Spirituality Information

Enthusiam And The Spirit

In this article, I would like deal with one specific aspect of attitude, that is, "enthusiasm." To have an enthusiastic attitude about we do is essential.

I have taken the time to look up the meaning and origin of the word enthusiasm:

ETYMOLOGY: Late Latin enthsiasmus, from Greek enthousiasmos, from enthousiazein, to be inspired by a god, from entheos, possessed: en-, in; see + theos, god; thus, a strong warmth of feeling, keen interest or fervor; Great excitement for or interest in a subject or cause. 2. A source or cause of great excitement or interest. 3. Archaic a. Ecstasy arising from supposed possession by a god. b. Religious fanaticism.

Irving Hexham's concise Dictionary of religion explained it this way: ENTHUSIASM: the original Greek word means "rapture" or being possessed by a GOD. The word was used disparagingly in the seventeenth century to depict the religious attitude of the PURITANS and in the eighteenth century the METHODISTS.

Today the word has the general sense of a passionate eagerness in any pursuit.

The American HeritageŽ Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition gives the following: "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm," said the very quotable Ralph Waldo Emerson, who also said, "Everywhere the history of religion betrays a tendency to enthusiasm." These two uses of the word enthusiasm-one positive and one negative-both derive from its source in Greek. Enthusiasm first appeared in English in 1603 with the meaning "possession by a god." The source of the word is the Greek enthousiasmos, which ultimately comes from the adjective entheos, "having the god within," formed from en, "in, within," and theos, "god." Over time the meaning of enthusiasm became extended to "rapturous inspiration like that caused by a "god" to "an overly confident or delusory belief that one is inspired by God," to "ill-regulated religious fervor, religious extremism," and eventually to the familiar sense "craze, excitement, strong liking for something."[end of quote]

Although the word was originally used disparagingly, there must be some truth behind it's origins. After all, when you think about God, how do you see him--as a lethargic being, not having any feeling for his handiwork? On the contrary. In Genesis we are told that God saw that what he had created was very good (Genesis 1:21). I believe he was excited about what he had made.

Thus the origin of enthusiasm lies with God Himself. To be told, even desparagingly, that one is enthusiastic (or seeming to have God within) should be viewed as a compliment. Enthusiasm demonstrates the character of God. An enthusiastic person is acting or reacting as God would act or react. Of course anyone can act and even be enthusiastic about anything without knowing God at all. But, for the Christian, there is a built in source of enthusiasm. If you'll pardon my preaching for a second, when we accept Jesus as our Savior, God comes to dwell in us, in the person of the Holy Spirit, so we literally do have God within us.

Enthusiasm brings power. And Jesus told his disciples that they would receive power after the Holy Spirit had come upon them (Acts 1:8). Thus, our greatest source of enthusiasm is the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. If you don't know this source of power, I pray you would find it today by inviting Jesus into your life.

Article written by James M. Becher, Bible teacher, author of "OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM, A Novel of Biblical Times," (http://www.publishedauthors.net/jamesmbecher/index.html), and publisher of the bi-weekly Ezine, "Inspirational Success Tips" ( inspirationalsuccesstips@Freeautobot.com)


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