Zeal – excessive fervor; strong eagerness; and readiness. It’s kind of an old-fashioned (maybe even Biblical) word.
Maybe today we’d refer to this Value word as “filled with passion”.
Consider the many men and women celebrated for accomplishing something great, for being willing to stand up against the crowd, for fighting for what they believed. They generally ran the edge of being fanatical – but there’s no doubt that they had a great deal of zeal – or passion – for their cause.
In many instances, those individuals are only acknowledged and honored posthumously.
People filled with Passion… or Zeal
History tells stories of many individuals – and couples – who are now honored for what they accomplished and the difference they made and continues to affect us today.
- Mother Teresa was zealous about helping the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying.
- Terry Fox was zealous about raising awareness for cancer research.
- Martin Luther King Jr. was zealous about equality and civil rights.
- Charles & Susannah Spurgeon worked with zeal to preach the Gospel of Christ and provide resources to other ministers.
- Joseph and Agnes Lister worked with zeal to change medicine and the minds of British doctors on how to conduct surgical procedures.
- Dr. David and Mary Livingston worked with zeal spreading the Gospel of Christ in Africa while exploring unchartered territory.
The Value of Zeal
As a differentiating value, Zeal has three parts: excessive fervor; strong eagerness; and readiness.
The first part of this value refers to intense passion or emotion. This is what most people associate with zeal.
The second part – eagerness – deals with a combination of anticipation and focus. It’s like the night before Christmas for a child, or the teenager sitting behind the wheel of the car, ready to drive alone for the first time, or when an entrepreneur is preparing to sell their startup company for millions.
The third part deals with being “always on.” This sense of readiness means an individual, or couple is so clear about their purpose that they don’t need a prepared script. They don’t need to rehearse. Their mission is so alive in them that they are talking it about it all the time. They can’t wait for someone to ask them: ‘What are you doing now?” Even if they were called at 3 AM, they’d be ready to respond straight out of a deep sleep. When people are filled with zeal, there is no ‘off switch.’
From Zealous to Fearless
A couple working together as a team, in a cause greater than themselves, can often be viewed as zealous. Their passion, focus, and readiness are evident to everyone who surrounds them.
Yes, at times they might even be viewed as fanatics. However, it’s also what creates an environment of fearlessness.
A zealous couple can appear fearless when they:
- Embrace the power of passion to achieve the impossible.
- Encourage intense trust and loyalty with others.
- Willingly go where no couple has gone before.
- Conquer all barriers with the treasure of hope.
- Acknowledge their dependence on God and each other.
Watch out when a couple becomes fearless because of their zeal!
It’s only a matter of time before they advance their God-given purpose, and leave a lasting legacy.
Is there a topic about which you and your spouse are passionate?
Is there something greater than the two of you, driving you on… causing you both to feel an intense emotion, making you both anticipate and focus on the topic, and something that you’d both be able to talk about without a script or prompting?
Maybe the Value of Zealousness isn’t as old-fashioned as you’d think… maybe it’s a Value you want to adopt as one of your Differentiating Values as a couple.
Wow – finally at the end… Z… I’m putting these posts – “A to Z” Values – all under the FAMILY portion of this site. Why? Every one of these Values words will be a blessing to each spouse – but more than that… they’ll benefit your whole family!
Imagine if you used the Value of Zealousness – that passion for something greater than the two of you – what kind of impact will that have on your family? On your children? I’m guessing that your children and family will only benefit as they watch the two of you living life with passion.
This is an Instagram challenge for July 2016 – A to Z and a few numbers… check out our Instagram account!
The posts in this series can be found on the PAGE – 27 Values to Enrich your Marriage