In criminal law, a crime of passion is committed in the heat of passion in response to provocations as opposed to one that was deliberate or planned. Provocation serves as a partial defence to murder as it downgrades the magnitude of the crime to manslaughter and lessens the punishment. In addition, the crime is associated with very strong emotional feelings.
Most of us, in some sense, have committed a crime of passion; what are you passionate about? How far are you willing to go because of your passion? What crime do you commit in our society as being a passionate person? I have personally suffered for having pursued my passions. In Kenya, we have many who have suffered for following their own passions. Being different has not been welcomed from ages past. It has been seen as a crime, and many were martyred as a result. They died for their firm beliefs. As a society, we seem to incline more to the status quo. Anyone who dares think different suffers some consequences as a result. Passion in the context of this article refers to an object of someone’s love, like or desire. Something that one is strongly interested in and enjoys a lot.
EXAMPLE OF JESUS AND DISCIPLES
The Passion of Christ is the story of Jesus Christ’s arrest, trial, suffering and crucifixion. What drove Christ to the point of this suffering, if not his passion for His Father’s will- to save the lost and minister to the needy? Luke 4:18-20 describes his mission on coming to earth. His passion for humanity was central to his suffering. He never committed any moral or legal crime to warrant his suffering. Jesus restricted himself to feeding the hungry, healing the sick, casting out the demons etc. This caused Jesus to draw a crowd which caused the religious leaders of the day to become envious. They seemed to lose honour before the crowd. They perceived a threat in the passion that motivated Jesus and later was in those who followed him. They plotted to bring the passion of Christ to a standstill. His dream to build a world that recognizes and maintains the dignity of every human being led to his death. This dream was the passion of Christ and was a threat to the religious leaders in power.
The disciples of Christ had the passion of Jesus for the lost after he died because hew as in them. However, threats of death did not deter them from their mission. Paul informs Timothy of his suffering and how he was chained like a criminal due to the gospel (2Timothy 2:8-10). He endured all the suffering for the sake of the elect. The assurance of eternal glory was enough for Paul to suffer to death. The passion of Jesus leads you to be focused on the lost and being willing to give up everything, even your own life for his name’s sake.
NOT STRANGE BUT NORMAL
As a result of Jesus’ passion for the world, he ended up on the cross. What mistakes does one make by pursuing their passions? Unfortunately, society is not ready for highly passionate people who want to pursue their dreams. We have been crucified as a result and even lost much in the process.
Our predecessors prefered we continue in the same profile and act in their interests. Choosing to follow your path attracts enemies and rejection. It attracts difficult times ahead. I lost a scholarship given to me by someone. The problem was choosing to follow my vision and not his. Have you found yourself being seen as an enemy for choosing your path in life? When we are neglected while pursuing our passion, we go through a series of emotions and struggles we need to overcome to get to another level. Part of the struggles includes: questioning whether we rushed into the decision, lack of support from family and friends, lack of funds to finance the passion, fear that your passion will intimate others, and questioning if I should not pursue my passion at this moment?
Did Jesus or the disciples back out in fear of intimidating the Pharisees and the scribes? Jesus pursued his calling and passion without fear. His enemies challenged him repeatedly, but he was determined to use every opportunity to share the good news. One shouldn’t fear that their passion will intimidate anyone. As long as it is a worthy cause, one must be willing to go on regardless.
Sometimes the opposition you experience in pursing your passions will take you to the place that you belong in the ministry. I’ve had people push me away and hurt me, but God was faithful and took care of me leading me to where I need to be in his ministry. Joseph’s dreams infuriated his brothers, but every negative action they took led him closer to his dream (Genesis 37:12-13).
KEEP PRESSING ON
Do not fear to pursue your passion regardless of the challenges. Everyone has their path in life. I have gone through the above motions of feelings and, at times, wondering whether I should put on hold what I began. I have lost friends in the process, struggles with whether my timing was right, financial struggles, feared opposition from the community etc. Yet, in all the above, I have persisted; the more I push on, the more God confirms that he ordained this path for me. Feelings and thoughts come and go, but one thing must remain constant, your passion for achieving that which you desire. The apostles pursued God’s purpose to the end. Death threats and rejection were seen as opportunities for God to glorify himself (2Corinthians 3:8-11).
There is no crime in pursuing your passion. God has called you to serve his purpose and passion (Matthew 10:35-39), and not even parents should come in between you and what God wants for you. Your loyalty is to God alone. Whatever you do in word, do it all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). It has never been smooth for anyone, but God has always assured us that he is with us the end (Matthew 28:20).