“Follow your passion.”
It has become the mantra of a generation.
At quick glance, it might even seem to make sense.
But don’t go tattooing it across your forearm or between your shoulder blades just yet. First, watch some early auditions for American Idol. Or America’s Got Talent. Then realize how misleading your passion can be.
You may be passionate about something, but it doesn’t mean you are – or ever will be – any good at it. You may be passionate about something, but it doesn’t mean that it is – or ever will be – any good for you. Or others.
Passion can be fleeting. It can be misguided. As romantic and inspirational as it may sound, following your passion can get you into heaps of trouble.
“Romeo and Juliet followed their passion. Look where that got them.”
- Stephen Balkam
Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that we are to live without passion.
What it does mean is we need to cultivate our passion, not submit to it carte blanche. We need to discover and develop it through following God’s direction.
Fact is, most people who are passionate about what they do, developed that passion over time. They did more than identify a personal desire and follow it. Rather, they discovered a way to use their gifts to serve others, and it has grown into a passion.
The problem with passion? It needs to be directed, not followed.
Don’t follow your passion. Cultivate it.
All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) - Ephesians 2:3-5
But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said. They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them. – Jude 1:17-19