Sunday, September 25, 2016

ARE PASSIONS ALWAYS GOOD?


FOLLOWING OUR PASSIONS

There is a great deal of discourse in our day about "passion" or "purpose" - finding your passion, following your passion, etc. It almost seems that finding and fulfilling one's passion is the key to happiness.

This philosophy has even become a mainstay in many churches today, to the point where in some cases it is presented as the actual center of the gospel message - i.e. Christ died to help us find our passion.

But is this really what the Bible teaches?

Consider what the Apostle Paul wrote to the church of Ephesus:

1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
Ephesians 2:1-3 (emphasis added)

Let us ask a three simple questions about what this verse teaches:

1. Why did Jesus die and rise again for us?
According to Paul's writing, Jesus came to make us alive? Why? Because we were dead in trespasses and sin!

2. Can sinners "find their passion?"
Verse three plain teaches us that while we were still lost, we...
  • Conducted ourselves in the flesh
  • Fulfilled the desires of the flesh and mind
  • Were by nature children of wrath
Mankind is fallen! Therefore his natural passions and purposes are also fallen!

Beloved, because we are all born as sinners, our very tendencies and passions are intuitively in conflict with God! It is only after we are reborn out of spiritual death through Jesus Christ that our passions and purposes can even begin to align with God!

Look at the facts. We hear people testify regularly  how they found happiness once they  "discovered their passion" in acting, singing, science, athletic pursuits, business acumen or thousands of other possibilities!

Yet so many of these, perhaps the vast majority, are confirmed atheists or nominal believers in God!

Therefore, isn't it obvious that finding your passion has nothing to do with being in right relationship with God through Jesus Christ? Or that it is very possible to find one's passion apart from any relationship with The Living God?

3. Are all passions good?
Hitler found his passion - to steal, kill and destroy. Serial killers find their passion - to kill. In fact, is not every evil act a matter of following one's passion?

We are told, "Follow your heart."

Consider what Jesus said about what can come from "following the heart":

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
Matthew 15:19 (emphasis added)

Being right with God, then, is not a matter of finding one's passion or following one's heart.

It is a matter of aligning our dreams, passions, purposes,will and mind and heart with God's!

Jesus did not come to help us find our passion or purpose.

Jesus came to help us to turn from and to die to our own selfish, human passions - and to allow God to plant the dreams, passions and purposes of His own heart into ours! 




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