I wish I had more of it: enthusiasm. Better still, be more of it: an enthusiastic person! Wouldn't it be nice if you were a really enthusiastic elder? Wouldn’t we all like to be more enthusiastic people?
Enthusiasm is an interesting word. The '-thu' part is derived from the Greek 'theos' -- God. And “en” is the simple 'in'. So, more of God in us. En-Theos! Enthusiasm!
You will wonder about that: God actually in us...? But read Ephesians 3:14-19. There Paul tells about the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ, and our 'inner being', and then states in superlative phrasing: “… that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” The treasures of the Christian faith are amazing! Who can attain to it, how can that ever be? But there seems to be no other way than to read Paul's words as believers actually experiencing God in them. And with that comes a challenge: experiences can be deepened, experiences can increase! So then, we can do something about growing in enthusiasm.
The whole range of Christian practices, when done with an eye on Christ, feeds enthusiasm. The passage in Ephesians 3 gives God the glory: it started with Him, He gave the Holy Spirit “in our inner being”, the beginning of new life in us.
But the rest of the Letter to the Ephesians is filled with best-practices advice.
Think for a moment of being enthusiastic. Yes, some people have a happier disposition than others and express it more readily. But we all can kindle the gift of enthusiasm.
Some key-words are: awareness, recognition, knowing, remembering, reminding, etc. We can weave them into life's daily situations. We can remind ourselves to think of the Spirit's doings … remember Jesus' life and death … decide to sit down for a few moments of meditation … recognize something commendable in our neighbor … be aware of specific blessings ... remind ourselves to speak an encouraging word … be aware of the needs and pain of people around you … make It an act of faith to connect needs and opportunities to God. These expressed inward faith realities will help us to adorn our doings with enthusiasm and make us actually more enthusiastic people. And as an extra gift: we will discover enthusiasm's twin sisters: kindness and thankfulness.
For further study read: Col. 1: 24 – 29; 2: 9-12; 3: 5-14; Gal. 5: 12- 16
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