Living With Passion
by Rich Harrison
PASSION, now there’s a word that will get your attention – especially with Valentine’s Day being just a week away. What if I asked, what are you passionate about? We all are passionate about something or someone. Hopefully, you’re crazy passionate about the person you’re married to, engaged to, or dating. Maybe you feel passionate about your vocation or a cause that’s close to your heart. Maybe you feel passionate about your children (even though they may drive you to the brink of insanity at times … come on, parents, you know it’s true). Maybe you’re just like me as I passionately quest for the best pizza in town! All of these passions are simple reflections and pursuers of our heart.
Here are three practical directives to ask yourself …
- What am I passionate about?
- Who’s passionate about me?
- How can I demonstrate passion to others?
For some, the answers come easy as we think about family, friends, and God. For others, these questions and potential answers are difficult to contemplate.
Let’s look at the first question. What am I passionate about? The best answer I’ve ever come across was written by author, Rick Warren. He uses the acronym for the word SHAPE to help us define this arena of personal passion.
S- What are your SPIRITUAL GIFTS? To find out, you first must have a relationship with Christ. If you have difficulty discerning what your spiritual gifts are, here’s a simple online assessment that will help.
H – HEART. What are you drawn to, what do you like to do, what are you passionate about?
A – ABILITIES. What abilities do you naturally possess?
P – PERSONALITY. What type of personality do you have? This online personality tool can help.
E – EXPERIENCES. What life experiences do you already have under your belt?
When you combine your five unique SHAPE attributes, you will discover what you’re passionate about.
Now, what about that second question? Who’s passionate about me? The one true-love relationship that stands the test of time is a relationship with Christ. You’ll never find anyone more authentic, real, and true than the person of Christ. He genuinely loves and cares for us. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 that you can throw all our cares and worries on Him because He cares for you. Yes, you! God was so passionate about us, He provided a way of salvation through His Son. Christ died on a cross to deliver us from the penalty of sin. He then gives us the choice to accept this sacrifice by asking for forgiveness and repentance. Looking back, it was difficult to comprehend that Christ wanted a relationship with me, that thought was simply unbelievable. But, Christ is a seeker of all! The most relevant question a person can ask themselves, is do I have a relationship with Christ?
Don’t forget the third question, how can I demonstrate passion to others? According to Dr. Gary Chapman, there are five love languages we all universally use to give and receive love …
- Gifts – It’s not just the material but also the thought of love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift.
- Quality Time – Full, undivided attention, spending one-on-one with a loved one.
- Words of Affirmation – Unsolicited compliments, speaking words of encouragement and love to build up another.
- Acts of Service – Anything done to ease the burdens and responsibilities weighing on this person.
- Physical Touch – Desiring physical presence, accessibility of care, concern, and love.
Does this help you identify how you give and receive love? Can you identify how those closest to you receive love? This tool was invaluable to me and my family. “Speaking” the language of love to someone as they need to “hear” it makes all the difference. That’s where your passion and love will connect! Go make someone’s day and speak their language of love.
Happy Valentine’s Day. Passion wins every time!