Your cellular DNA is comprised of clinical data which verifies your physical identity. Your spiritual DNA, on the other hand, is comprised of personal data which outlines who you are in your soul. Knowing allows you to identify God’s call on your life and enter into your part in His great story.
Four components make up your spiritual DNA: , , your passion, and your story.
Your passion (the third of those elements) determines the context of your calling. It reveals where to best invest your time and your being.
What passion is – and is not
From a Christ-follower’s point of view, the term “passion” can be easily misunderstood. We may replace it in our minds with “lust” or another unmanageable emotion that robs us of self-control.
A more accurate description of “passion” (as it is part of our spiritual DNA) is found in Romans 12:11: “Keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord” (NIV).
“Fervor” is enthusiastic devotion – an intense interest in a cause or activity that is deeper than a mere feeling or emotion. The term “fervor” in its original Greek is usually applied to liquids as they are heated to bubble and boil. In other words, our passion is an interest so powerful that it bubbles and boils inside of us. God desires for us to find such causes and invest in them with intensity.
Further, where lustful passion is unrestrained, a spiritual passion has targeted purpose: serving the Lord. It is focused. Your passion is an inroad. It is a means to carry out God’s work.
Different kinds of passions
Your passion can stem in a spiritual discipline, such as a deep commitment to disciple teenagers, a burning need to writing worship songs, or a compassion for the loneliness in senior citizens who live in a local retirement community.
But your passion may also be rooted in an everyday activity: growing wildflowers, tracking emerging market mutual funds, or coaching soccer. Or it may spring from your role as a parent, spouse, professional, volunteer, or hobbyist. Your passion can even have its beginnings in a personal challenge (an addiction, an injury, a weight loss, a broken relationship.)
And you may have more than one passion, each in different intensities. One may be an entertaining hobby. Another may be your vocation. A third may be a deeply-rooted cause that is ingrained on your soul.
Regardless of origin, one trait typifies every person’s passions: authenticity. Your passions are not dependent on image or on what anyone else thinks. You can’t fake a passion. It is part of your true being.
Discovering your passions
Your passions direct you to people and places where you can minister most powerfully. You can identify your passions by collecting data in a simple self-assessment, as in the following.
Discovering your passions is a process
Collect data about your passions by reviewing your interests both now and in the past.
For instance, your interest in cars was put on the back burner during college and early in your career. Now, you’ve moved to a new house with a garage, allowing you to tinker with engines and carburetors. The special thrill you experience with a wrench in your hand is a clue to identifying your passion. You may be called to help repair cars for single mothers in your spare time.
Keep in mind that your passions evolve and shift over time, often rising to notice during a particular season of life.
Discovering your passion by asking questions
Collect data about your passions by answering key questions.
- What makes your heart beat faster?
- What makes you excited, joyful, or happy?
- What angers you – and why?
- What convictions do you hold and which ones have grown or intensified over time?
- When you have free time, how do you use it?
God places passions in you, asking you to do just two things with them: “Keep your fervor and serve the Lord” (Romans 12:11).
In other words, keep your passions bubbling … and use them for the Kingdom.