(Colossians 1:24-29)

One of the most overused words that I try to avoid is ‘passion’. An article I read recently heartens me as it vindicates my point of view. James Clear, the author of the #1 New York bestseller, “Atomic Habits” writes, “Whether it’s business or sports or art, you hear people say things like, ‘It all comes down to passion’. As a result many of us get depressed when we lose motivation because we think that successful people have some bottomless reserve of passion”.

Kathryn Crawford Saxer, who coaches mid to senior level professionals on career management and development, observes that it’s a word she hears all the time in the workplace and she reckons we should strike the word out from our work vocabulary.

“’Passionate’ in a professional context signals ‘naïve’ to me. Maybe even a bit flighty. Unrealistic. Goofy. You can say you’re passionate about your work, but even the best job has its tedious moments, its unglamorous side. Will you be able to sustain all that breathless passion when you have to grind through boring tasks, which even the best job in the world is full of?”.

Clear concurs! He makes the point that really successful people feel unmotivated like everyone else. The difference is that they still find a way to show up despite the feelings of boredom. He continues, “We all have goals that we would like to achieve and dreams that we would like to fulfill, but it doesn’t matter what you are trying to become better at, if you only do the work when it’s convenient or exciting, then you’ll never be consistent enough to achieve remarkable results”.

I don’t know if Clear and Saxer are aware (they probably are) but the original meaning of the word, ‘passion’ vindicates their point of view! The word originally comes from the Latin word, ‘passio’ meaning to suffer or endure’. If you say you are passionate about something, it means you want it so badly that you will sacrifice anything to have it. Think of Good Friday, also known as ‘The Passion of Christ’.

Paul was another individual whom we can accurately apply the original meaning of ‘passion to’. Two weeks ago in a sermon from Colossians 1:24-29, we discovered that Paul intentionally lived for the worship of Jesus in languages that aren’t yet heard in the nations and for presenting every believer he comes across mature in Christ, to the extent he considered them worth living, suffering and dying for! That’s real passion for you!

As the late Floyd McClung wrote, “If you will not suffer and sacrifice for something, you are not passionate about it. If you say you will do anything for Jesus, but you don’t suffer for Him, then you aren’t really passionate about Him and His purposes of earth”.

“Lord, please work in our hearts and cultivate in us a passion to make you and your word fully known!” 

Christ in us, the hope of glory!