Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Zeal Without Knowledge

I have been on Facebook for 5+ years now. When I started out, Facebook seemed like a great place to reconnect with old friends, keep tabs on current ones, and spy on your teenagers. I discovered the status update feature and I fell in love. "Ginny Wilson Barker was attacked by a bag of frozen blueberries" and the like became the carefree and fun-filled banter of the day. They added the comment option to the status update and the fun took off, big time. I could connect with others via this level of informal chit chat and not feel so isolated in my work-from-home-if-I-have-work-at-all (this was about the time that the housing bubble burst) lifestyle.

But somewhere, somehow, things have spun out of control. No longer is Facebook a place for mutual encouragement and humorous wordplay. It has become a living, breathing bumper sticker theme park of warring factions and political and cultural agendas and there are days when I cannot stand it any more.

The divisions are huge now. The divide is wide. This doesn't just apply to politics. It applies to just about any and every decision you can make about your life and the lives of those you love. People will go toe to toe, fight tooth and nail, and go so far as to insunuate evil intention or pure old home-grown ignorance or laziness on the part of those who disagree. . . or who just don't care to jump on their particular bandwagon.

It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. — Proverbs 19:2

Just today someone posted one of those photos on Facebook. It is of the back of a t-shirt with this gracious little ditty: "I take Aspirin for the headache caused by the Zyrtec I take for the hayfever I got from Relenza from the uneasy stomach from the Ritalin I take for the short attention span caused by the Scopederm Ts I take for the motion sickness I got from the Lomotil I take for the diarrhea caused by the Zenikal for the uncontrolled weight gain from the Paxil I take for the anxiety from the Zocor I take for my high cholesterol because exercise, a good diet, and regular chiropractic care are just too much trouble."

I understand the premise: We take too many meds to treat what ails us instead of choosing a healthier lifestyle. That may be true for a certain segment of the population. That may be true with certain conditions. But this very statement is a slap in the face for many people who live very healthy lifestyles and still, STILL need medication for one issue or another. The insinuation that people who take medication are just plain dumb and/or lazy is downright arrogant in its zeal without knowledge.

I have had to learn the hard way that there are very few bandwagons worth jumping on and that most people do what they do and believe what they believe for a reason. I know I have offended others with my hasty posts and I have had to ask forgiveness for airing my opinions rather than speaking the truth in love. 

We live in a world of zeal without knowledge because we are finite and cannot know everything. We cannot even know most things. Tomorrow, the tide may turn. The news may change. The evidence to support our choices may prove faulty. We might find we were wrong. There is so very little trustworthy information out there. Where will we put our trust?

We must hold to our earthly sensibilities humbly and loosely, and cling to what we know.

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. — 1 Timothy 1:15

That is good news, indeed. And news worthy of our zeal.


  1. I have been on Facebook for awhile now too. Over the years with the different changes, it has become less attracting to me. I don't like all the different adds that have been added into the news feed. I'm over it.

  2. Wow, I so agree. I was just thinking yesterday that either political stances or the ads and all the companies that join FB will end FB's popularity. Eventually someone else will start another website that will be carefree and everyone will jump on that bandwagon. I took a fast from FB during Lent and since I've been back on, I feel like all I see in my newsfeed is people "liking" some company's page or sharing someone else's thoughts. I told my husband that it's so strange being able to check the newsfeed again and he said "Yeah...and did you notice that most of it is junk?"
    Yes, honey, I did notice that. I think I might have to delete the app from my phone again.

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