Monday, May 17, 2010

what I'm listening to: passion and purpose from God's Princesses

If I asked your friends which words you over-use, what would they say? One of my friends would tell you that I often say I feel "passionate" about projects or causes. She dislikes people talking about their "passions", and I'm starting to think she's right.

Here's how the logic works for me. I feel passionate about teaching, writing and encouraging women. These are all good things. My passions are probably a guide to the gifts God has given me. So I should make time for my passions, even if it means I'm crazily over-busy and my family and health suffer.

I didn't see the emptiness and self-centredness of this attitude until I listened to Allison Street's talk God's Princesses from EQUIP women 2009. I suggest you get hold of the CD and listen to the whole talk. It's pure gold! Here's the bit that most deeply impacted me.

In God Chicks Holly Wagner urges us that God's princess must find her purpose in life. She quotes from Oprah Winfrey,

Have the courage to follow your passion, and if you don’t know what it is, realise that one reason for your existence on earth is to find it. Your life’s work is to find your life’s work, and then exercise the discipline, tenacity and hard work to pursue it. Do what you love, give it back in the form of service, and you will do more than succeed: you will triumph.

Holly gives women ... questions to ask yourself about how you would like people to remember you. ...

It appears here that passion has been confused for purpose. Your passion may be looking after orphans, feeding the homeless, caring for young mums or women who’ve escaped domestic violence – all great causes to be involved in – but that is not your purpose in life. The Bible is very clear that our purpose in life is to glorify God and enjoy him in that (1 Cor 10:31, Phil 1:9-11, Rev 5). ...

Let me give you an example. ... If I seek out my purpose (read passion) in life and I decide it’s caring for orphans, then if that’s my purpose - if that’s what I believe I was put on this earth to do - then that must be my highest priority at the expense of all other things, even my family. That is what will direct my life.

If, however, my purpose in life is to bring glory to God, then that must be the priority over all things. Whether I’m working with orphans for a season, whether I’m at home caring for my children for a season, or whatever I’m doing, I’ll be doing it for the glory of God.

And that gives us a wonderful freedom. It doesn’t matter what situation you’re in. ... Whether you’re in a high-paying or a low-paying job, whether you’re full-time at home, whether you’re rich or poor, whether you’re sick or healthy, whether you’re married or you’re single: whatever your circumstances, you can be seeking to bring glory to God ... You don’t need to go out and seek your purpose, you can live your purpose right now whatever situation you’re in.

Amen.

image is from ulterior epicure at flickr

2 comments:

Narelle Nettelbeck said...

Amen.

Thanks Jean. I love what you have to say and you are super encouraging to me right now.

Thanks xox

Jean said...

That's great, Narelle, praise God!