Why passion is not enough for faith

Recently I finished reading Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence. While this book is a little different than I expected and I almost did not finish reading it, I made the commitment to read it and so I finished it. 

The author quoted Jorge Luis Borges who noted, β€œArt is fire plus algebra.”

That got me thinking about spiritual formation.

I listen to a number of people talk about how they feel they should read the Bible more or have a better devotional life. Words like "I should want to want to do this" come up a lot.

For instance I heard a Christian say the other day, "We should want to read our Bible every day!" 

The underlying issue in these comments and sentiments is that we are under the false impression that if we just had the right amount of passion for something then we would want to want to do it. If we just had a change of heart and a passion for God then we would want to read the Bible everyday.

This is a false impression because passion (fire) is not enough! The thing that the saints of the church and those who are deeply grounded is that they too have figured out that passion is not enough to spiritually mature. The saints have all figured out the systems (algebra) to fuel the fire of passion.

You know the secret to wanting to want to spiritually mature? Set up systems in place that you cannot make an excuse for not doing it. We don't like the idea of having bad breath so we brush our teeth. Even if you do not have a fire about dental health, you have a system in place to ensure your teeth will remain healthy.

Want to mature in your spiritually? Discover the algebra, because fire is not enough.