Passion vs. Purpose
I have spent quite a bit of my life searching for my purpose. In high school and college, I was convinced that my purpose was to work in the financial field, specifically with investments. However, even as job offers came in from a few major firms across the US, I knew I was not supposed to take those jobs. I spent the next 10 years in technology, working mostly in web development. After 10 years, I was over it, and God used the economy (and lack of technology dollars) to push me to my next step…politics. (Yes, politics, but that is a story for another day!) Working in the federal office of a US Senator taught me a great deal about myself, but just as quickly as God called me there, He also called me out of that career. The interesting thing? I was passionate about all of these areas. I was good at them. I was learning. Were all of these passions also my purpose? I don’t believe so.
Merriam Webster defines passion as “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something; an object of someone’s love, liking, or desire.” The cool part? As God was knitting you together in your mother’s womb, he was also placing dreams and passion inside of you. He was uniquely creating you with specific gifts and strengths. Why is one of us talented in communication while another is talented in networking or numbers? Why would he create one of us with the gift of administration while to another he gives the gift of empathy? So, that begs the question: does that mean my passion is automatically my purpose? No.
What takes passion to the next level to make it a purpose? It is all about motive! Merriam Webster defines purpose as “the aim or goal of a person: what a person is trying to do or become.” This definition denotes motive, direction and intentionality. Living life on purpose does not happen by accident.
Louie Giglio, in his book Passion states “Each of us is wired with different abilities, learnings, inclinations, and aptitudes. You might be wired for architecture, business leadership, innovation, education, film making, the arts, engineering, or any number of other things. You’ve got crazy dreams inside of you, but maybe you are not sure if some of the vision and passion that keeps you up at night fits in the Church or God’s plan…It is not your passion that determines whether or not your life honors God and is useful to others, it is your purpose. Why are you doing what you are doing?” A.W. Tozer says almost the same thing. “It’s not what man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it’s WHY he does it. The motive is everything.”
To my very core, I believe that God has uniquely created each one of us with a purpose that only we can fulfill. This is a huge opportunity, but also a responsibility. If we don’t move forward in that purpose, we will miss out on the blessing of completing our part of His masterplan.
What is your dream? What is your passion? What is that thing that is so big and so scary that you are even afraid to speak it out? What is that God sized dream that lives in you? God placed that dream and passion there for a reason. He wants to use you. He wants to birth that purpose in you. Ultimately, he wants to use that big dream, that passion for His Purpose…to glorify His name. Let’s get after it. Let’s do this. Let’s not be afraid to run after our dreams. To pursue our passion – to intentionally understand God’s purpose for our lives. I guarantee that you will never regret it.
The best part about living my purpose today is that I get to help others find their purpose. I (or any of the coaches at Equip 2 Equip) would love to come alongside you to help you discover your purpose this year. 2016 is just beginning. What are you waiting for?