JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Q and A Segment explores the question, “What does the Bible have to say about zeal?”
There are several positive statements and cautious statements about zeal in the Bible.
Romans 12:11 says, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” This kind of enthusiasm can be a contagious quality when directed by love for the Lord.
But there is danger in misplaced zeal. Before knowing Christ, the Apostle Paul said that in his zeal, he persecuted the church. So, he knows what he is talking about when he says in Galatians 4:18, “It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good.”
And it is good to understand what the zeal of God accomplishes. Isaiah 9:7 talks about the coming kingdom that Jesus establishes with peace, justice, and righteousness. It is the zeal of the LORD Almighty that accomplishes this.
So, in misplaced zeal, we see the danger of fanaticism if it is not based on knowledge or directed to a good purpose. But we also see that zeal is a spark that God can use in us to accomplish His purposes in the Year of Exploration.