I am passionate. It’s part of what makes me an effective leader. And although I will admit that my passion can also be a liability for me, I will always stand among the passionate people in life.

Some things need to be said with passion! I believe this.

There are things that are so important to our walk with God, our development as a person and to the overall way we choose to do life that they need to be said with passion in order for us to understand the importance of the message.

But we have grown to be a soft society. An easily offended group.

I remember coaches who would give me a good chewing when I was growing up. And at 44, I’m better because of it.

“Over-reactors" is one of the labels placed on passionate people. Mike Gundy is one. Several years back, a reporter printed some things about one of his football players at Oklahoma State University. Gundy didn’t like what the reporter said. He stood up for the player by addressing the article in a press conference. He clearly communicated to the reporter that he didn’t want his player attacked in the media any longer and then added “Come after me. I’m a man. I’m 40! Write something about me. Don’t write something about a kid.”

Gundy was criticized. “That’s not normal behavior.” “He took it too far in making his point.”

“It’s not normal.”

But what is normal?

For those of us who are “not normal,” the “over-reactors,” we had a different reaction to Coach Mike Gundy. We liked what he said. We were motivated by his passion. We love to be associated with an individual who is passionate about life, her ministry, the subject he is teaching, or the message that he is presenting about the Cross.

We would love to have a Coach, Pastor, mentor or friend like him, although his behavior isn’t “normal.”

Part of the issue with the anti-passionate campaign goes back to being politically correct. “If you are loud, you might offend someone.”

I don’t recall Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. whispering, “I Have a Dream!”

Sure, sometimes we “not-normals” get too passionate. Overreact. Do not say something with enough compassion. Or just flat out mess up when we are saying what we are saying. But passionate people are good people, and there is a place for us.

I’ve read a story about a man who was so passionate about the way that people were treating his father’s house that he went into the place with a stick and starting smashing and turning over tables. I think it got those people’s attention.

The same guy would yell at religious people and call them hypocrites and tell them they had no clue. He stood up for His cause.

31 years ago, I joined his cause. Over 2000 years after he started it.

He’s not normal.

I like being in good company.

Joey Haynes is a follower of Jesus, married way out of his league, has two of the coolest children in the universe and is blessed to work with an amazing community of believers known as The Church at Rome.