So how does passion become an obsession? Passion is a good thing from my perspective. I want the people I hire to wake up each morning with passion to make a difference, to bring their best to their work, to care about what we do as a church and who we are. The opposite of passion is apathy…and there is not much worse than apathy for any organization but especially the church. When we don’t care, we don’t engage, we don’t invest and we waste the talent, resources and gifts God gave us.
But passion to the extreme is not a good thing either. It can become an obsession or a form of fanaticism. That kind of passion runs over other people and can take over your life in a way where you no longer have perspective. It can actually harm and destroy relationships and life itself.
I have met those persons. They are so passionate about their cause or their opinion that they just wear me out, and it seems like there is no room for me to disagree. Instead of convincing me, and engaging me in their cause, I become resistant. It does not add to life, it diminishes it.
Where I see this show up in my own life is I can get fixated, passionate about “my way” whatever my way happens to be. A particular outcome, or my way of viewing the world, or being right. I don’t want to give up my passion for it is what drives me to work hard, to create, produce, dream, persuade…it is one key ingredient in my being a strong leader. But what I need to remember is that the goal is not about me winning…it is about the whole team, and God’s purposes getting accomplished.
Jesus says that we if we are not willing to take what is dearest to us, whether plans or people, and kiss it goodbye, we can’t be his disciples. (Luke 14, MSG). That is a shocking statement. What are we so attached to that it has become more important to us that following Christ? Where is my passion, and how is it giving life or harming life?