Of course, as it is with so many things, our gifts are a blessing and a curse. We praise you, oh God, when our passions are directed in a way that is beneficial and full of purpose to your glory, but when these are in foul circumstances, their ability to produce iniquity produces a darkness that is as intense as the light given when good is the end.

I glory in my intense passion for great things. But I sink when I call these things “obsessions.” I have a passion for you. But obsession often rules my day. My gift is my curse. My curse is my gift.

When I have a passion for my marriage, I see this as a good thing. And so I conduct my family affairs according to this passion. With instructions to my children, wife, and myself, a revival takes place for a time. However, this passion does not know patience. Eventually the passion turns others sour.

Remember when I first started following you? I read through the entirety of your Scriptures in just a few months. I could not read enough. I took up and read all of the great saints’ works I could get my hands on. I loved you with a fire so great and am thankful that this fire has yet to turn to ash. Yet in my passion, I pushed many away. I required the same thoughts and feelings in them as I was experiencing at that moment. “Who are they?” I thought to myself. “Why won’t they follow in my passions? Why are they running away?” I began to pride myself in my passions to such a degree that I even thought they were unspiritual and persecutors of the faith. Why didn’t they take up the exact same flag that I was bearing?

I have pushed many away in my passions. Often, I can push you away. When I lay depressed in bed, when I drive down the road in darkness, when I suffer confusion, my obsessions kick in. I cannot get my troubles out of my mind. And it is not so much that I want to sink deeper into them, but I want a solution to present itself. If I think hard enough, figure out where I went wrong, or say this prayer and make this confession, then I will have figured it out. But the solutions are always short-lived. In excitement I have exclaimed many times to you, “Oh, so that is what you wanted to teach me. I have learned that lesson now. The problem is solved so my life should soon return to normal.” When the victory is shown to be a mirage, I return to my obsession of solving things.

When my passions turn into obsessions, I sink further into my pain.

But you know, oh Lord, that I would not trade this in. For when you set me on a course, I love the course. Though I can make those closest to me hate this same course, you have shown me how to balance the extent of my passions so as to let you work in your own way with others. I shall keep these passions, for they are dear to my heart. Don’t ever let me lose them. I have delighted myself in you and you are giving me the desires of my heart. Let not my obsessions turn these desires and make them stagnant and bitter. I shall do all that I do with all these hopes and dreams that will not contain themselves. I shall pursue you without always having to have the people I want follow in the way I want them to follow. I shall exercise these passions and then release them to you. Worry is not a right which my passion has been given, yet it desires much to go there.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    3 replies to "Blogs to God 10/29/12"

    • Wesley T Robinson

      This reminds me of a struggle of mine I had a few years ago, when I took comfort in the fact that all of the significant and noticeable Godly men of Scripture (except for the God-Man Himself) were blatantly sinful and reactionary beings whom the Spirit sanctified, pushed to repentance, and led them to the ultimate praise and worship of Jesus Christ. It is comforting to know that I am not the only one who has struggles, and that God is still sovereign over my persistent sinfulness. I never could get Augustine’s words out of my mind; ‘Lord, make me chaste and holy … but not yet!’

    • ruben

      In my own struggle I found that the solutions I had to my passions (or dillema) were so dead wrong. It was like hide and seek, the places I thought where my happiness went were so far from where it was hiding. I found my peace in the grace of God, it sounds cliche but the joy I lost was the joy I had when I knew God loved me unconditionally, He really loved me and accepted me in Christ and I did not have to perform to justify myself. I had fallen into the trap of low self esteem combined with striving to make things right, so when things went wrong with my life I answered that with more work and more seeking and when things did not resolve I blamed God, myself, my spouse. So I was really lost, my life was bad, my relationship to God and my family went all bad. When I realized my efforts were so wrong and the relationship to God was fixed, it was as if the other things did not matter as much anymore. The main thing in life was fixed, the others were just things to deal with at their own pace.

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