(The rain has been comming down on and off for the last few days or so and is expected to continue for the rest of the week. As a result, construction on the house has come to a grinding halt until such time that it quits raining and the ground dries up. Meanwhile, the internet has been down the entire weekend.)
Galatians 4:17-20, “17Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may be zealous for them. 18It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always and not just when I am with you. 19My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!”
Zeal (noun) – eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something, synonyms: Fervor, Passion
If you can properly whip up a crowd of Christians, they can provide the financing and manpower to get just about anything done. It’s been speculated that Paul was warning against people who were spreading the words that Christians had to be circumcised and follow the Torah.
Here are Paul’s principles for the zealous:
Be zealous for a good reason
Be zealous always
It seems that every Sunday or Wednesday, a certain church puts it’s small group out on the street corner and they hold up signs as they shout to the cars that pass by. It takes a certain amount of zeal to do that. I’ve also heard how zealous people have done some serious harm to themselves and to others. Westborough was so zealous, they’d picket their signs at soldier’s funerals.
Here are a few good ideas for the zealous:
Ask yourself who you’re zealous for – God or your pastor/televanglist/spiritual teacher
Ask yourself what you’re zealous for – God’s ends or another’s
Ask yourself what results from your zealousness – could others get hurt by your actions or words?
Ask yourself if you’re within biblical borders – are you in keeping with scripture?
Ask yourself how you can aply your zeal in pursuit of God