The Danger of Passion

I’ve noticed something about my generation. It might be an over-generalization but I do think some truth can be found.

We love passion.

Look at the musicians who are huge: Jay-Z, Mumford and Sons, Kings of Leon, John Mayer. There is nothing in any of their music that isn’t passionate.

This isn’t to say that other music isn’t done in a passionate way, just that these musicians make their passion very obvious in the way they sing and play their music.

Look at the pastors who have large followings of younger people: Mark Driscoll, Francis Chan, Matt Chandler, Perry Noble. There aren’t many similarities between these men, but as I’ve listened to each of them, they each bring a weekend sermon with sheer intensity.

(Click the names above to watch examples of those pastors or artists doing what they do best passionately)

I think the allure of passion and intensity is that it evokes an air of authenticity; that what they’re doing/saying/singing is coming from deep within them. When a person does something with passion it looks and feels real, whether it is or not.

The danger in all this is whether something or someone has passion or not doesn’t make it more real. The danger is that passion does not equal substance.

What if a pastor had something completely unbiblical to say and yet decided to share it with the ultimate amount of intensity in their voice, would that make it more believable? More real?

Speaking for myself, I’m drawn to passionate people. They bring out the passion in me that I need to follow God with all my heart, soul, and mind. But I’m also wary of passion. Because passion is contagious. People are drawn to passion whether there is substance behind it or not.

First, figure out the substance, then be blessed by the passion. Not the other way around.

Let this not be a generation of passion seekers, but a generation of substance seekers who live out their lives with passion.