“Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
April 27, 2023
There is a zeal that is divisive, destructive, and deadly. You can take a hammer and build a house with it, or you can cause someone harm with it. Anything taken to an extreme can become bad. We need to learn the difference between zeal and moderation. Let your moderation or your gentleness be known unto all men. Zeal and moderation are not enemies; they're friends.
That doesn’t mean we compromise our beliefs, but we need to learn to live by grace. The cause of Christ has been hurt by misguided zeal many times. When Jesus was in Samaria, the Samaritans were mistreating the Lord Jesus Christ. James and John were with Jesus, and they became very zealous for Jesus. They said to Him in Luke 9:54, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But Jesus turned, and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them” (Luke 9:55-56). The manner of spirit they had was that of a misguided zealot. They saw the way the Samaritans were living, and they said “Lord, let’s get them.” The cause of Christ has sometimes been hurt far more in the house of its friends than in the house of its enemies.
Talk to another Christian who knows you well and ask where you tend to have misguided zeal. Ask your friend to keep you accountable for submitting those things to God.