Don’t Kill the Zeal!

[439 words]

An older preacher once said to a very energetic and zealous younger preacher, “Slow down boy! You act like you are trying to set the world on fire!” The younger preacher said to the older preacher, “Well, if Jesus returned today, I want to be striking matches!” Of course, the context of the conversation was centered on the fact the older preacher was trying to get the younger preacher to “pace” himself and not “flame” out in his work. The younger preacher seemed to be so focused on his work, he was consumed to work daily because he took his job/assignments seriously and intently.

Of course, we know we have to find “balance” in our approach to all we do, especially when seeking to carry out the Great Commission. If not properly balanced, we can drive ourselves and others mad by pushing ourselves and others to the brink. Thoughts to consider:

Even Jesus rested when he was tired (John 4:5-6).

The Apostles rested and took time for themselves to eat and “recharge” after Jesus told them to, as they had been working hard teaching (Mark 6:30-32).

Scripture reminds us to rest our mind and body (Exodus 20:8-10, Psalm 23:2-3, 62:1-2, 127:1-2, Jeremiah 6:16, Matthew 11:25-30).

Yes, it is important to “rest.” In fact, medical professionals highly recommend rest as much as exercise; all in proper balance, of course. But, for the committed Christian, “resting” may be a bit of a challenge. When we read the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) we are ignited by the words “go,” “make disciples,” “baptizing them,” “teaching them to observe,” along with the encouraging words from Jesus, “I am with you always.” Reading and hearing these words creates a swell of energy for someone who has been transformed by Christ. Additionally, we want others to be transformed so badly, we sometimes come across as being to zealous or pushy. But, let’s remember it all comes from a good place, Scripture!

Recently, Coach Michael Burt (coach/consultant) said to a group of salespeople, on the topic of motivation, “I only have about 12,500 days left on earth if I live to age 84. I am going to give my all to all I can for as long as I can.” Do you take this approach to you service to the Lord? I Corinthians 15:58 reminds us to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, because our labor is not vain. We may not be striking matches, but let’s give all we have today, for what we have left is lost forever.

Allen Jones
South Green Street church of Christ
Glasgow, KY

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