Your Thoughts Will Seize Your Passion

Posted: August 26, 2010 in Discipleship

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness…” – Matthew 6:33a

I’ve noticed in my life that what I allow to dominate my mind (thoughts), will also take over my passions.  I will get most excited about what it is that I’ve been thinking about.  For good or bad.  And my thoughts are often guided by things that I give space and time to – T.V., movies, podcasts, conversations, talk radio, books, etc.  And from these things I can get very passionate about different topics and issues.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  It is a normal thing.  But what is difficult as a follower of Jesus is if my thoughts are dominated by everything BUT the things of Jesus.  And I see that all the time.

Throw out a topic or an issue in regards to Jesus, church, the Kingdom of God, the movement of the Holy Spirit…and it can elicit very little by way of response – even from followers of Jesus.  No passion.  No excitement.  No affection.  No enthusiasm.

BUT – if you throw out the following topics or issues – a mosque near ground zero, whether Obama is a Muslim or not, health care plans, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Republicans, Democrats, Rush Limbaugh, etc. you’ll see people light up and speak with such passion, conviction (sometimes it’s just anger disguised as conviction), and enthusiasm you can’t get them to calm down.  They write blog posts about it.  They post links to Facebook pages.  They share their passionate opinion with anyone who will listen, etc.

[this principle can also apply to things like – American Idol, Survivor, UFC, Outback cheese fries, Notre Dame football, Pawn Stars, Cubs baseball, Seinfeld, Apple computers, Lost, The Biggest Loser (I’m just sayin’) 🙂 Then again…I think these are some of Jesus’ favorite things.]

But talk about the things of Jesus.  Nothing.

If you listen to Rush Limbaugh for three hours every afternoon but listen to Jesus for just five minutes (if that) on your drive to work, Rush Limbaugh will probably dominate your thoughts.  Over time you will look more like Rush’s disciple than Jesus’.

If you read several books a week on the evils of the Obama administration (or Bush administration) but read nothing from the Bible (or other literature devoted to discipleship and spiritual growth) – it will be reflected in what it is you are most passionate and excited about.

What has captured your thoughts?  What are you giving your best energy and passion to?

“…if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8b

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” – Colossians 3:2

Do not be conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” – Romans 12:2

  1. david says:

    Good thoughts.
    (Although, I must admit I am looking forward to ND football season…)

  2. Lori says:

    I am passionate about quality pastoral care for our seniors. But, since you also mentioned the Obama admin several times, here are my thoughts from my blog posting a couple of weeks ago on the subject.

    One thing I feel I need to address. People are up in arms over the possibility of a Muslim Mosque near Ground Zero. This will probably NOT be a popular thought, but here is my opinion on the subject.

    1. Amereica was founded on the right to religious freedoms. Once we start to dictate whom is eligible to recieve these religious freedoms, America becomes the same as any other country under dictatorship.

    2. Most Muslims are friendly, law-abiding citizens just like Christians. The ones we hear about the most is the militant Muslims. May I remind you that there are American militant Christians who are every bit as bad as the militant Muslims. The Muslims who want to build their Mosque had nothing to do with the events of 9/11. They lost people in the attacks as well. They are just as innocent as you and I.

    3. While I do NOT agree with a lot of things our president has done, he is in a horrible position. People are so unhappy that no matter what he does it is not going to be right. Again…I may not agree with what he is doing but please bear in mind that he did NOT create the mess we are in now. He inherited it from leaders before him.

    4. If we censor the rights of American Muslims because we are afraid of them, who will be next? Jewish Americans?

    If we begin to censor religious freedoms out of fear, then the terrorists have already won the war we have been fighting for the last 10 years. They operate on the basis of fear. Once we begin to show signs that we are afraid, they win. Just something to think about.

    Chaplain Lori.

  3. david says:

    Good points, Lori.

  4. Melissa says:

    I spend almost no time thinking about Obama, Rush, or Ground Zero mosques. I think about how grace/guilt fit together. And if I studied prayer in the Bible, would look like the letter to heaven “Dear God,… In Jesus’ name, Amen” format that’s so popular these days. And I’m intrigued by how my faith manifests itself in times of personal crisis.

    I also spend a lot of time thinking about cheese.

  5. Doug says:

    Hey Sam, the “things of Jesus” you mentioned: “church, the Kingdom of God, the movement of the Holy Spirit, ” etc. tend to be much wider, and often nebulous, notions for people to discuss. It’s hard to get passionate–or even articulate–a view on any those topics. A specific issue of taxation, the perceived religious affinity of a politician, your favorite UFC fighter, or the ever-new hope for the local football team are probably just easier to express, and safer to communicate.

    Maybe, it’s just heavy lifting to try to be outwardly passionate in the rarefied air of the “things of Jesus.” Nobody wants to get those things wrong (and their are people waiting around every corner to tell you that your are!), and we are continually struggling to get these things “right.”

    My hope is people would just be busy at work trying to “live” the “things of Jesus” and that their actions woulds speak their passions. But I AM a dreamer.

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