Passion vs. Arrogance

I am sharing this blog because I need help! I am a passionate person. I am probably one of the most passionate people that I know. I am passionate about music, passionate about youth ministry, passionate about ministry in general, passionate about blogging, (at least reading other peoples blogs), passionate about food, and definitely passionate about Sonny’s Sweet Tea! I asked my wife just a few weeks ago what my passion is. I said: “if you had to choose one thing that I am passionate about, what would you say that I am passionate about?” Katie told me: “You are passionate about being passionate.”

I like that. I do not want to live a plain old, boring uneventful apathetic life, striving to simply get through another day so that I can go to bed and then start all over again the next day. That sounds miserable! I cannot live like that. I cannot live without dreams, goals, and passions.

So, why am I taking your time today? Because I need your help! I am noticing that sometimes my passion can be mistaken for arrogance. Sometimes, I find myself wanting to stand on a chair and shout my ideas about a situation or an event, but when I do (figuratively, of course) I look more like an arrogant man, than I do a passionate man. I do not feel arrogant. I do not think that my way is always the best way. I do not think that my way is the only way. I honestly want the BEST THING, not MY THING. So, then why does my passion get mistaken for arrogance so often?

I don’t know. That is why I am posting this blog! Please help me get to the bottom of this! I want to grow, and I definitely want to look at my passion as an asset not a liability. Help me understand how to be passionate without appearing arrogant! Thanks!

In general, why do you think that passion is sometimes confused with arrogance? Have you ever been passionate about something and other people thought you were being arrogant?

9 thoughts on “Passion vs. Arrogance

  1. I often struggle with this very same concept, and so I am very interested in reading some of thoughts that are shared on this topic.
    In general, I always try to remind myself about the importance of balance, and so anytime I feel as though my passion is wanting to jump outside of me to the point of ill-conceived ignorance, I try to remember that perhaps I should be listening to what is being said around me, rather than be the one sharing my passion at that very moment. But at the same time, I often find myself keeping my thoughts to myself and therefore NOT sharing my passion, and sometimes not living up to my full potential, in an effort to keep peace, or save my own energy.
    At any rate, I think this a great topic to explore, and I hope some wisdom comes in the form of some comments so that we can share and continue to grow.

    1. Kimmi,
      Thank you so much for posting! I am thankful that I am not the only one that deals with this!! I think you mentioned one of the most important factors, that is: If we listen very thoroughly to the other person, and make sure that they know we listened well, then they will be more likely to be ok with our passion! Like you implied, sometimes I think it would be much easier to just give in and be apathetic, but you and I both know we couldn’t do that! 🙂 Great thoughts! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I haven’t known you for too long (this is Scott Phelan). But right off the bat I would have to say that 1. I do see you as being passionate, and 2. I don’t perceive that as arrogance.

    I’m thinking that if you feel the need to stand on a chair and have your opinion heard, that is fine, just as long as you allow for other people with viewpoints to be heard. Of course, this is all relative. If your son is naughty, and you discipline him, THAT you do as you or your wife see fit. If it is a situation at church, with you and the other two pastors, I would say you definitely need to state your thoughts, then hear the other mens’ thoughts and then once everybody has had their say, then you guys can choose a way to go or compromise or whatever.

    Ummm… I don’t know if that helps, but I hope so.

    1. Thanks Scott! 🙂 I appreciate your thoughts! I do not think it is that I “feel the need to stand up and shout my opinion”, I think it is more, that often I am so excited about what I believe that I want to make sure that I am sharing it as passionately and enthusiastically as possible. You mentioned the same thing that Kimmi mentioned and I am thinking it is a huge part of this: Hearing the other people, or listening well. That is what I am going to try to do more this week. 🙂 Thanks man!

  3. Passion–noun
    1. any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.
    2. strong amorous feeling or desire; love; ardor.

    offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.

    You have the definitions of both words know the difference…when you are standing on your chair..talking about your Passion and you are not doing it with arrogance then God knows…and he is the only one that matters….you can not worry about what others think!

    Funny thing, I needed to look these words up for myself, have a hard time knowing when I’m doing or saying for my own feelings of self-importance…WOW

    Love you Pastor Lee and your Passion…it is what gets lost souls saved!

    1. Wow! You are so amazing! It is so cool how sometimes a simple definition can put things in perspective! Thanks for sharing those! It was a little bit of an eye opener. Sadly, that definition of arrogance, seems to say that like beauty, Arrogance is in the eye of the beholder. In other words, if someone percieves you to be offensive, then you are arrogant, (at least in their eyes)

      I want to make sure that in everything I do I am not displaying an offensive display of superiority or self-importance! Great stuff! Thanks Cathy!

  4. … perspective between fact, truth and opinions being balanced between intent and the individuals perceiving you.

    1) If the person or your audience has a lot of subconscious insecurity – they will perceive your passion as arrogance because they immediately realize you have something they don’t and their self-guilt manifests as their impression of you being arrogant
    2) Intention/motivation is rarely a factor that is considered externally – so whether your intentions were good to begin with, it’s not considered
    3) Perception is truth – it may not be yours, but it is a version of it

    Having these considered, you need to learn that not everyone deserves your trust and your passion. Not everyone can handle it as it should, though it sounds like terrible advice tempering that and your expectations of people is probably best. It’s the only thing you can and have control over, not how people behave and perceive you.

    It’s a reality I am learning myself.
    My passion is intimidating to some of my colleagues, despite the fact that they are well-meaning.

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