Our passions can only be controlled by a higher passion. That higher passion must be our passion for Christ, to love and serve him above everything else.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Gal 5:1)
We are passionate people. God created us that way.
God has created each of us for a unique purpose. He has equipped us with distinctive passions, temperaments, abilities, experiences, spiritual gifts, education, and spheres of influence in order for us to do the good work he intends us to do (Eph 2:10).
Obstacles to Obedience
Yet the things that often obstruct our obedience to God are our passions. These God-given gifts, whether they be passions for freedom, justice, or security, can enslave us. Tim Keller writes:
Sin isn’t only doing bad things, it is more fundamentally making good things into ultimate things. Sin is building your life and meaning on anything, even a very good thing, more than on God. Whatever we build our life on will drive us and enslave us. Sin is primarily idolatry.
No one understood this better than Martin Luther. Luther wrote that the Ten Commandments begin with a commandment against idolatry, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex 20:3), because we can’t break any of the other commandments without first breaking the first commandment.