAT is a tragedy. And people today are spending billions of dollars to persuade you to embrace that tragic dream. And I get forty minutes to plead with you: don’t buy it.

  • These are great questions to ask ourselves periodically. The part that struck me was compartmentalizing versus focusing…I think I tend to do more of the former. Thanks for challenging us!

  • “…what if I spend much of my life missing the point? What if I’m passionate about the wrong things?”

    I asked a friend who’s a pastor this same question two years ago because I was asking myself same. But sadly, he promptly cut off all communications with me and quietly “de-friended” on FB.

    This is a HARD question but we must face up with it more regularly.

    Thanx Dad!

  • Excellent post, Seth! It’s never too late to realize your focus is wrong, and change it! It’s amazing the good things the Lord provides (and I’m not talking about financial success, or stuff) once you refocus yourself on something He wants of you.

  • I am passionate about being a refreshing disciple of Christ and influencer of others to consider Christianity for what it truly is: a radical, service oriented way of life that encompasses every aspect of life. Not just Sunday mornings, but a 24/7 courageous adventure of what living in freedom is. Am I successful at that all the time? No, probably more often not…but listening, responding, and taking faith steps that become bigger and bigger is life giving and refreshing.

    What you once may not even have considered (for me going to seminary, I didn’t know Jesus ten years ago…) and then moving forward and acting on it is life giving…but I will say I have developed patience, prayer, mulling and no knee jerk reactions in this process of discerning purpose.

    Thanks for another great, honest, refreshing post.

  • I am a seminary graduate who has been impassioned with the “simple things” of Jesus!

    Funny thing: There was NO EMPHASIS on giving someone a cool drink, feeding the poor, and taking care of orphans and widows in my seminary!

    What’s wrong with this picture?

  • This is a wonderful site. It really made me stop and think about my passion. My passion is discipleship (sp?)
    I have a passion for doing unto the least of these…. However, do I get side tracked by my own pleasures or what I think is right to do as opposed to asking God? As I get older (I’m 68) I think i do. Now I’ll watch that more carefully. Thanks for the challenge!

  • A lot of us focus our energy on doing those things we need to do in order to have a successful career and provide a life for our families. Rarely, does society allow us the opportunity to pursue our passion. Is it because it takes time for our passion to develop into a sustainable venture that can generate income? I believe if capitalist society would all us to focus on the important aspects of life to uplift our fellow man or women, humanity as we see it today, would be much richer. I am not against anyone making a dollar for providing a product or service. What is disturbing is that some of us in the global world are more focused on greed at the expense of others who have nothing.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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