I talk to a lot of people that have a strong passion to do something for God. As a pastor, it’s one of the things I look for when making a decision about using someone in a specific area of leadership. I find that people do their best work when they’re involved in the place where they have the most passion. In my opinion, that passion is no accident. I believe it comes from God. He will usually match your passion with your skill. God will not give you the passion to do something that He hasn’t already given you the ability to do.
The question many people ask is, how do I keep my passion alive and strong? I think that’s an important question, because I’ve seen passionate people walk away from something that they had a tremendous desire for. So, what happened? Why would anyone stop doing what they claim they are so passionate about? Some people don’t quit, but they become discouraged and no longer put the same effort into what they’re doing, like they once did. They don’t bring any fresh ideas or vision, they just become content with average.
The best advice I can give for keeping your passion alive is found in two words. The first word is, motivation. The word motivation means, a reason why you do something. Basically, it means, a feeling. It’s what a coach does to his team right before they go into a game. It’s a pep rally or a group of cheerleaders trying to move you for the moment. Have you ever heard of a motivational speaker? Sure you have. They have a way of getting you excited at the moment, but too many times it only lasts the length of the speech.
There isn’t anything wrong with motivation, but if you only rely on that feeling, you will find yourself being very inconsistent, even in the areas where you are passionate. You need something that lasts longer than the speech or the cheer. The reality of working in the Kingdom is that we are human and we don’t always feel motivated to do what we do. There are good days and there are bad days too. There are times I want to preach a sermon and then there are times I would rather stay home. Honestly, I’m not always motivated, but that isn’t what I rely on to keep doing what my passion and calling is.
The other word I would share with you is, commitment. Though these two words are grouped together a lot, they couldn’t be more opposite. While motivation is a feeling, commitment is a determination. Commitment takes over when motivation is no where to be found. When you’re committed to something, you understand some things before you ever start it. You don’t make your move when you feel like it, you wait until you’ve listed everything you can think of that you may face, then you commit to it. Not because you have a feeling, but because you have a determination.
If you’re struggling today with passion, maybe that isn’t the real problem. Consider this, instead of having a passion problem, perhaps you have a problem with commitment. You don’t need another motivational speech, you need to go back and rediscover why you started this in the first place. I would encourage you to develop a “nevertheless” mentality. No matter how you feel and no matter who is fighting you…look at your surroundings and say, “NEVERTHELESS, I AM COMMITTED”.
Motivation won’t always drive your passion, but commitment will. If it takes a feeling to do what you’re called to do, chances are, you may not be consistent. If you’re leading by motivation, you probably struggle with completing tasks. There is always great enthusiasm in the beginning of a project, but it takes commitment to carry it through. I encourage you to re-evaluate why you do what you do and make sure you’re not relying on motivation, but that you are committed.