What drives you? What motivates you to get up each morning? What causes you to do all the things that your day requires? It might be a sense of responsibility for some, and for others, it might be as simple as working to pay the bills. I would imagine in either case, little joy can indeed be found.
I would also imagine that a life driven by passion is exponentially more rewarding and fulfilling. The type of passion that I am talking about is not a momentary feeling that we call lust but rather what flows from identity. Identity drives passion. The uniqueness of identity-driven passion is that passion becomes the fuel of identity. In other words, each one feeds the other.
If passion fuels identity, then there is a danger of losing passion. A loss of passion will lead to a loss of identity, and therein is the threat. It is not so much that passion is being lost, but that identity is. When identity is lost, one might question the reason for their existence. They no longer know who they are, or perhaps they have lost sight of who they are.
Not knowing who you are can be debilitating. It brings about a crisis that can lead to a pursuit or chase of something to bring about satisfaction. These are purely fleeting feelings of passion and do not adequately fuel identity. In fact, it would seem that those lust-driven behaviors actually do more to further destroy identity.
Again the danger of losing passion is the loss of identity.
Not knowing who you are can cause you to act out in drastically inconsistent ways with who you really are.
From a spiritual perspective, God created us with a definite identity. Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” According to this verse, there is also a sense of uniqueness in identity, “…male and female created he them.”
When Adam, the first man, sinned against God in the Garden, he was driven by a different passion than what should have flowed from His identity. The lust of the eyes, a form of passion, moved him. In doing so, his true identity was lost. As has been the case for all humanity since then. Humanity under a new identity, as sinners, began to follow new passions. Those passion became fuel for a sin-based identity.
That’s a lot of bad news. Are we hopeless in our search for identity and passion? I would suggest that we are not hopeless; in fact, we have great hope of discovering our identity and experiencing the return of true identity, supporting passion. Such hope is found in the person of Jesus Christ and through the His gospel.
In Christ, we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We have been given a new identity, the identity of Christ. The new identity is to bring about new passions. The writers of the New Testament compared this identity with the old identity in terms of light and darkness, life and death. In Christ, we have a new identity and new passion. In another post, we can dive into this new identity a bit more, but for now, I want to offer more on the danger of believers losing their passion.
A passion that is lost creates a shortage of fuel for identity. In other words, when passion is no longer present, the desire to be who you were designed to be wains. For the believer, this opens the door for other motivations, fleshly motivations. The Apostle Paul writing about motivations reveals that what motivates us is what we will do. (Gal 5:16-17). If we are walking in the flesh, we will do fleshly behaviors. The picture here is one of identity. Identify with the flesh, and you will do what the flesh desires, and you will receive what the flesh has to offer (Gal 6:7-8).
Behaving contrary to true identity can only bring about death. Consider a fish; if the fish desired to behave like a cat, it would soon die. Likewise, when we act contrary to how we are created, we will experience death. Losing passion will cause us to find emotional experiences that do nothing but cause us to behave contrary to our real identity.
And the cycle continues…
Not living in true identity keeps real passion from existing. Not having life-supporting passions kill identity. No identity and a hopeless existence may just set in.
Perhaps all this is written to say this…
Don’t lose sight of who you are in Christ–Your identity.
Let who you are in Christ determine your passion.
Live out your passion and watch who you are in Christ shine.
Allow Christ to shine and now the joy and hope found in Him.