Stimulating Our Brothers by Our Own Zeal
What are some fine examples of godly zeal?
The greatest example of godly zeal is that given by Jehovah God himself. His zeal makes it certain that all that he has promised he will also perform.—Isa. 9:7.
Jesus Christ manifested godly zeal for his Father’s house, as when driving those out of it who had made it a cave of robbers. (John 2:13-17) His apostles after Pentecost displayed such fiery zeal that they were charged with overturning the inhabited earth. (Acts 17:6) And to the Corinthian Christians Paul was able to write: “Your zeal has stirred up the majority of them.”—2 Cor. 9:2.*
To stimulate our brothers we must have what kind of zeal?
Zeal is variously defined as a passionate ardor for a cause or person; as an intense eagerness in promoting some end. It is also referred to as earnestness, enthusiasm, devotion and fervor. To stimulate our Christian brothers to be zealous for Jehovah, we should have such kind of zeal. This is a genuine zeal, which is a sincere, warm concern for the glory of God and the spiritual welfare of mankind. Without such zeal there can be no triumph, nor perfected Christian personalities, no lasting rewards or deeds of Christian faith. It is to zealous activity in connection with the Lord that Christians have been called. This kind of zeal imbues Christians with the desire to transform their minds and personalities to those of Christ. Having such kind of zeal, we will stimulate our brothers to zealous service.
Helpful also in our stimulating our brothers to zeal is our being careful to see spiritual values as they really are without confusing them with specious substitutes. We need to recognize what is genuinely important and not confuse it with what is plausible but of secondary importance. Not to be overlooked, either, is the fine example of full-time service, as a general or special pioneer, as a missionary or member of the Bethel family, as an aid to stimulating our brothers to zealous service.—Matt. 6:33; Mark 10:28-30.
What will help us to sustain our Christian zeal?
Genuine zeal requires much energy. This vital energy or force is sustained by taking in the truth from God’s Word, for it is alive and exerts power. (Heb. 4:12) The need therefore is to study God’s Word daily and meditate on it so that, even as with Jeremiah, it will become “like a burning fire shut up in [our] bones.”—Jer. 20:9; Rom. 15:4.
To sustain our Christian zeal we must also be careful not to associate with those whose bad habits can dampen our zeal and rob it of its fire. Associating with doubters not only may cause our zeal to flicker but may even extinguish it. Fair-weather Christians can easily discourage us from zealous service because of hot, cold or wet days.—1 Cor. 15:33.
Keep on cultivating good spiritual insight, the perception that is always able to distinguish between truth and error, between right and wrong. To sustain our zeal we must also keep in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah. Yes, the awareness of Armageddon’s nearness will also serve us as a warning and help us sustain our burning Christian zeal, as we stimulate our brothers.
For details see The Watchtower, August 1, 1968.