Friday, March 5, 2010

Does Passion Equal Pride?

Periodically, I will skim through the archives of my blog so I can evaluate whether I've been growing as a writer. Today, I found this post (below), which served to remind me of a truth I have been in need of.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. ~Philippians 2:3
How do I know that I am moving ahead in the right direction? Am I following the plans God has for me? What if I heard things wrong?

We all ask ourselves (and others) these questions at times. We feel that God has given us a vision, a dream for the future. But then we wonder and doubt and second-guess. Perhaps we are actually allowing our dreams to be guided by our own desires.

Paul gives us a foolproof "check stop" for us to assess our motivations with in Philippians 2.

Imagine for a moment the fulfillment of the dream in your heart - maybe you envision being an author, a mother, a missionary - let the entirety of that dream take over your imagination. Now, where are you? How do you feel? What are others around you doing?

Are you at the front of the crowd, admired and praised by all? Do you feel like a super-hero? If so, chances are that what's on your heart is not where God is calling you to go.

We are commanded to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. These are tough words. No one wants to admit to selfishness. But pride is one of the enemy's greatest tricks. The evil one whispers lies in our ears, convincing us that we need to be (deserve to be) recognized for the work that we do. But first Peter 5:5 tells us that God opposes the proud. Ouch! If we move forward with our own agendas and wrong motivations, GOD WILL OPPOSE US.

If, on the other hand, when you envision the pursuit of your dream, the picture you see has less to do with you personally, and more to do with Christ, His Kingdom, and lives're probably headed on the right track. Don't get me wrong here, this is not to say that God calls us to anonymity and ambiguity, forever serving without joy.

Simply because something excites us, stirs up our passion, and fulfills a life-long dream does not mean it can't be from God. This is another one of those lies fed to us by the enemy of our souls - he tells us that "if it's fun and brings us pleasure, it must be based in selfishness. Serving God should be a sacrifice." The truth of the matter can be found in Psalm 37:4, delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart. We have His blessing to be passionate and completely fulfilled in our service!

If you are unsure whether your dream is of God or not, ask Him to reveal to you the motivations behind your vision.

Is the song of your heart to adopt dozens of children from all across the globe? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you your motives. Supermom = wrong motives. Pouring out Christ's love and raising Christ-followers = His motivations. Do you have a passion for speaking and teaching in front of large groups? Be like Beth = wrong motives. Be a part of something beautiful in changing lives for Christ = His motives.

Do not allow yourselves to be confused! Saturate your minds with God's Truth, and the enemy will not be able to trip you up. Don't go to others to find out if your desire comes from self or God - go to Him! God already knows the vision He has placed in our hearts. We don't need to "figure it out." He created us, He predestined us, and He will reveal Himself to us through His Word.

In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will. ~Ephesians 1:11


  1. So true Tyler! If we sit down, and examine our motives... before the light of God's Word, instead of our so called "passion in the name of Christ", we would be shocked! Many times, it is to fulfill our own need for self-worth and acceptance by the praise of men!

    Pondering this truth!

    Have a wonderful day!


  2. I am priviledged and blessed to have such an awesome, encouraging friend in my life. You are so thought adn action provoking for me! I love you, pumpkin!! I can't wait to see you at retreat!!


I am so glad you stopped by! My hope is that we can engage in a conversation together. I love to reply to your comments, but I need your help to make that happen.

If you have a blogger profile, would you consider editing your profile to "show my email address?" Then, when I receive your comment in my email inbox, I can reply directly to you.

Alternately, you can check the box "email follow up comments to..." so that I can reply to you right here. (You will also receive other readers' comments using this method.)

I'm excited to get to know you better!