It began with the Kony video. A small spark of the "hop on the bandwagon" movement. It really got me thinking about passion and what drives it. Is it something we are shocked into, dragged into, stumbled upon, or already caught up in? Is it a desire to stay ahead of the game, so that we seem like a better Christian because we are "passionate" about a cause? There's the word that has begun to haunt me these past few weeks. Ever since I started this journey with my eyes being opened to human trafficking and the absolutely evil forces that are at work in the world, then to have that knowledge fueled by the revelations of the Kony video. The ache in my heart just grew until I thought I couldn't stand it anymore. These people, these victims, these children, these families. But I kept hearing one word over and over and over, cause. I even used the word a few times myself. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with being passionate about a cause, but is that all we are passionate about? A cause?
Are we more concerned with having our name tied to a "hot button" issue or a "trendy" topic? When we passionately spread our information out to others, are we even focused on them as people, or are we just focused on "converting" them to our side? Here is passion's weakness: the cause. I have seen too many people get so caught up in a particular cause that they forget they are dealing with people. They get so caught up in the information that they forget about the victims. Passion can be a good or bad thing. God instilled passion, when we keep our own emotions in check, can be amazing. Passion fueled by our own desires and letting our emotions lead, can be devastating. I see people so passionate about a cause that they don't even realize the harm they are doing rather than the good. How many times have we had a passionate person want to talk to us about their specific cause and we get beat over the head with information and are never allowed to disagree without feeling ashamed? How did that make us feel about their cause? That is not passion for people, that is passion for a thing. We do not need to be investing all of our time and efforts into things. Things don't bring change, people bring change. We can't bring change by hauling people over to our corner kicking and screaming. No, a cause is just a thing, do not be passionate about a thing.
I am not saying that if you are passionate about one of these causes that you are not passionate about people, and I think it's very easy for us all to spot the difference. There are several ways to tell if you have become more passionate about the actual cause rather than the people behind it.
- When talking about your cause to others are you thinking about the people who are actually affected by it?
- When sharing your information how do you feel if someone disagrees with you about it?
- Do you feel that your cause is the most important cause and that everyone else should be as passionate as you are about it?
- Do you even remember why you became so passionate about this in the first place?
- What is your #1 goal when it comes to your passion?
- If the cause you are passionate about came to an end tomorrow would you be relieved or feel empty because you no longer have something to fight for?
Is it an issue that will really, truly, absolutely bring freedom and life to people, or is it an issue that someone has created because they believe that it should be done that way? Are we trying to spread awareness because something is truly wrong or just because we believe that it is wrong. Yes, those things can be mutually exclusive. There are many things that people believe are wrong about religion, does that make it actually wrong or just believably wrong? Beyond asking ourselves is my passion about people or is my passion about a thing, we need to be asking ourselves is the cause I am passionate about focused on people or focused on a thing.
Our passion will never amount to anything if the issue we focus on is about a thing rather than on people. Our passion will never amount to anything if we ourselves are focused on a thing rather than on people. Ultimately our passion should always be about people. God's call of passion on our lives is always about the issues that grieve His heart. It is how He stirs the hands of His people into action. Passion is about going out and doing, about respecting others and inspiring them. It grows through its actions and inspires others to change. It brings hope, joy, and eventually revolution.
What revolution are you striving for?