If you are living life for all it’s worth, passion is what drives you. It’s more than an emotion; it’s an overwhelming force that almost can’t be contained. Or can it?
Some very respectable men and women get lost in the heat of their passions. They throw away their entire life’s work, gamble with their finances or the hearts of their spouses, and risk the possibility of losing the love and respect of their children as a result of one moment of passion. It’s sad to watch, really…
On the other hand, passion has driven men and women to demand freedom and break glass ceilings. Passion leads people to discover, create, research, and train. For those who are accomplished and have become experts in anything, passion is the adrenaline that flows through their hearts.
So we see, like anything else, passion can be a good thing turned bad or easily exploited by those who have been burned by its flames. I certainly have been burned many times, by the misguided passions of others or blinded by the source of my own.
As I was contemplating one of these experiences, I read a statement from a dear friend which said, “I have learned to bridle my passion so that it is useful.”
That’s it! “BRIDLE MY PASSION SO THAT IT IS USEFUL.”
I keep that statement on a note card beside my laptop and I faithfully contemplate that thought. I understand that bridling my passion is a discipline that we all need for ourselves and for those who we are called to lead.
There is no doubt, all leaders need passion. Nobody wants to be influenced by anyone who is not passionate about who they are and what they do. Passion is somewhat contagious after all. It makes the most average man or woman spectacular and the most ordinary story enlightening.
The passion alone is not all consuming, however, it’s the channeling of the passion that determines the overall impact. Take a look at Jesus. He went along his earthly ministry healing in some places and not performing miracles in others. All the while, his passion was on his heavenly father’s mission. He certainly did not do everything that he could have done; rather he focused his passion particularly on the work that the father outlined for him to do (John 17:4).
When Jesus left this earth, there was still the gospel message to preach, still disciplines to train, still poor and oppressed people among the disciples and each disciple had to bridle their passion in order to focus on the particular work that God had called them to.
Do you know specifically what work God has outlined for you? Are you passionate about it? Do you need to narrow your focus? How do you know?
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© Natasha S. Robinson 2011