As we work our way through these essential character lessons I want to emphasize that smply knowing these truths will not be enough for any person to make an impact upon another person, such as with your own children.
In our English language we use the word “know” and it often means to simply understand the concepts in our mental faculties. When the Bible uses the word “know” (in the OT and in the NT) it means much more. To know something means to understand it in such a way that you actually are doing that which you have come to grasp.
Looking back over my father’s life I see in several areas where he has exhibited enthusiasm. First let me define the term enthusiasm. There are several synonyms for this word: joy, passion, zeal, warmth, optimism, and excitement. All of those words help convey what is in the package of enthusiasm.
The word joy, a biblical term and a part of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), is a great term to use for enthusiasm. To enjoy something means that you naturally take great pleasure in something.
To grow healthy children the parent must display to the child what it means to have enthusiasm for God, for the family, for the Lord’s people, and for the community. In looking back over my father’s life I see how he enjoyed, had a passion for, and had a zeal or an excitement that motivated him to action in his home life, his spiritual community life, and in his community life as a whole.
First, in the home life I watched my father get excited over spending time with his children. My dad would play video games with us, play ball with us, go hunting with us, go fishing with us, and do other things with us that involved his heart and mind. I recall building model cars with his help. We would sit on the floor of the home and build the models and enjoy one another’s company. I recall collecting baseball cards with my father. Large numbers of cards were gathered each year. My father being older had a much older collection of cards than did I. No matter what the activity was I saw in my father a real passion for his boys. He had great joy in spending time with us.
Second, I saw in my father a passion, a joy, an enthusiastic spirit for the people of faith. My father served in various roles in the church. I recall him serving as a deacon in the church community where I came to faith in Christ. I recall my parents hosting Sunday School parties in our home and many teens and disciples running in and out and all around the home and yard. I even recall the time where in one of those parties a swing was broken by some teens who were being a little too wild in their horseplay. Yet they still chose to serve despite the trouble it caused. I have seen my father give to the church in both time and in money. He has been a faithful member of the body of Christ since the time he came to faith in Christ. He has often shared publicly about his love for Christ and about how the Lord has blessed him far beyond what he deserved or has ever dreamed. This joy for the Lord and for his spiritual life has been shown in word and in deed.
Third, I have seen a joy and passion in my father in his work life. My father loves to repair watches, clocks, jewelry, and other related items. He loves to sell jewelry and has done well over the years in both the the repairing of jewelry and the sells aspect of his work. He literally loves what he does and this shows in his day to day life. He does not live a life of grumbling and complaining. Rarely can I ever recall my father speaking negatively of other businesses or of other jewelers. To be sure he would be competitive and he would work to keep his prices low and most of the time lower than the other stores in the other parts of the county or state(s), but he worked without being negative. He especially kept a strong relationship with the jeweler and jewelers that trained him in Asheville NC. he was to be sure his own person and he differed in some areas with those jewelers but he maintained a deep respect for any person in the jewelry field. When he would sell jewelry he believed in the products he sold and he only carried quality products. If he did not believe in the product he did not sell the product.
As a parent let me ask you several questions: do you have or do you exhibit joy in your life? Do you enjoy your time with your children? Do you treasure those times with your children? Do you enjoy serving the Lord’s people? Do you enjoy simply serving your neighbor, who may or may not know the Lord? Do you have joy in what you are doing in your work life? Do you put into action what you know by serving others?
My father reminds me of my heavenly Father who takes pleasure in his creation. God rejoices over his creation and his works (Zephaniah 3:17). My earthly father enjoyed serving others. What do your children see in you? Do they see someone with much knowledge, many facts, logical arguments about how to be moral and yet miss out on the passion, emotion, and thrill of service?
Ask the Lord to give you a passion, an enthusiasm for honest, true, and honorable service unto others. This is not something you can fake. If you try and fake it others will see you as a fake! To gain enthusiasm you must love that which God loves! Even unbelievers get this right sometimes though not in the fullest degree as would a saint that walks in the power of the Spirit.
Keith Sherlin, DD; Th.D
Keith Sherlin, DD; Th.D
Article from Disciple Like Jesus