The Passion Defined

Since the word “passion” was our topic, I thought I’d jump ahead a bit. There are so many references to the word with its meanings of lust, ardor, desire, etc. But one definition I found was appropriately linked to Jesus’ passion for the world. In Biblical and literary circles, we normally denote “the Passion” as those events beginning with Gethsemane and ending with the Crucifixion, as to the suffering of Christ.

Other experts I read concluded that “passion” in the Greek means “to suffer.” It’s also defined as a strong or fervent emotion or feeling; either in the marital or sexual realm, or an intense appetite for one’s work or vocation.

The latter definition sure fits my passion about my writing. And, as many of you fellow authors know, there is a great amount of suffering. I’d call it “writer’s block.” Ugh, this drives me nuts when I want to begin a new project and inevitably Facebook, emails, or something else cries for my attention.

I immediately thought of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, with its graphic depiction of Jesus’s suffering. I haven’t seen it because I don’t think I could take the flogging scene. Just hearing it described once by a favorite radio pastor put me in tears. I couldn’t help it.

The Apostle Paul warned believers many times to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age (Titus 2: 12). Here he’s speaking about believers not getting sucked into the world’s desires or value system.

In Psalm 11: 5 we see the Lord’s emotion concerning wickedness:

“The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.”

Notice David states that God hates those who perpetrate violence. I guess he’s not watching the nightly news. It seems as though that’s all we hear- murders, theft, cheating, abusive treatment of children, the elderly, and animals. Sometimes in my heart I cry, “Isn’t there any good news, something that is right and honorable?” And it’s another election year!

Though passion originally meant suffering, in other definitions it means strong feelings or emotions. Examples could be a job we adore, a favorite type of ice cream, a certain book, or a television show. Okay, here it goes… I’m going to bear my soul! I love Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, or Peanut Butter, homemade, please! I‘ve read Brock and Bodie Thoene’s A.D. Chronicles series and would read them again if given a chance. I love Perry Mason, so much so that we’ll watch it twice a day. I’ve seen most of the Downton Abby series twice and can predict the plot-line pretty well. Just for emphasis, I love Mexican food and have told my hubby that I want a fiesta at my funeral. I’ll drink Dr. Pepper, especially if it’s Decaf and Diet.

This all may sound great, but there is one passion we might be forgetting. How many of us are this passionate about the Gospel or sharing it with others?

We have a new Worship Pastor at our church. Boy, is he passionate about Jesus and celebrating Him in our music. It’s such a refreshing change. Not to say that those who led before were uninspiring. I know as a “young” senior, sometimes things get a bit loud. I love the way he blends newer and older choruses and hymns together. If we all shared John’s passion, we wouldn’t have to beg for missions, or giving to Awana (or whatever other ministry is doing). It’s just like this magazine and devotional ministry. Sandra and her team are passionate about sharing Jesus with the world, particularly women, and I’m blessed to be a part of it.

You might say that my passion for Christian writing smoldered for several decades. It took my discovery of books on tape, through a couple of agencies for the blind, that I grew a love for reading. I devoured every tape book in our church library. So, I figured I’d try my hand at writing. Why did it take me so long? I really don’t know. Maybe it was God’s timing and not mine. After all, isn’t God who gives us the desire or passion for a certain subject or thing? I’m just a newbie at this writing life, and I’m quite green, however, this doesn’t diminish my excitement or enthusiasm. Maybe I won’t really make till I’m eighty! Again, as I always say, it’s up to the Lord.

Like Colossians 3: 23 says,” Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.“ Find your passion and do it unto the Lord! You may be blessing others in the process.

*Note: All Scripture references were taken from the NIV.


Olivia Ostergaard