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Passion… The Engine that Drives Compassion

21 Dec
English: Crop of File:Souvenir Seller - Moscow...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever seen someone “serving God” that was the poster child for drudgery and duty?  Not a drop of joy to be found in them?

How can leaders turn that around?  Or better yet, prevent that from happening in the first place?

We’re continuing our series on helping people engage in serving.  Last Friday we talked about Spiritual Gifts… today we’re talking Passion.

Why?  Because passion will keep us interested in the long haul, well after the initial enthusiasm wanes.  Connecting to passion brings purpose with energy!

Finding Passion:

Here’s the standard question: What is it that you can’t NOT do?  You simply can’t help yourself… you have to ___________.  I have talked about this briefly in a previous post.

If we can find the answer to that, we’ve found our passion.  And if we can help others find that, we may have helped them find a place where they can make a long-term contribution through meaningful service!

But there is a second approach to discover passion:

What do you hate?

What gets you riled up?  Not just in passing, but what raises your hackles any time it’s mentioned?

Is it kids without parents?  Violence in schools?  Human trafficking?  If you have a consistent, strong reaction to any of these, you have also found a passion!

But here’s a word of caution for leaders: don’t allow people to serve out of hatred; keep them focused on serving the victims out of love for them.  Here’s why…

Serving out of hatred translates to a slew of negative emotions: hatred, bitterness, desire for revenge, etc…  And while it might get results, it doesn’t get redeeming results.  By this I mean people aren’t built up… they are simply torn down.

And try as we might, we can’t hide this slew of negativity from those we’re attempting to serve, nor from our loved ones.  And sometimes it’s us… our marriages… our friendships… that get torn down as well.

The greatest of ironies would be to become broken and angry in our attempt to fix a broken and angry world.  There is a better way.

When we focus our energies on helping those affected by what riles us up, we’re free to focus on redeeming… building… encouraging.  It doesn’t mean we can’t still see justice done.

For example, I think of an attorney with a real passion against human trafficking… rather than fight legal battles out of hatred for traffickers, what if she fought with equal passion because of a love for those victims?

In the end, that world is a better place… not a bitter place.

What can you do about it?

At some point, our passion has to translate into action.  But as a leader, there are still important question to asks folks if we want them to succeed.

So before they get too far down the track, I ask these questions:
– Is anyone already doing that?  Can you join them?
– If not, are there others you can connect with that have the same passion?
– Will you need training… licensing… other knowledge or resources?
– Can you volunteer or intern with someone before making a major life change?

If leaders can connect people with their passion, they’ll have an engine that drives their compassion.

And lest we forget why Jesus followers would do anything in this broken world, I always like to take it back to the source of our passion:

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Col 3:23 NLT)

What captures your heart?  What will you do about it… and with whom?

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Posted by on December 21, 2012 in Leadership

 

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