A Passion Discovery Self-Test

This web page is a short test to help you get in touch with what you have a passion for. You probably have some ideas about it. But most people find some surprises when they take a really hard look to find out what their passions are.

Passions are a broad indicator which may or may not lead you to the gift the Spirit has given you. Just because you have a passion for something doesn't mean you have a gift; passion can be misdirected or warped. There are passions at work in this world that have no spiritual gifts. However, when the Spirit gives you a gift, the Spirit will also give you a passion for using it. This test is based on the idea that the Spirit has probably already given you the passion that matches the spiritual gift(s) that the Spirit has given you. There are other things you may need too (wisdom, training, accountability, experience, timing, opportunity, support, etc.), but if something really gets you going, it's a good sign that there's some sort of gift in it. With passion comes dedication and perseverance -- you want to succeed at it, so you become much harder to stop. With passion comes energy and drive -- the Spirit revs your engines, you don't poop out when the going gets long and tough. With passion comes concentration and focus -- there's something you want to do, and nothing else will distract you while you're doing it.

This passion, when you find it, will lead you to a sense of mission, a sense of 'this is what I'm here for'. But keep this in perspective : it's a mission that lives within a bigger mission. For followers of Christ, each moment brings choices, and each choice is to be answered in a way that is in keeping with the bigger mission. You have the choice to do what creates for other people more true happiness, more kindness, more love, more empowerment, more truth. Or, you could choose to do otherwise, to cut people down, to lie, to box them in and leave them weak, and thus spit in Christ's face. Your choices will spring from the Spirit's work of making you more of what God wants you to be. God's way is the 'bigger mission' that is the setting for the personal sense of mission your passions are pointing you to.

To get at your passions, go over the questions below. Before you do, please take note:

Now, for the test questions :




Self-Test Questions

  1. What one subject can you enjoy talking about for many hours?
  2. Do any of your hobbies involve working a lot with other people?
  3. What specific concerns preoccupy your mind, breaking into whatever else you're thinking about?
  4. What do you most enjoy doing for others?
  5. Let's pretend you've reached the end of your life, and you're in heaven looking back on it. What's the one thing you want to be most happy about having done or having been?
  6. Who 'out there' in the world have you come to care about the most? Who do you most want to help, enable, or reach? (You define the categories, whatever way you want. Go with your first instincts.)
  7. Now, write down at least five of your life experiences that most gave you a sense of fulfillment and/or growth. (Don't think about them until later -- just write them down for now.) If more experiences come to mind, just keep listing them until you exhaust yourself. You'll sort them out later.


Passion is worthless standing by itself. Passion needs purpose.

Now that you've gone through all of these questions (NO SKIPPING!! DO THEM ALL!!), it's time to think on these things. Look for patterns, underlying themes, and common traits to the answers you gave. Ask yourself : who else benefitted from it, and what was your role in creating that benefit? Did you discover abilities you didn't know you had, and what were they? Did any of the answers give you thrills? Tears? Narrow it down, focus on the strongest themes, and work toward a conclusion you can state in one direct sentence.

Enter this evaluation phase by praying. Then move from prayer to meditation over the matter, then move from meditation into silence and waiting upon the Lord, keeping your spiritual ears open for the Spirit's message for you.


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Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.
------- Parker Palmer, *Let Your Life Speak*


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