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What does your passion express: selfishness, or sacrifice; lust, or love?

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We must crush passion with Passion

Melanie Pritchard Melanie Pritchard Follow Melanie

What does your passion express: selfishness, or sacrifice; lust, or love?

Merriam-Webster gives five different meanings of the word passion on their website. A few of them are quite opposite in nature but can reveal to us something profound about the difference between lust and love.

One definition for the word is, “an intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction.”

Let’s draw our attention to the word overmastering. Some of the synonyms for passion listed on the same website are “crush, devastate, floor, grind (down), oppress, overcome, overwhelm, overpower, …”

So in other words, passion is an intense, driving feeling which can be crushing, oppressive, and overpowering. It appears to be something that can control us instead of us being in control of it.

On that same page, passion is also defined as “sexual desire.” In addition, Merriam-Webster describes the word lust in a similar fashion, stating it is “a strong feeling or sexual desire.”

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If you review the “Synonym Discussion of PASSION” it states, “passion applies to an emotion that is deeply stirring or ungovernable <was a slave to his passions>.” This, too, reveals something to us about the nature of lust. It is not only a “strong feeling of sexual desire,” but a strong feeling that can be overmastering or ungovernable. One who is a slave to his passion has no choice, no freedom, and no control. Sexual passion then dominates the heart.

Passion goes on to be defined as “an object of desire or deep interest.” Just as passion is the object of desire, so is one who becomes the object for use when lust dominates the heart. This form of lustful passion represents a selfish and uncontrolled idea of love that many in our culture settle for.  They falsely move towards this kind of passion in search for love, only to discover it will never satisfy our deepest longing to be loved rightly.

But, wait; this blog is about to take a dramatic turn. What is our answer to defeating this lustful, selfish, objectifying, enslaving passion? We must crush it with Passion; the form of the word that starts with a capital “P.”

As you read on, Merriam-Webster’s definitions include an apparent paradox. A profound collision of good versus evil leaps from the page as it states that the 1st definition of Passion is  “the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death.”

The passion that manifests itself as lust enslaves and overmasters a person, whereas the Passion of Christ frees the soul and reveals authentic love. The kind of love that does not seek to serve one’s own self, but rather to sacrifice for another. The kind of love that lays its life down and is willing to die to free us from sin, slavery, and oppression. The same sin, slavery, and oppression found in sexual passion as described above.

The Passion of Christ sets us free from the slavery of being dominated by lust and brings us to true freedom.

In our affection and relationships with others, we are forced to choose which kind of passion we will employ to love another. Because they are polar opposites by definition, there is no way to express them simultaneously. One evolves into selfish desire and the other offers sacrificial, altruistic love. One makes you a slave and the other sets you free.

Passion comes from the Latin passio, meaning suffering or enduring. Christ’s love was just that. His was a love that suffered and endured for us. Jesus didn’t just wear a sign that says, “I’m Jesus and I love you.” No, he showed us true love comes from sacrifice. This is the greatest form of Passion one can ever share with another.

To conclude, I’ll ask again, what does your passion express: selfishness or sacrifice; lust or love?

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Melanie Pritchard

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Melanie has spoken nationwide to thousands of people at many churches, schools and organizations about modesty, chastity, dignity of life issues, and marriage.  She has a Master’s Degree in Education: Curriculum and Instruction and is the Founder of Vera Bella Catholic Girls’ Formation Program and the Executive Director of the Foundation for Life and Love. She is the author of, The Day I Died, a book about her survival after suffering an amniotic fluid embolism. To help people send positive messages with their clothing, in 2002 she created a clothing line called “Refuge Clothing Co.” which has now dissolved into Shop Vera Bell.