I thought I was done with this topic.
But this topic has been brought up more in the past week than the past year. I still think we shouldn’t be passionate Christians, in the sense, of what I shared in my original post in 2017.
The HUGE misunderstanding people took from the post was that we are TOLD to be passionate in scripture. Christ was passionate regarding the table flipping. So… doesn’t that mean we can be passionate, too? I directed this misunderstanding and concern in a further post in early 2018.
Since then, I’ve felt very content with the topic and what was addressed. The community accepted my further explanation as well.
Over a year later, the topic arises again. I feel God has given me the direction to cover the topic in a way I did not with the original post or my second one. I truly am concerned at how fast people jump to the defense of how we can be passionate like Christ because of the table flipping.
ARE We Really Passionate Like Christ?
In my explanation post, I bring up the fact if we are passionate like Christ we must exhibit love at all times!
Here is the situation of what Christ walked into.
The men in the temple were making a profit off of animals that were going to be used for sacrifices. The book of Matthew shares the men were selling doves. Something that is supposed to be sacred and special between God and man. Instead, it was used for profit.
(NIV) Matthew 21:12, “Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.”
Christ walked in and His love for God became the main focus for His passion. He didn’t flip tables to catch anyone’s eyes or look “holier than thou”. He did it because He loved God and God deserved better than for His people to treat His temple that way.
Now, in today’s modern world we have a lot of situations in which churches, leaders, and believers are trying to make something off of God. If not a profit, then numbers. Drawing the crowds in. Accept what goes against scripture. Water down the truth. Or proclaim we’re a Christian, and hey, hardly speak the name of Jesus to anyone. Bloggers…are you listening?
Everyone in the temple, in Christ’s day, was accustomed to the selling. It was the norm. The majority was okay with it. There is a lot of stuff in our world today the majority, including fellow Christians or proclaimed believers, agree with.
To step out the way Christ did, we easily can lose our following (like social media or even our blog), family, friends, even…a church body. That’s what it means to really be passionate. Christ becomes our focus, just like God was the focus of Christ!
Christ Got Angry And, After Making His Point, He Walked Away
We see a lot of angry Christians get on their soapbox and stay on their soapbox for quite a time. The longer they stay, the more fueled up they get.
Yes, He flipped the tables. Yes, He absolutely rebuked the people. But then guess what? He didn’t create a debate. He did not stay there to argue. No, instead, He went into the temple and immediately starts to heal people.
Jesus went from showing anger to immediately showing care. When I was going over this scripture, something moved in my heart deeply. I had this realization, which brought me to tears. If the men who were selling and buying, approached Christ in the temple to be healed, I have no doubt Christ would heal them. Christ drove them away, but He never said for them not to return for the right reasons!
We can be sinning against God and He will put His foot down, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go to Him. He wants us to stop what we’re doing or what we are allowing in regards to sin and He wants us to come to Him for the right reasons!
Is Our Passion Like Jesus
Now, for those who are passionate about being passionate, I want to pose this question. Please understand, I’m not against passion, but the wrong kind of passion.
Would you be able to make a scene and then immediately start hugging those you rebuked out of genuine love?
Do you think you are capable of showing your enemies this kind of love? Or…is it too awkward because of the barriers you have up and the anger you harbor? The passion displayed does not hold true.
Christ flipped tables because HE AND THE PEOPLE BUYING AND SELLING were aware the temple was a sacred place! They knew this was a place to honor God! I think that’s why no one argued with Him. They knew what He did and said was the truth. God was being dishonored, and Christ corrected it.
Yet, even though He was right, He did not smirk at how right He was. His focus was on God. Once He made His point, He went in to heal.
THIS and only this is the kind of passion we can have as a Christian! If we cannot act this way, and all we are doing is stirring up anger and debate from others, causing a scene…we do for it the flesh, not Christ!
Be wary of the lies of self-righteousness! Paul had this issue before he changed in Christ! It’s all about loving God first. Before people and certainly before ourselves.
Are we able to let go of our passion in a split second? That’s what Christ did! That’s what self-control in the Holy Spirit helps us with, being focused on what God wants us to be focused on, not what we want!
Truthfully, I think a lot of Christians get stuck in being passionate and what starts with good intentions becomes a temptation and soon a trap of sin. We remain heated and we get refueled in our “zealous” state… of self-righteousness. We begin to start liking how our own voice sounds as we prattle with rebuke. We might even secretly judge the people we are rebuking.
Our passion should not last longer than it needs to. We should NEVER linger in anger! If we are to have a passion like Christ, we need to follow His example. Better yet, we need to STOP using this scene of passion as an excuse for every act of anger or frustration we have.
How often do we see Christ get this passionate compared to the number of times we try to feel justified using this example? Christ showing His passion like this was few and far between. I don’t think we can say the same.
I had one commenter who said they preferred someone being passionate than someone being laid back. But the truth is if we are being passionate for the wrong reasons we are just as bad as the ones who do not do anything.
You can be a passionate Christan and STILL be lukewarm.
Rebuking, causing scenes and condemning others is not the fire of the Refiner. Be careful of the planks being pointed out in others. God, Himself could easily point them back to us.
What are your views on passion? Do you think people need to be careful?
Monthly Scripture – (NIV) Ephesians 3:19, “and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
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