Passion is a popular word. A cursory Google search on ‘passion’ yields 633 million results in less than half a second. Coupling that search with the word ‘profit’ narrows the field to a paltry 93.6 million results. Each entry promises to inform and direct your gifts and passion in ways that will change your life forever and do so at a great profit.
So, what is the balance between passion and profit? How do these two things work together?
Like many, you may feel a tension in your heart between your passion and making a profit.
God has wired you with passions, whether to apply a certain skill in a unique way, or to conquer the world, or to climb Mount Everest. You may have a passion for something halfway around the world or on the block where you live. That is your mountain.
This thinking comes into play as the curriculum for Moving Forward events as we revamp and update our content. It is important to clarify what is your passion, unpack it, and understand what it has to do with God, the world and those around you. It is vital to carry your passionate, God-given desire or dream well and step into greater fulfillment each year of your life.
Many experience the urge to exalt passion above the higher good. There is a tendency to couch these passions in more acceptable terms of social justice causes. It is God who gives you your passion but without the right perspective you can become absorbed in it and by it. If, in the pursuit of your passion, you become fixated on something less than the bigger picture, the shape your passion is taking is not from God.
So, which is it? Do you follow passion or remain firmly connected to doing good while your passion falls by the wayside? The pendulum swings first to one side and then the other. If you haven’t come to grips with God’s shape for your passion, your pursuit of is likely to end in burnout.
To help bring order to this process of reconciling the tension between passion and profit, let us consider together two Scriptures. First, consider Psalm 37:4-5:
“Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.”
It is God who reconciles the seeking of Him and work in your passion. Daniel 11:32-33, one of my favorite verses, says, “the people who know their God will do great exploits. Those who have understanding will give insight to the many.”
Our American way emphasizes the exploits. But God wants you to know Him as you do the exploits of life and work. He wants you to engage Him with questions about your business: its needs and its processes.
My delightful experience with God came in the corporate world. In creating a corporate learning center that had huge financial success and impacted the professional track of 150,000 people, I learned and developed many principles to use as a guide in this type of process. These principles are summarized and are available to you in my book, Impact Your Sphere of Influence.
Now, let’s connect profit to the process. Work is valuable. The skill set God has put in you has been put in you for the sake of profit. Consider the parable of the minas beginning in Luke 19:13-27.
This Scripture teaches us that whatever God has put into your hands (skills, talent, resources) to bring an advance to the kingdom, you will bring a return, not only in finances, but also in the impact on the lives around you.
Marketplace ministry is such an important topic these days. In fact Charisma Media’s Ministry Today just published an article of mine this week called The Greatest Work on Earth. There I talk about men and women going to work every day with the light on in their hearts, knowing they are carrying the presence of God to impact their mountain, their sphere of influence. This is how God is going to change the world.
My invitation is that you evaluate this concept. As you see it aligning with what you have read here, embrace the concept that you have a passion, that it is totally unto God, that He invites you to walk it out, and that profit is the natural result. This profit is in finances, in the satisfaction you will gain by knowing you used your skills today, and that you were helpful to others.
Remember the man with one mina who did not know or respect his master well. Instead of using his talent he buried it and accused the master of being a harsh taskmaster. The master’s response was that the servant was to work with what had been put in his hand until the time of his return.
This privilege you have to fine tune your passion, to develop a track record where you have applied your skill and created a profit is pretty exciting.
Linda Fields is the founder and CEO of 7M-pact (7M-pact.org), the marketplace ministry expression for the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri, and beyond. Sharing insights from over 30 years of corporate training and teaching university business classes, Field speaks, consults and coaches individuals to lead well. She is the author of IMPACT Your Sphere of INFLUENCE: Bringing God’s Presence in the Workplace, Find Your Why Forward and other resources.