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Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Dear Colleagues,

PASSIONATE PEOPLE

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Passionate people are endowed with intense feelings, deep seated emotions and ardent affections. Against all odds they drive toward the goal, and get things done by transforming obstacles into opportunities. They are the people who got us to the moon and Mars. Discovered penicillin. Completed the gnome project. Dreamed up robotics, and laser surgery. They delivered on their belief that you could get a package to anyone, anywhere in the U. S. within 24 hours. Passionate people created Disneyland, and built the Golden Gate Bridge.  And they are the unsung heroes who run orphanages in Cambodia, and dig out earthquake victims. And through their passion they one day will unlock the answer to cancer, world hunger and expediential global population growth. 

In your professional world of high achievers, the heroes are those can-do types who, against daunting odds figure out how to get the job done, and do it.  They solve the problem where others falter.  They create the opportunity where others see none. They visualize the future and passionately bring others along with them in turning dreams into reality. Passionate people are wonderfully endowed with fervor, obsession, excitement, enthusiasm, and zeal. Perhaps even a touch of eccentricity!

God loves passionate people!  But He has a problem. This rare slice of humanity is more often than not wrapped in intense personal pride.  They are good and they know it. Peter, that passionate wild ox of a man belonged this uncommon breed.  His unbridled passion evidenced itself, for example when he,

  • Challenged Jesus warning that he (Jesus) must go to the cross, "Heaven forbid, Lordthis will never happen to you!"  (Matt. 16:22)
  • Announced to the Savior, Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.  (Matt. 26:33) (See Mk. 14:31; Lk. 22:33)
  • Cut off the ear of Malchus, during Judas betrayal of Christ, One of the men with Jesus pulled out a sword and slashed off an ear of the high priest’s servant. (Matt. 26:51)

Passionate people who are driven by self-assured pride gain no currency in the economy of God. That is because God is looking for broken vessels whom He can fill with himself and use for His glory. Passionate, proud Peter had to experience crushing defeat and humiliation to qualify as Gods instrument in the expansion of the Gospel.

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have all of you, to sift you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up your brothers." (Lk. 22:31, 32)

In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a utensil God can use for his purpose. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.  (2 Tim. 2:20,21 NLT)

QUESTION:  How about you, my gifted friend? Are you still driven by your passion for success? Your will to make things happen? Your reputation that you jealously guard? The hallmarks of a broken person are humility, gentleness, and patience. You sense in them one who is waiting on the Holy Spirit for timing and strategy.  Passionate, broken people possesses a fundamental concern for the welfare of Gods people over and above the accomplishment of the mission.  So, tell me, has your will ever been broken?  If not, I wonder what great things for God might have been accomplished through you for His glory? The good news is that it is never too late to start.

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