Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2
I was caught off guard recently. I was going to write an article for another Christian blogger but while reading through the criteria it said something like, “Your article should encourage; it should not speak AT the reader. They should leave feeling uplifted.” While I agree with that, I also strive for transparency and sometimes transparency can make people uncomfortable.
When I write, I tend to be most passionate when I’m the most transparent. Sometimes my passion comes out in hard truths.
Think about it. You never have to urge someone to do something they’re comfortable doing. My goal is to encourage you to do things that are UNcomfortable and if that means speaking in hard truths, then it’s worth it to me.
I don’t want to be a writer that always comforts. While comforting is an important task for Christians and I definitely comfort when needed, I also see that the world is in 911 mode. 911 mode means that as Christians, we should be on high alert not to conform to the patterns of this world.
Let me break it down.
What is Conformity?
Not only is conformity the enemy of growth, but it also encourages a worldly view.
The problem is not the world, the problem is the pattern of the world. If you don’t recognize the pattern, you’ll be chasing the wrong things: lust, money, anger, dishonesty, selfishness, etc.
Yep, popular culture will try to convince us to conform to ungodly patterns and rebel against God. Instead of growing in wisdom, you’ll grow rebellion.
What Are the Patterns in the World?
The Bible talks about the world’s patterns as falling under three different categories (1 John 2:16):
- Lust of flesh- The things you feel like doing
- Lust of the eyes- What you see.
- Pride of life- What you want that is apart from God
I mention patterns because I try to make sure my own life is on alert to drifting. See, it doesn’t always happen in one swoop; it’s gradual. You let things slide a little here and slide a little there and before you know it you’ve made a horrible decision that can never be taken back and now you’re suffering awful consequences.
God tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. You must think differently. The world bases decisions off of feelings. We all know that feelings are inconsistent, so how can we make a big decision based off something unstable? The world also makes decisions based on doing. They just want to be told what to do without having to think about the why’s behind it. Just give me the key to the problem and I’ll do it. Instead of thinking about how you feel or what to do, you must transform your mind by being wise in thinking about what is true and what God’s word says first.
What Does This Have to Do with Passion?
I believe the world has a different view of what passion is. They slather their views all over the scenes in movies, teaching children that a one night stand is passion. Misplaced passion is dangerous.
I don’t want to misplace my passion. You can push through a LOT in life when you have passion.
After reading the other blogger’s criteria, I realized something about myself: my passion is unbuttered transparency. It’s writing in a simple way so you don’t have to read between the lines. It’s helping others see themselves like God sees them. My passion is truth and I don’t feel like I’m being truthful when I write in buttered up phrases; when my words tumble out like chocolate covered cherries – sweet to the lips but dangerous to the hips.
I’ll take the risk. Now let me be clear here; I am not saying that the aforementioned blogger had bad intentions or that she was conforming to the patterns of the world. I’m saying that her statement brought some light to my own life. First, I questioned my previous blog posts, thinking that maybe I had been too honest. But after some deep reflection, I realized that I love people but I also believe the world is so focused on being nice that nobody is able to take criticism. The world is so focused on pleasing everyone, that everyone tiptoes around each other and sugar coats the truth.
That’s not me. Sometimes when you get passionate, apathetic people feel threatened. If you feel threatened, maybe that’s a sign that you need a transformation.
Regardless, I hope you’ll find these 10 things helpful as you learn to allow your purpose to drive your passion and refuse to let others minimize it.
10 Ways Passion Will Change Your Life
1. Passion Breeds Perseverance – When you’re passionate about something, it lights a fire in you that gives you strength to persevere. When you have passion and other people don’t allow you to express your passion, you’ll find somewhere else to go to express it. This will transfer over into other areas of your life because it will become a habit.
2. Passion is Humbling- You quickly learn that if you can’t do something with passion in a small place and be thankful, God will not let you do it in a big place.
3. Passion Teaches You to Be Thankful for the Small Things- Because passion breeds perseverance, you learn to push through those times when it feels like you’re not getting anywhere. You learn to celebrate the small wins.
4. It Helps You Learn to Communicate Better- When you’re passionate about something, you want to share it with others. Your communication becomes passionate because you’re speaking from your heart.
5. You Create Bonds with Like-Minded People- Passion makes you seek others who share similar views. You seek out communities in which you can glean support, learn more, teach others, and keep yourself motivated and inspired.
6. You Learn to Serve Others– Reaching out to others is inevitable when you’re within a community. Just like you create bonds with others, you learn to give in addition to taking. You realize that your passion grows when you take time to serve others.
7. It Builds Resistance- Not everyone is going to understand your passion. You may even lose friends along the way. You learn quickly that when you care so deeply for something, nothing and no-one is going to stand in your way. Consequently, you resist digesting the opinions of naysayers and push through anyway.
8. Passion Gives You Peace- When you’re walking in your purpose and you’re passionately pursuing that purpose, you will experience a sense of peace. This is another indication that you are walking in the right direction.
9. It Teaches You to Be Patient– It’s easy to give up when things become difficult. The reason people quit is not because they lose their passion; it’s because they feel like they’re not enough. True passion teaches you that success happens in time.
10. It Draws You Closer to God- You have to be careful with this. Sometimes, people do the opposite: they pull away from God by leaning on themselves. If you’re seriously determined to walk with passion though, true passion can only be expressed by walking hand-in-hand with God. Any other passion is just a mirage.
Passion. I’ll write to encourage and hopefully you’ll leave feeling uplifted, but if I learned anything from researching the topic of passion, I learned not to allow others opinions to put a cap on it.
So, can I continue to be transparent with you? If you’re looking for the chocolate covered cherries, you’re looking on the wrong shelf. I prefer the Popeye strength of spinach because “I yam what I yam and dats what I yam.”
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