Misguided zeal

“It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good.” Galatians 4:18

(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – Deuteronomy 22-24 & Galatians 4)

Very practical advice.

Paul has learned that the Galatians are now zealous about new teachings and teachers. Sadly for Paul, the new instruction and instructors advocate salvation from the consequences of sinfulness by works.

Zeal is a good thing if it is over the right things.

I must be certain that I am following God’s teachings. It is easy to misinterpret. After I choose a verse, I check several sources to be sure that what I am finding in the verse agrees with others who have looked at the verse. Most of the time we’re all on the same page. However, every now and then there will be a verse in which the commentaries will present several interpretations of a particular verse. That is when my rush to present must be guarded.

Churches split over interpretations of Scripture. Folks will apply zeal to a teaching that is not completely clear and the trouble begins.

Somewhere I read that I would be better served if I concentrated my zeal on the teachings from the Bible that are universally agreed upon and less on the less-certain teachings. Makes good sense.

I have to be careful that I don’t yank verses out of context and try to run with them. I can get into trouble memorizing isolated verses. What is the context?

“Lord, help me to see You clearly. Prevent me from being zealous foolishly. I want to accurately and rightly represent You wherever I am this day. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I don’t mess up. Forgive me for judging other believers. Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

 

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