Duty vs. Passion

    Jonny, Ross and I started a new book this week named “The Sacred Romance” by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge. I actually read it a long time ago, but don’t remember much. We’ll be reading a couple of chapters every two weeks and talking about them. Should be a good time. Our discussion last night centered around Duty vs. Passion. In the first chapter they say:

    “Frustrated by our heart’s continuing sabatage of a dutiful Christian life, some of us silence the voice by locking our heart away in the attic, feeding it only the bread and water of duty and obligation until it is almost dead…”

    Now, I think all of us would agree that living a life passionate for Christ is always going to be better than living a life only of Christian duty and obligation. No arguments there. But my question is whether there is a place for duty and obligation, and unfriendly as those words sound?

    As much as I would like to wake up every day feeling refreshed, renewed, and passionate to live my life glorifying God, the truth is that I don’t. I often wake up foggy-headed, cranky, and worried about the day ahead of me. It is often only duty that gets me into the Word and praying.

    Frequentyly I find that once I have taken the time to sit down, focus on God, and read His Word, then my life comes into clearer focus and I can live more passionately for God.

    I think the intentions of the authors are good, we should be striving to live for God passionately, but I wonder if it is accurate to be telling people that their whole life should be lived as one blazing ball of passionate energy for God? Is that even possible? Could we wear ourselves out?

    Obviously, we’re only one chapter into the book, so I cannot say what exactly the authors are envisioning. What do you guys think, is duty as important as passion in the Christian life? Leave a comment if you’ve got something to say.

    3 thoughts on “Duty vs. Passion

    1. I think I am on the same page as you. Passion for God is a good thing to have and seek, but I do fear that often we equate vibrant emotions with healthy spirituality. If I do not feel my heart come alive, as Eldridge would probably phrase it, I should not take that to mean I am distant from God or otherwise spiritually unhealthy. I should not blame duty and discipline, but stand firm in duty and discipline (not that I always do this) with knowledge of God’s love and presence and hope for that vibrant emotional entanglement with Him.

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