Are You Living Boldly?

Boldness and Passion

I have a knack for saying or writing things that resonate with some and infuriate others. I’ll make some big bold claim about a topic (like leadership or Christianity) that I’m passionate about. Someone won’t agree and will be offended. They’ll let me know about it.

It’s always uncomfortable. Always.

What Are You Passionate About?

I know that there’s something in there. Maybe you’ve got a new idea that’s been lighting your fire. Perhaps you’re starting a new non-profit to tackle an issue like homelessness. We’ve all got things that truly ignite our internal passion.

Further, we all find ourselves in situations that either confirm or challenge those passions. I’ll share my faith here as an illustration. If you don’t agree please do stick around. I think you’ll find the context here to be universally applicable.

Environments that Make It Easy

On Sunday mornings, I’m on fire for Jesus. I can sing at the top of my lungs in worship. That environment confirms everything that I believe in. There’s no friction; no rub against the things that I hold most important. It’s safe. It’s comfortable.

It’s easy to be passionate here, but its commonplace. There’s nothing bold about it.

Environments that Make it Hard

On Monday morning, I’m back to the grind. I’m thrown back into the business world with people of all faiths and backgrounds; people whose company I enjoy and abilities I respect. In this world, my faith is supposed to stay strictly personal.

It’s hard to be passionate here, yet the Gospel demands that I boldly share the truth.

Your Part in the Story

Each one of us has a passion for something. The thing that keeps us from sharing it is fear. We are all terribly afraid that our passion will be received as silly or offensive. We live in terror of losing the approval of our friends and associates.

Its as if their approval was as important to us as oxygen. I promise you, its not.

Your response can go down one of two ways. First, you can squash your passion by succumbing to the outside pressure. This will save you from having to ruffle too many feathers. You can go on with your quiet life. Enjoy.

The second option is to throw gas on the fire. Don’t just stay passionate on the inside. Live a life in outward expression of your inward conviction. Let people know who you are and exactly what you stand for. In short, you can live your life boldly. I like this option.

Prepare to Be a Fool

By definition, living boldly will make you a fool in the eyes of many. Go be a rockstar for homeless advocacy and your socially conscious friends will love you. Your party friends, however, will look at you like you’re a overly idealistic wing-nut.

True passion is always worth the pain.

You’ll be laughed at, ridiculed, knocked around, discounted, and marginalized. It comes with the territory. Jesus came to save the world and the world responded by beating and hanging Him from a cross.

As evidenced by our upcoming Easter celebration, He still made out alright in the end.

A Prayer for Boldness

One of my favorite stories in the Bible comes from the book of Acts. The apostles Peter and John had just been released from the custody of the Sadducees. They were strictly warned to stop preaching. The clear message: talking about Jesus will not end well for you.

So what did the disciples do? They prayed.

“And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,” Acts 4:29 ESV

No cop outs here. The apostles didn’t pray for deliverance from oppression. They didn’t pray for protection from their agressors. Instead, they prayed that God would grant them boldness in the face of that imminent danger and oppression.

God responded by sending the Holy Spirit and shaking the place where they were gathered. Ask for that same boldness in the pursuit of your passion. He is faithful to reply in earth-shaking fashion. Just watch.

Do you find it difficult to live your life boldly?

Photo credit: Shoshi – Goofy, right? I love it.

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  • rtucker

    nice, i was thinking in a similar vein here: http://tuckersdoppelganger.blogspot.com/2011/03/is-doubt-virtue.html

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      Thanks very much for reading and sharing your post on doubt.

  • http://goinswriter.com Jeff Goins

    Loved this post, Kenny, especially since you’re writing what you know. You’re living this, bro. Love your boldness of faith, especially.

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      Thanks very much for the comment, Jeff. Coming from you, the words of encouragement really do mean a lot.

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

        You’re welcome, and thanks for the kick-in-the-butt. I guess we complement each other well that way, huh? I read this and it really did motivate me this morning.

  • http://eileenknowles.blogspot.com Eileen

    Great post. It’s taken me years to finally understand that seeking peoples approval just leaves us unfulfilled. Following our passions and our convictions is so much more rewarding. Thanks.

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      Thank you for sharing, Eileen. By definition, being passionate about something will put us at odds with anyone who would desire the status quo. In that sense, its impossible to be passionate without losing the approval of at least some people. The sooner we realize that and let go of the need for approval, the sooner we can pursue our passions without hesitation.

  • http://www.cathrynhasek.com Cathryn Hasek

    I’m right there with you on this one! I have been following and writing about my journey through Andy Andrew’s, “Seven Decisions for Personal Success.” I have just reached Decision #4 which talks about having a “Decided Heart.” I think that speaks about passion!

    Cathryn Hasek
    http://www.cathrynhasek.com

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      I’ve heard great things about that. Have you been getting a lot out of it?

  • Gigi

    I do find it difficult. I’m a soccer Mom.
    I am not in situations that require me to be BOLD. Second thought… Being a Mom does require courage & boldness. That verse in Acts… Going in my hard drive/brain. Thank you for these inspiring words!