The definition of a zealot in the dictionary is:
A person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.The biblical understanding of a zealot is:
synonyms: fanatic, enthusiast, extremist, radical, Young Turk, diehard, activist,militant
A group of political adversaries to Roman rule in Judea, who were determined to protect their religion from the imposition of Roman rituals and to end Gentile rule over the Jewish people.There are positive slants to being zealous but it must be tempered with wisdom, understanding and humility. If we are zealous for Christ and for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and we represent Jesus with humility and grace, we cannot fall into that position of lording it over others and shoving our beliefs down their throats and just generally being obnoxious to the point of extremism and hatred. All that leads to is hurt in a multitude of ways and does not bring glory to our King.
What ingredients can help us be zealous without being zealots?
1 Corinth 16 v 14 says: Let everything you do be done in love [motivated and inspired by God’s love for us].
And Col 3 v 23-24 says: (23) Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, (24) knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [greatest] reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you [actually] serve.
And Phil 2 v 3 - 4 says: (3) Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit [through factional motives, or strife], but with [an attitude of] humility [being neither arrogant nor self-righteous], regard others as more important than yourselves. (4) Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
I have finally reached the end of my current alphabetical blog challenge. I hope you enjoyed it with me. Lets all move forward today finding zeal for our Saviour and translating that zeal into love for our neighbour!