Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Find Your Passion but Don't Drive People Crazy with it
The world is full of wannabe world changers. They find their thing and run with it. It can be anything from a personal campaign to get everyone to try the new bacon wrapped pizza from Little Caesar's to saving the tuna from being over-fished. It's everywhere and it can be a little overwhelming. We mute the TV when the rambling starts because we don't share the same passion.
Real life is full of passionate people and it's a good thing. When you find your thing (or your jam as my daughter would say) you want to tell everyone. You want to spread the word. You want everyone to be as motivated about it as you are. And some will be. Most won't.
I've seen a lot of this over the past couple decades in ministry. An over-zealous church member (CM) presents their passion and takes on a ministry of their own and suddenly it's the Most Important Thing in the church.
"Pastor, I need five minutes during service to talk about the pennies for puppies," she says. "If everyone will save their pennies I can feed the homeless dogs who live in the woods at the edge of the park. Dogs are God's creation and He loves them best because dog is God spelled backwards."
As the pastor denies her chance to speak publicly she prints up flyers and puts them on every car in the church parking lot. She attends the services and prayer meetings and requests prayer for her pennies and again reminds us of her program. She tells everyone she meets that she raised $11.37 in just two weeks with penny donations. It doesn't take long for people to start rolling their eyes in response to her. It doesn't take long before no one wants to hear anymore.
There is a fine line between sharing your passion and driving others crazy.
Yeah, I said it.
Your thing just isn't as important to other people.
Are you passionate about feeding the homeless? Great. Go for it. Do what God has called you to do but realize that when you tell people, "Do you know how many homeless you could feed if you quit drinking Starbucks everyday?" isn't gaining you the help you want.
Don't put guilt trips on others because they don't see it the same way you do.
I knew a woman we referred to as the Sunday School Nazi. She lived, breathed, ate, and drank Sunday School. It was her highest calling. She made sure everyone in the building was in a class and would reprimand you (me) if you weren't. It was kinda scary. Class was interrupted when she came round to hand out the monthly birthday gift from the Sunday School department. My daughter didn't want to go to class one morning, choosing to stay with me instead, and I almost got into a smack-down with her because she yelled at my daughter. Overbearing much? This type of activity doesn't compel people to join you in your ministry or calling. It has the opposite effect.
In this political season there is a lot of this going on and it easily seeps into the lives of CM's who, unbeknownst to them, become a pawn of the enemy as they try to get everyone to see things their way. We all know what is going on. There's no need to post condescending memes on a daily basis. Is forcing your political view making a difference? Probably not. Try kindness.
All this to say: find your passion, be the one in the universe who can do it best, change the world, but realize not everyone will feel the same way and learn to be okay with it.
Posted by Suzanne at 5:42 AM