Content with Passion
I have a friend who has an unmistakable passion for the local church. His passion leads him to ministering all over the world to children, no matter how far, no matter how long. In the time that I have known him, every conversation I have with him is about Christ’s ministry through his life and in the lives of the children that he reaches. It’s not just a job; it’s a core part of who he is.
I long for that kind of passion in my own life. The contagious spilling-over of my love for others, which comes from Christ, into every area of my life. A passion to be described as unmistakable. A passion that defines me.
As my friend pursued ministry seemingly without blinking twice, I heard the ridicules of those surrounding him.
“Yeah, but what are you going to do to make money?”
“How are you going to provide for a family on that kind of salary?”
“It won’t be easy to find a full-time job for that. You’ll need to get education in something else as a backup plan.”
People who meant well, who were just preparing him for the absolute worst, who were seeking to protect him, essentially saying to him that he didn’t need to always give the “Jesus” answer in Sunday school. People who make a choice every day between spending time with the Lord and spending time recharging with TV or video games in preparation for another day at work. People who have lived more life in this world and know how harsh it can be sometimes.
But, he kept pursuing his passion for the call Christ had given him. He allowed Jesus to be more than an answer in Sunday school. Instead of looking outside to see a harsh world, he opened his eyes and heart to the beauty of a world that God loves so dearly – enough to die for it.
The “God has a plan” mentality is hard for these people that questioned my friend. “Yeah, but…” is a staple phrase for them. Loving Jesus isn’t in question; it’s the living Jesus part that they struggle with subconsciously. There’s no doubt, stepping out on faith at any time is challenging, but especially when it involves the pieces of our life that make up the American dream. The dream that says we have to have so much in savings, an HGTV house with a wrap-around porch, a dog and a cat, all of the subscriptions and technology, and a closet full of clothes that would take us a year to wear them all.
So, what happens when God calls you to something that doesn’t necessarily fit the American dream? What happens when you find yourself overwhelmed with a passion that doesn’t allow for the pool in the backyard or the quarterly vacations? 1st Timothy 6:6-10 answers this for us:
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and[a] we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
It’s allowing your God-given passion to fulfill your needs. It’s allowing yourself to be content with what He is providing for you. It’s looking outside at the world and seeing how beautiful it is instead of how harsh it is. It’s a Christlike perspective.
God promises to take care of our needs, but I think sometimes we tend to be influenced to believe that our needs are way closer to the American dream than they are to the God-sized dream. If you’re new to the Christian faith, spoiler alert: God-sized dreams are usually way bigger than we could ever ask or imagine for ourselves.
My friend doesn’t blink when he responds to these people that God will provide for him. It begs to ask, how would you respond? Are your dreams closer to the American dream or the God-sized dream? From whom does your passion originate? With the utmost confidence, can you give “Jesus” as the answer every single time?
Today, may you look outside and see the world that Christ loves and rose again for. May you discover that your purpose has deeper passion when it’s rooted in Him, and may you be content with dreaming God-sized dreams.