Whenever we talk about being passionate for the Lord, we often hear people say, “…but I’m not like that” or “It’s not me to be so loud and vocal”. And then we launch into this lengthy discourse of trying to convince the person that God has already deposited passion in us, citing examples from our favourite soccer or basketball team winning the championship to how freely and naturally we express our emotions when watching a touching movie.
Sometimes, I think the only outcome from those discourses only proves that our adrenalin and tear ducts are working. More often than not, we leave them feeling bad or worse, condemned.
Well, here’s my little version of why I believe passion triumphs over personality. Pray that it’ll make sense to you.
19 August 2019 will be a day to remember for me because my daughter was part of her school’s hockey team that won the National Inter-school ‘C’ Division Hockey Championship. They worked hard during trainings, made many personal sacrifices, endured the sprains and bruises, and fought their way to the finals. On the day of the finals, the sun was so hot I got tanned just by sitting in the stands. Our whole family was there and we cheered so hard and pumped our fists in the air that even the ‘passive me’ was shocked by my outward expression. “No room for inhibition”, I told myself.
Am I passionate about hockey?
No. Then why was I behaving like someone who was so passionate about the sport? It’s because someone whom I loved and cared about was on that hockey pitch, under the scorching afternoon heat, running her heart out, chasing every loose ball in between her asthma puffs and blocking every attempt made at her goal. She had turned the hockey pitch into her ‘battlefield’ – she’s my daughter and she’s a fighter!
When the final whistle was blown and their team won, I saw my daughter raise her hands and collapse to the ground. The players congratulated and hugged each other. There were tears of relief and tears of joy, on that pitch and in the stands.
That day, I realised one thing – passion is not a feeling or an emotion. Passion is a person!
2,000 years ago, one Person was fighting the fight of His life – not as God, but as man. That match took place on a hill called Calvary, just outside the gates of the City of Jerusalem.
Unlike my daughter’s match, His fight was a lonely one – His team left Him and there were more jeers than cheers for Him from the stands.
To begin with, this wasn’t even His fight. He was fighting on someone else’s behalf – yours and mine. His opponent was not even His match, but He humbled Himself so that it was a level-playing field. This match was the culmination of what He came for and He was determined to win it.
What was at stake? Our freedom. It cost Him – every second that passed felt longer and slower than the previous one. He mustered every ounce of strength left in His bruised and broken Body and endured till the final whistle was blown. The prophet Isaiah described Him this way, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of deep sorrows who was no stranger to suffering and grief. We hid our faces from him in disgust and considered him a nobody, not worthy of respect. Yet he was the one who carried our sicknesses and endured the torment of our sufferings. We viewed him as one who was being punished for something he himself had done, as one who was struck down by God and brought low. But it was because of our rebellious deeds that he was pierced and because of our sins that he was crushed. He endured the punishment that made us completely whole, and in his wounding we found our healing.” Isaiah 53:3-5 (TPT)
And with these three words, He uttered forever into eternity, “It is finished.” He won! This Person gave everything He had on that pitch called “The Cross”.
Passion is not an emotion. Passion is a Person. That’s why we call Him Saviour! Shouldn’t we be passionate about Him?
Now you know why I believe passion can and will triumph over every ‘personality type’ – it depends on how much the Person on that pitch means to you, it depends on your relationship with Him.
I want to encourage you to find that passion for Jesus again. Go back to where it all began. Go back to the Cross of Calvary, where you first met Him. Revive that relationship and how much it meant to you. Soon, your personality will have to step aside to make way for your passion to come forth!
But that’s not the end of the story. You’re given the privilege to determine how this story is going to end. Jesus has won ‘His fight’ and He’s saying to you today, ‘Now go, and win yours because I AM with you!’
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)
It’s time we let our passion for the Lord speak louder than our personality!