The Difference between PASSION & COMPASSION

I woke up this morning pondering the difference between PASSION and COMPASSION. Not that I’m claiming to have done some deep etymological research on the word, but when I think of COM-PASSION, I think of “community passion” or “passion for community.” Passion all by itself can often be self-centered. When I say I’m passionate about something, the driver of that passion tends to be my own needs, desires, and purpose. It is an intense emotional response to those things. Compassion, I think, is just as intense, but the driver of it is the needs, desires, and purpose of others. Those around us. Our community of fellow human beings who God wants to heal, counsel, deliver, and save…possibly through our own actions or service. There is an empathy and an intentionality in compassion that I’m not sure exists in passion alone.

I’ve had the market cornered on PASSION for a while now but, if I’m honest, I’ve only dabbled in COMPASSION. I pray that God forgives me for that. I desire to be both passionate and compassionate but mostly the latter because I do believe that what I do for others is nothing but seeds that, if planted properly, will not only harvest greatness in those in which I’ve sown them, but God-willing, will return back to me in the form of the seeds others plant in me. Yes, I like that. The contagiousness of compassion. Maybe that’s the whole point. Maybe our compassion should drive our passion. Become it. Maybe the compassion that we give to others opens our own hearts enough so that God can do the same thing in us. What do you think?


2 Replies to “The Difference between PASSION & COMPASSION”

  1. Dear Tracey,I happened to be "googling" the question, "what is the difference between passion and comapssion" when I stumbled upon your blog. Imagine my surprise at finding someone else pondering the same exact question! I am so thankful for the lovely explanation you give of the difference between the two. What a beautiful way to express the love that both words can symbolize. I too pray that my compassion overcomes, or becomes my passion, and I thank you for the enjoyable Sunday afternoon read!

  2. I, as well, was "searching" for the same question and came across your blog. Beautifully written and I must say comforting to know that there are others out there that ponder these thoughts…have a blessed day!

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