While attending college, a speech class was required as a part of my minor. The subject might not have been my preference, but the teacher certainly was one of my favorites. She was a delightful little lady named Ruby Krider. Mrs. Ruby could have retired years before but was still there simply for the love of teaching. When we would get up to give our speeches, one of her most memorable bits of advice was, “Act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic.”
At first, I thought this sounded a bit like the “fake it till you make it.” But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that was not what she was saying at all. I believe what Mrs. Ruby was actually saying was that you couldn't expect anyone else to have confidence in what you are saying if you don’t have confidence in it yourself. So if you act enthusiastic the more enthusiastic, you will become. So, what Mrs. Ruby was trying to instill in her students was not “fake it till you make it” but positivity breeds positivity.
The word enthusiasm comes from the two Greek words “en” meaning “in” and “theos” meaning “God.” We should live in excitement at being in God. We have no problem getting excited about other things. We cheer at ballgames. We call our friends to tell them about our promotions and accomplishments. We squeal with excitement over the anticipation of an upcoming trip, yet we move around in our spiritual lives with very little zeal.
I’m not suggesting we fake it till we make it any more than my college teacher was saying that to our speech class. There is nothing more exciting than our great God, and if we have lost our zeal for him, then we need to go back and remember who he is and how faithful he has been in our lives. As we serve, speak and love God, we should do so with enthusiasm, and our excitement should make others want to know the God that we know.
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11) (NIV)