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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Passion or Platitude

The low easy road of "Platitude" or the soaring high road of "Passion"

“For we are God’s workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:10 NIV

Even when I have been actively seeking new spiritual truth I have still felt at times that everything seemed to be commonplace and dull. At times God even seemed to be far away. Have you ever been there?

Acting on shear faith that God was near and that he loved me I begin to search my heart and ask God to do the same. Self examination always offers me time to think about where my passions lie. When I am able to identify my passions I am able to ask God to help me see ways that I can move away from dullness of platitude and on to the zeal of passion!

Some times when I allow myself to enjoy the personal things that I am passionate about I begin to feel guilty, selfish, and even irresponsible. Let me say here that I believe that God has given us our gifts and talents to bring us personal relaxation and joy. These gifts and talents are also to be used to serve others. But without a doubt I know that my gifts and talents must first of all be given back to God to be used as a tool for his use and his glory.

Today I am reflecting on the fact that even before I took my first breath, God had given me my own set of “talents” that he designed specifically just for me. After I became a believer, God also gave me my own special “spiritual gift” so that I might do his work using the giftedness that he placed in my spirit on the very first day that I became a Christian. My God-inspired passion is the vehicle that God uses to carry my giftedness and talents into is service. You too have your own unique package of at least one spiritual gift and many talents that God has designed just for you!

None of us needs to be reminded that our work and responsibilities can weigh us down. Our obligations can become so burdensome that they rob us of finding God’s joy in our life. If our work and responsibilities go unmanaged our daily life becomes so out of whack that we find our life whirling out of control, even to the point of becoming depressed, stressed out and even sick.

Our passions and talents have been given to us to serve as a buffer and they are to be used as a tool to bring relaxation and joy into our life. It has been hard for me to recognize my spiritual gifts and talents. I had to learn to pay attention to what I loved and to what others said that I was good at. The things that I loved and what others said about me became clues along the way to help me to discover my spiritual gifts and talents. When I use these precious life enhancements, I have discovered they are the very things that make me truly happy.

I have many things that I am passionate about. I am passionate about my family. I am passionate about nature. Sunrises, sunsets, the beach, the mountains, beautiful flowers, the changing seasons. All of those treasures thrill me to death! I am also passionate about doing anything that involves my creativity. I am passionate about uplifting and encouraging my family and friends. I am passionate about my quiet time with Jesus. I am passionate about helping others to grow in their faith. All of these things bring me so much joy that I can only respond to God in elation because he has allowed me to enjoy so much! The fact is, because I am passionate about the things that God cares about, I am also passionate about him.

I have also discovered that when my passions are misplaced they are selfish and sinful and I am not passionate about God. When we exchange sinful, self motivated passions for “godly” passion we then become people of purpose. God’s purpose is fulfilled through our life by doing the work he prepared in advance for us to do. Recognizing our passions and using our gifts and talents to serve God brings glory to him, blessings to others, and contentment and pleasure to us. What will you choose – passion or platitude?


What are your passions?

Do you have any harmful, selfish, or sinful passions?

Have you discovered your God given passions, talents and gifts?

How can you use your gifts and talents to enhance your daily work and responsibilities?

Have you ever taken a spiritual gift assessment? If no, I would highly recommend doing so through a local church.

Have you ever given your spiritual gifts and talents back to God, and asked him to choose for you and show you how he wants you to use those gifts and talents for his glory?


Dear God,

Forgive me for sometimes living the comfortable life of platitude. Thank you for showing me today that my passions, talents, and gifts are from you and that you have uniquely designed those things just for me. Forgive me when I dismiss using my personal gifts because I feel I am too busy. Help me to identify and find purpose in using my spiritual gifts and talents in all that I do throughout my day. Show me ways that I might use all that you have given me to serve others and build up your kingdom. I thank you that you are not a hard taskmaster that wants only work without passion. God, help me to learn to use my talents and giftedness in ways that are pleasing to both you and me. Above all God, I want your son, Jesus Christ, to be my highest passion. God, I desire that my life bring pleasure to you everyday as I go about my work.

In Your Son's Name I pray. Amen.