Is it Zeal or something else?
J.D. Payne 08 Nov 2004
We as Christians are admonished to have a zeal for the faith. But as Paul says in Romans 10:1-3: "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." So we must be cautious that we are NOT establishing our righteousness but the righteousness of God. A definition of this in a worldly sense is: Fanaticism (n.) Excessive enthusiasm, unreasoning zeal, or wild and extravagant notions, on any subject, especially religion; religious frenzy. Possessed with or motivated by excessive, irrational zeal. I feel that in many ways, in many of the Christian forum board posts, individual discussions and other Christian interactions, including church and small groups, we have passed into the realm of fanaticism or, as the above definition elaborates, "Possessed with or motivated by excessive, irrational zeal." Especially when we get into fighting to have our own viewpoint or perspective dominating over everyone else's view.Peter tells us that we are to approach things from an entirely different viewpoint. A point of humility and meekness. It is here in 1 Peter 3:15-17, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing." Because we are supposed to..."ROM 14: 19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. CO1 10: 23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. TH1 5: 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do." Obviously these are not MY words, but scripture from the Word of God, whereby we know, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." Think before you speak. Are your words uplifting or do they offend? Do your words enlighten and teach, or do they accuse? Do your words show love and respect, or do they ridicule and condescend (deal with people in a patronizingly superior manner)? From the abundance of the heart a man speaks. And we should ONLY be speaking in LOVE.... So, I leave you with this thought. We as the body of Christ should be a living example and testament of the glory of God shining forth through His children. We should be that peculiar people BECAUSE we are a royal priesthood and a holy nation. WWJD, what would Jesus do? Not a lot of what we are doing these days! Be mindful of the other person as if you life depended on it, because when you are standing face-to-face with the creator of the universe — it just might! Be blessed, be loved and be at peace, J.D. PayneJ.D. Payne is the webmaster for http://www.pathwaysofgrace.com/
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