An Effect of Passion for Christ

One of the reasons pursuing a passion for Christ (or if you prefer the old word, “zeal” for Christ) is so important is the good effects it has on others.

This is not the decisive reason for wanting passion. Passion is not like that. It is not utilitarian. Passion for Christ exists because Christ is magnificent, not because passion is useful. If the only reason you try to have passion is to help others have passion, your so-called passion will become manipulative and will prove in the end to be hypocrisy.

Nevertheless, if you have it, and if it is really a passion for Christ, then it will have a God-designed effect on others. This is part of why passion is so good. It is an honor to Christ, and satisfying to us, and transforming to others.

That’s what Paul points out in 2 Corinthians 9:2. With great zeal for Christ, the Corinthians are ready to share in the collection for the poor in Jerusalem. And what is the effect on the Macedonians? “Your zeal has stirred up most of them.” That is the God-designed effect of passion for God.

So, Lord, for your glory and our joy and the “stirring up” of others, give us a passion for your great name.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.