Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

November 2, 2013

A positive minute: Z is for zeal

Dr. Michael Layne
Daily News

---- — John 2:17 “And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”

Webster defines ZEAL (noun) eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something : fervor; her zeal to succeed strained her relationships

Did you ever receive one of those invitations that went something like this? “I would like to share with you a great business that will set you up for a wonderful income and you get some great benefits along with the business.”

Oh yes, I have heard and sat down to dinner while listening to the host tell me how great the products are and how wonderful it is to work on my own schedule and provide some great products for my customers. The hosts of these informational programs usually have a great amount of zeal.

Of course, it’s important to have a certain amount of zeal when involved in a project. I like the word enthusiasm as it also defines the emotion a person will exhibit when sold on a project or cause.

Have you ever seen someone that is working toward a cause and they are excited and enthusiastic? It can be exhilarating to be around someone who is excited about their cause.

There is a page on Facebook that I like; it’s the Catholic Study Fellowship page. The gentleman that operates the page is very enthusiastic for the Lord and it comes through his postings. I like the brother’s zeal. He is dedicated to the work of the Lord and enjoys sharing his faith with those who stop by his page.

Zeal and enthusiasm are wonderful tools for all of us. As Christians, we need some enthusiasm about our faith. After all, when we survey our faith and understand the relationship we have with God, we should be enthusiastic about it.

On the other hand, have you met those people who are listless and exhibit little to no enthusiasm for much of anything? Setting aside any psychological or organic disorders, they may not have ever learned the importance of zeal or having some enthusiasm in their life.

On the other hand, have you met those who volunteer for every job there is and a short time into the project they just give up? They have put so much zeal or energy into the first part of the project that they experience a form of burnout. This is what the bible passage is speaking of. People who have such a high drive for the project and they fail to manage their efforts, time and energy by spreading it out over the life of the project and then few, if any, benefit from those efforts.

If you struggle with too much zeal, consider some discipline in your life. It’ll take effort but, it’s something you can manage. When learning how to control your desire to help by spreading your time out, you will be rewarded with joy in your life and others will have a greater appreciation for you.

Our study for this Wednesday at 6:30 is, Choosing Peace and the passage is: “You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it.” Matthew 6:27 We will consider: Are you a backseat driver? Do you like to maintain control of your life? Are you a self-reliant, independent person? How do these tendencies work against living a life of faith in God’s ability to take care of you? We meet at The Fine Grind, 120 E. Washington St., Greensburg.

The Most Rev. Michael Layne, PhD, ThD, can be reached at 812-614-2160 or through