Embracing God-Given Zeal

The book Nothing to See Here (Kevin Wilson [New York: Ecco, 2019]) is a story about two children who have a tendency to spontaneously burst into flames. They aren’t harmed by their combustion, but it causes a lot of anxiety and concern for those around them. Their nanny is tasked with keeping them calm to avoid any incidents. If she can just keep them from feeling too strongly, she can avoid getting burned. The reality is that we can’t avoid getting burned, especially when we love people. Apathy can be a protective barrier, like Nomex clothing for our hearts, but it closes us off to the unique ways God wants us to express our gifts in our churches and our communities. We may be misunderstood if we use our God-given zeal to speak out against racism, abortion, poverty, human trafficking, or equal rights, but we don’t need to dim our fire for the approval of others. By comparing the ideals that we hold with the ideals that Jesus expounded in Scripture, we can align ourselves with his purposes. We can become less concerned with keeping the flames at bay and more concerned with actively loving God and others with a zealous heart.