READ : 2 Corinthians 5:11-15
One person is zealous. Another writes him off as insane. A sports fanatic paints his body and noisily prances around the stadium. The rest declare him crazy. A woman delights in celebrity concerts and sleeps overnight on the sidewalk to be first for tickets. Her friends think she’s lost it.
Similar criticism is often leveled against those with religious zeal. Paul was very zealous in his goal to persuade and win people to Christ. He worked his fingers to the bone; he endured beatings and imprisonments; he pressed on in spite of hunger, obstacles and dangers. As a result, some observers concluded that he was out of his mind. His detractors were quick to point out that he was a fanatic, a religious maniac, a person not to be trusted, just plain crazy.
Paul’s defense was not denial. He knew that Jesus had been similarly charged. He knew that God delights greatly in passionate devotion as opposed to lukewarm service. Therefore the Apostle was content simply to state that if he was out of his mind, it was for good reason. He was compelled by Christ’s love to persuade and win souls. May we be guilty of the same.
Lord, help us to be more zealous for you and ignore our detractors’ attacks. In Jesus’ name. Amen.