Passion or Lust?

Posted: February 14, 2012 in Spiritual Growth
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Passion and lust, often referred to as synonyms in our sexually obsessed culture. However, two words could not be more opposite from where I stand. When speaking of passion and lust, talking about sex is a good springboard which peaks people’s curiosity. But this discussion can lead to something even more spiritually significant.

Before I understood sex, the right kind of sex that is, I tolerated crude humor. I didn’t love it, but I tolerated it. Only after I understood what a beautifully pure thing it could be, did I begin to abhor references that cheapened it or degraded it. This kind of humor represents lust. It is so opposite of the holy passion for which we were intended. Consider, if you can, the purity of passion in the sexual realm or any other. Here we can find an intensity of focus, a kind of divine enjoyment in which we can lose our sense of self-awareness while simultaneously gaining a greater understanding of true living. It is a wonderful paradox.

It reminds me of the burning bush that Moses encountered in that holy moment. It was a fire that burned and sustained itself, but did not consume. To me, this is a great picture of true passion. It burns brightly and steadily without consuming the carrier. It warms and lights, but does not damage.

The pursuits of our daily lives can either be full of passion or full of lust. Lust uses. Lust consumes. Lust burns everything in its path, including its host. Even when pursuing something good, lust can twist and warp a good intention. Lust never loses self, but must always satisfy it’s own cravings. Passion goes after things with a higher purpose, a purpose of love. Lust empties life of its highest pleasure. The highest pleasures are found in the things that can be experienced with abandonment. Abandonment means forgetting selfish motives. Living life with abandonment means experiencing pleasures with an open hand and giving them away with an equally open hand.

Lust is all over the board. People with a lust for power, for example, cannot help themselves. They have no focus, no control, no true power. They have no choice but to satisfy their craving for control. Where do they end up? Losing the people and things that they most desire to control. By contrast, people with a passion are obsessed with something for the purpose of that pursuit, not with the way that they can consume it. A business owner who truly cares about the experience he is giving his customers will find that in the end, he gains prosperity above and beyond what he needs. He finds this reward because prosperity was only secondary in his mission. His mission was born from a place of love, from a place of true passion.

What are we doing with our lives? Are we all-consuming slaves of our own lusts or are we passionate and focused on the greater good of a cause, a people, or a belief? It’s easy to cross the line from passion to lust. We know it when we start becoming anxious about what we might lose or when we hold on to things a little too tightly. Is it about you or is it about losing yourself in the pleasure of something great? The time is too short to mess with lust. Lust will disintegrate my true passions. Lust will distract me from the things that are supposed to move me. Lust will deaden and weaken the purity of my senses. I want to enjoy every moment I can from my place of passion. Like that holy fire in the desert, I want to burn without being consumed.

What are the burning embers of passion within you? How can you keep lust from consuming all your passion?

  1. Al Phillips says:

    Here is a good scripture that speaks of this similarly: 21: Consequently, I am finding the law that, at my willing to be ideal, the evil is lying right beside me. 22: For I am gratified with the law of God as to the man within,23: yet I am observing a different law in my members, warring with the law of my mind, and leading me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
    24: A wretched man am I! What will rescue me out of this body of death?
    25: Grace! I thank God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Consequently, then, I myself, with the mind, indeed, am slaving for God’s law, yet with the flesh for Sin’s law.

    8:1 Nothing, consequently, is now condemnation to those in Christ Jesus. 2: Not according to flesh are they walking, but according to spirit, for the spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus frees you from from the law of sin and death.

  2. Eimear Fraid says:

    Whatever good things we build end up building us. Jim Rohn

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