“For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.” (2 Corinthians 7:11 NKJV)
It’s not popular to be smart, or to excel, or to tell the truth in many circles. The person who does their best on the job may be called goodie two shoes. The student who stays on top of their work and participates in class may be called a teacher’s pet. The young man on the street who tells the truth may be labeled a snitch. So to avoid these labels and put downs many people keep their desire to do what’s right in check. Slowly over time, they may even lose their passion for things that are good and right while seeking acceptance from the crowd.
Corinth in biblical times was a very dark place filled with gambling, ritual prostitution, and riotous living. It was the kind of place where being good could keep a person in the minority. So many people made so much money doing wrong in Corinth that good was bad and bad was good. However, when the church at Corinth was corrected over a particular wrong and chose to repent, Paul said they did it with zeal.
Zeal is excitement of mind and fervour of spirit. It’s an energetic, enthusiastic pursuit of a goal from the inside out. Even though they lived in a place where bad was good, the believers at Corinth got excited and energetic about doing what was right. I want to challenge you to do what’s right for right’s sake. Regardless of the negativity around you, find a way to get excited about following God’s commands.
Allow yourself to be encouraged by the benefits that God’s word reveals for your obedience. Have hope and be optimistic about the changes God presents for your life. Never let classmates, co-workers, friends, or anyone else suppress your enthusiasm, joy, and zeal for doing what’s right.