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A true revelation when it comes to zealousness

We are now nearing the end of October, a beautiful time of the year. For many of us, that means one thing: basketball season is almost here, and we await the first game eagerly. If at all possible, many of us will arrange our schedules so that we can either attend the games or watch them on television.

As I thought about this, the world “zealous” came to mind. Now, there are several definitions of “zealous,” but two are important. One is “enthusiastic” and the other is “ardently devoted to a purpose.” As I continued to think of “zealous” and my enthusiasm for my favorite sports team, an old statement, almost two thousand years old, came to my mind. It says, “It is fine to be zealous.” So, I felt good about being enthusiastic for, or ardently devoted, to my favorite basketball team, and I thought, “Since it is good to be zealous, I can be avidly enthusiastic about sports and many other thing I desire.”

Then, as I thought more about that old statement, something else came to my mind. I am not as free to be enthusiastic as I first thought. That ancient statement has not one proviso but two. Now, a proviso is a limiting “clause” in a statement that makes “some condition or stipulation.”

The first proviso in that ancient statement is “provided the purpose is good.” Now, that rules out some things, and it places a limit on that about which one should be zealous. The second proviso is even more limiting. It states, “and to be so always and not just when” we are in the presence, or in the company, of someone we want to impress.

Those provisos suggests something important. To be zealous is be real at all times; there should be nothing false about it. Zealousness is not for show or a false display of attitude about something to make an impression upon someone. It is a true revelation of the real person.

Howard Coop is a retired minister, author and religion columnist that contributes regularly to The Jessamine Journal. He can be reached at howardcooop@kudu4u.com.