<<enthusiasm, zeal>>

This is a strong feeling or emotion, a compelling fervour for something, be it good or wrong, expressed as love or hate. We are to be enthusiastic for good works and the work of God but resist what is inappropriate such as sexual lust (Mt 5:28, Jn 2:17; 1 Cor 14:12; 2 Cor 9:2; Tit 2:14). The deceitful desires of the old life are to be replaced by righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:22-24; 1 Thes 4:5; 2 Tim 2:22). The desires of the flesh should be under the control of our mind and spirit with our emotional longings exposed to the Word of God. In fact the Bible states, "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24). Is this a true reflection of me?

If I am passionate for God, it will be outworked in obedience and spending quality time devoted to Him. In contrast, lukewarm Christians do not have Jesus as the focus of their lives. What drives me – a passion to live a God-honouring life or my selfish, carnal life? Passion or desire is wrong only when it turns us in the wrong direction – away from what is right and of God to what is of the flesh. Living to please the old, canal life will result in missing God’s blessing of life, while sowing into what is honourable and worthwhile will result in reaping blessing, both in this life and the next (Jn 10:10; Rom 8:12,13; Gal 6:7-9).

Passion destroys apathy and provides the motivation to persevere and excel; without
this energizing driving force what remains is a cold, lifeless, unattractive ritual. It is fine to be zealous and passionate provided the purpose is good (Gal 4:18). A strong motivation

What am I passionate about?

will push you to extend yourself beyond what others accomplish, compelling you to make a difference. Dream of the goal and apply yourself to achieve it. What you set your heart on often comes into reality.

Our love and commitment to God should compel us to be radical witnesses for Christ as we consider the eternal doom we have been saved from, yet will the fate of those who don’t receive salvation? (Rom 12:11; 1 Thes 1:10; 1 Jn 5:12).

Rather than Christianity being known for its disciplines (which are good and right, although sometimes done from duty), it should be recognised by its passion and love for Christ and people – both fellow believers and those as yet outside the Kingdom (Jn 13:35). Do I have a passion to see others conform to Biblical standards, to be made alive and revived from spiritual lethargy, without producing condemnation or legalism?

See also: desires, emotions, enthusiasm, lust, motive/motivation, Passion Week, sow and reap, zeal.