Balancing Zeal


Some people talk about how “excited” they are to worship God, or how exciting things are where they worship. Does worshipping God or our spirituality warrant excitement?  Is this excitement the distinctive element pointing to the difference between the true church and a false church? Certain people were definitely “excited” about the many works they had done for God in Matthew 7:22,23, but none of them were acceptable. Jesus said, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” This clearly illustrates not every “exciting” work pleases God. Overflowing zeal can cause Christians to push all kinds of works (i.e. programs, outreaches, activities, etc.) the church has no business doing. Zealousness has never been the biblical precedence for doing the work of the Lord. Although, the Bible exhorts Christians to be “fervent in spirit” (Romans 12:11), where is the balance?  What determines the amount of zeal we should have and express in the kingdom of God?

Paul, the apostle wrote in Romans 10:2, "For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge." Christians need to be zealous, but zeal needs to be tempered with knowledge to keep one in line with what God desires. Knowledge gives us the truth of how our zeal can be best used in serving God properly. Without knowledge, we could be so zealous against abortion doctors or nurses, it may cause us to shoot and harm one of them or set fire to their abortion clinic. Knowing such action is a criminal offence keeps our zeal in check.

Knowledge with zeal is necessary, and zeal cannot stand alone. However, knowledge isolated from zeal causes Christians to resort to “keeping house for the Lord”, laziness, “pew warmers”, or indifference. Zeal will cause them to take what they know and teach others the truth which provides salvation of the soul (Romans 1:15,16). Rather than being known for what you know if wrong, Christians need to be known for what they know is right and have the zeal to get out and teach it!!   More members, young and old who have knowledge, need to be prodded by zealous workers to get busy with the works of God in order to glorify His name (Matthew 5:16). At the same time, more Christians who have knowledge and have matured in faith need to hold on and lift up the hands of zealous members. Together more Christians will stay saved, and more unbelievers will be won to the Lord. Would that all God's people were zealous and knowledgeable!!!