I can be overly zealous about things; seriously passionate. Why is it that being passionate about other religious traditions or our careers is acceptable, yet being a complete sold out Jesus freak is not? Paul writes about his own misguided passion and zeal to the Galatians in verse 1:14 when he talks about his former desire to uphold his ingrained education and tradition. He states, “And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers.”
The Galatians were being reprimanded by Paul because they were turning back to their old customs. They were living in bondage again to the Hebrew customs rather than living free under the grace they obtained through the gospel. Paul needed to tell his story rather than just point the finger. Sometimes it is very helpful to others to understand we understand what they are going through because we went through it ourselves. The passion and zeal is not bad, but where it is directed may be. Today, anything done with passion surrounding the true gospel is risky, even within some church groups.
My jealousy for Jesus in a group setting of other “Christians” has been asked to be tempered several times. Perhaps it could cause someone to stumble or perhaps it upsets the “come enjoy our casual church” feel they are trying to promote. Some Christians are looked at like fanatics, lunatics, and freaks, but people who are passionate about any other religion or thing on this earth are praised as driven, passionate, and are applauded for their efforts. The temporary ruler of this world has only one desire and goal, to get us to turn from Christ and turn to anything and everything that is a false hope or false pursuits in hopes of never allowing anyone to see the Truth. Be on guard, Christian, in every situation, and keep your eye trained on the One who is Truth.