Have you ever met an enthusiastic person? You probably have and you might have found them to be irritating because you weren’t feeling very enthusiastic at the moment. We have a mistaken stereotype of what an enthusiastic person looks like so let’s look at How to Be an Enthusiastic Person without being irritating!
Definition of Enthusiasm
Here is the definition of enthusiasm from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
“1a: strong excitement of feeling: ARDOR, did her work with energy and enthusiasm. b: something inspiring zeal or fervor, his enthusiasms include sailing and fishing. 2a: belief in special revelations of the Holy Spirit. b: religious fanaticism.
“What is the history of enthusiasm?”
“It may come as a surprise to many people, when they first look up the word enthusiasm, to see that its original meaning has to do with passion for religion, rather than passionate or eager interest in general. A brief explanation of the word’s etymology should clear this up.
“Enthusiasm entered the English language around the beginning of the 17th century. It was borrowed from the Greek enthousiasmos, meaning “inspiration or possession by a god.” For the first two hundred or so years that it was used in English, enthusiasm was primarily employed to refer to beliefs or passions that related to religion. By the beginning of the 18th century, however, the word began to be used to describe having strong feelings or interest in secular matters.”
“Enthusiasm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enthusiasm. Accessed 12 Aug. 2021.
Enthusiasm is About Faith
Did the definition of enthusiasm surprise you? It actually started out as a word denoting fervency for and inspiration by God. It had nothing to do with being out of control or with demonic possession. If you’re a Christian, you are possessed by God. You have beliefs and passions related to your faith. God has entered your life and the Holy Spirit lives inside you. So, enthusiasm is first of all about your faith.How to Be An Enthusiastic Person – Did the definition of enthusiasm surprise you? It actually started out as a word denoting fervency for and inspiration by God. It had nothing to do with being out of control or with demonic… Click To Tweet
Certainly, enthusiasm is about other areas of life as well as your faith. However, since faith is the foundation of your life, enthusiasm should be a natural part of it.
Forget the stereotypes we have of people who are standing on street corners screaming that you’re going to hell. They’re definitely enthusiastic but their zeal may be having the opposite effect they intended. Zeal and enthusiasm need to be directed and have a purpose and positive influence.
Our emotions are never to be what we are led by or what dictates our speech. Instead, we are to be led by the Spirit at all times in what we say and how we say it. You can be an enthusiastic person and others may never define you in that way. But, you know the truth of the burning desire within you to serve and glorify God in every part of your life. That’s enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm is Contagious
An enthusiastic person can spread their enthusiasm throughout the people around them and be contagious. Again, it’s all in your presentation. If people know you’re sincere and that you have their interests at heart, they will join in your enthusiasm about God, a job, or a new project. You can enthusiastically share your story of coming to Christ without being offensive or overbearing. You can let your enthusiasm for the changes in your life come through in your words and your demeanor.
You are to be very enthusiastic about your relationship with the Trinity. We’re meant to know each one of them. Our ability to communicate directly with God the Father came through the sacrifice of Jesus. We communicate with Jesus as we pray in His name and give glory and honor to Him. We know Him as we read what He said and did. We know the Holy Spirit as He dwells in us and we hear his words and communicate with Him as well.
Our enthusiasm – zeal, inspiration, excitement, belief in special revelations of the Holy Spirit, and ardor – should be part of us even during the most difficult trials of our life.
We may not always “feel” enthusiastic but that deep, abiding belief is what’s called faith and we are to always stand firm in our faith regardless of how we feel. The Bible never tells us to be led by our feelings or our emotions. Instead, we are to be led by the Word of God and the Words of the Holy Spirit which are in total agreement with the Word of God.
I think we often connect enthusiasm with emotions and heightened feelings of excitement, and, yes, that’s definitely part of it. However, lack of feelings of excitement is not a signal that your enthusiasm for your faith or your God has waned.
Enthusiasm and Perseverance
Feelings of enthusiasm can help us persevere. The opposite is also true – perseverance can help us regain our enthusiasm. But remember, feelings are not the goal. Here are some scriptures on perseverance to remind us of its importance.
James 1:12 CJB, How blessed is the man who perseveres (stay under, remain, go through) through temptation! For after he has passed the test, he will receive as his crown the Life which God has promised to those who love him.
Galatians 6:9 CJB, So let us not grow weary of doing what is good; for if we don’t give up (faint, grow weary), we will in due time reap the harvest.
Romans 5:3-5 ESV, Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance (perseverance,cheeful endurance, steadfastness), and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Hebrews 12:1 ESV, Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance (cheerful endurances, steadfastness, patient waiting) the race that is set before us,
James 1:2-4 ESV, Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness (cheerful endurances, steadfastness, patient waiting). And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Ephesians 6:18 ESV, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance (persistancy), making supplication for all the saints,
As you see, perseverance is about having staying power, not emotions. There are rewards to perseverance, things like hope, promises, the crown of life, reaping a harvest, character, being perfect and complete. We are even to persevere in prayer!
Enthusiasm for those tasks has everything to do with a steadfast, immovable faith! In those times, when you’re just not feeling it – remember that you don’t have to! You just need to have faith and enthusiasm is already there.
What Does it Look Like to be Enthusiastic?
It looks like faith, perseverance, and solid inner assurance. Sometimes it looks like over-the-top joy and inspiration. At other times it’s more subdued outwardly but a raging fire inwardly! When you’re enthusiastic about something, you’re committed, all-in, and it will probably show on the outside in some form.
Sometimes we need a renewed commitment and that’s good. We go back to God and ask for some help because maybe our walk with Him has waned in some areas like prayer or reading the Bible. We might have made a commitment at the beginning of the year to read through our Bible in one year. Then in June, realize we haven’t even finished Genesis so the whole reading plan is no longer going to work.
Here’s where perseverance, a little enthusiasm, and some steps of action will carry us through into a renewed commitment. Find a plan and just read through the New Testament, or Psalms, or whatever works for you. Reading one verse per day for the balance of the year is a wonderful commitment!
As you start over, let your enthusiasm grow, and don’t get down on yourself. Instead, do all that you can and stretch to do a little more. Enthusiasm, faith, commitment can help you grow into a whole new habit. Be enthusiastic about reading the Word and growing in your relationship to God, not about how many verses you read every day. After all, the relationship is what it’s really all about. So be that enthusiastic person who’s committed to knowing God better every day.
REMEMBER WHAT ENTHUSIASM REALLY MEANS
It’s important to make yourself consistently remember what enthusiasm really means – what it is and what it is not. That can be hard to do in the world we live in because we see commercials where people are extremely enthusiastic about everything from toilet paper to a new car! We see pictures that make us think that enthusiasm is all about outward emotion-filled displays and that’s just not true.
As a Christian, enthusiasm can be that emotion-filled display, but it can also be an inward strength that takes you through your emotions on into a deepening faith! I pray that’s what you experience.
As you remind yourself of what enthusiasm really is, it will be easier and easier for you to rejoice in it and grow. You already have more enthusiasm than you probably realized! Now, as you combine that enthusiasm with Inspiration, Encouragement, and Imagination your life will change in many ways.
If you have comments or need help, please email me – firstname.lastname@example.org
You might also enjoy reading – What Is Encouragement?
Inspiration for Life Today uses verses from different Bible translations. To see more information about the copyright for each one please visit our Scripture Citation page – Scripture Citations.