For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. Romans 10:2
To many, zeal counts for everything. Zeal means sincerity and in our present day society, it is believed that if one is sincere, then a person is entitled to whatever opinion they hold.
Paul would be the first one to tell us that zeal can be misguided. No one was more passionate to protect the Jewish traditions of his spiritual fathers than Paul. So much so, that he hunted down followers of Jesus. He believed them to be heretics. His zeal was commendable but it worked against the purposes of the God he believed he loved.
I have known a few pastors and Christian leaders who were so zealous to protect their people from the influence of ‘what they considered’ liberal views on lifestyle preferences, that they considered a large sector of the body of Christ enemies. Nasty letters, disparaging remarks from the pulpit and in print; these may have convinced their followers that their zeal was commendable but it was really misguided.
My zeal, my passion, must be surrendered to Christ. I want to be passionate about truth but not so passionate about peripheral issues that I alienate the body of Christ. Zeal must cause me to pick my battles carefully, prayerfully, to make sure I feel strongly about the things that Jesus feels strongly about. Much of the things I’m zealous for may just arise out of personal baggage. This is the ‘zeal – not according to knowledge.’
Passion is a stunning thing when it is pure. But when it is not, it can leave a wake of bodies in its path.
Am I passionate about the right things? Is my passion holy? Only You can tell me. Amen