Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
— Ephesians 5:15-17
William Sangster, a prominent Methodist minister of yesteryear, once had a very eccentric man in his congregation who was trying to be a zealous Christian. Unfortunately, the man usually did the wrong thing.
A barber in town, the man was lathering up a customer for a shave one day. He came at the man with the razor in his hand and said, “Sir, are you prepared to meet your God?” The customer, scared out of his senses, jumped up and fled the barbershop with lather on his face!
It’s sometimes easy to allow our zealousness to get in the way of our common sense. Maybe we encounter a situation when emotions are high with people—like after the death of a loved one. Our first inclination might be, “I need to say something about Jesus.” But perhaps the best way to minister in that situation is simply to be there and love the person who is experiencing loss.
Be zealous for the Lord, but do it with wisdom. Love others in a way that’s guided by the Holy Spirit and truly communicates God’s love for them. Put your zealousness to work in making sure everyone around you knows how much Jesus loves them!
Ask God to give you wisdom in your dealings with others. Pray for discernment in sharing Christ at the right time.
Questions for Thought
Why do you think it’s important to keep wisdom and zealousness in balance?
Can you think of a time when you allowed your zealousness to overtake your wisdom in a certain situation?