Curb Your Enthusiasm
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Apparently, there is a television show entitled "Curb Your Enthusiasm." When researching this article, I discovered that it premiered on HBO, which would explain why this was the first I had heard of it. Putting aside the fact that the show is probably not fit to watch, I think we can identify with the premise. According to Wikipedia, a large part of the show features the main character, Larry, and his "ignorance of or disregard for well-established social conventions and expectations…." Larry apparently will not abide by some of his community's 'unwritten rules.'
One of the unwritten rules in our current culture is that we should not be overly enthusiastic about anything. As soon as you hold a strong opinion about anything, you get branded as a crusader, fanatic, or nut. On the one hand, we are worried about being labeled as one of these things by our coworkers or neighbors. On the other, we are turned off by people who we perceive fall into one of these categories.
This cultural norm has potentially worked its way into our Christianity. We think our faith will be more tolerable to people if we temper it with what we perceive as a 'dose of reality.' That doesn't seem to be the reaction of the people we read about in the bible. When we read about the people who met Jesus in person, they wouldn't even let a warning from Jesus himself stop them from telling people. In Mark 1:43-45 Jesus heals a leper and then sternly warns him to say nothing to anyone. Instead of heeding Jesus's warning, he begins to "proclaim freely and spread the news around." He couldn't help but tell people about his encounter with Jesus!
So, what do we do about our encounter with Jesus? Unlike the leper and others that Jesus met, we are actually commanded to go out and proclaim God's good news (Matt 28:18-20). What do we do with that command? What about when others are enthusiastic about Jesus? We need to ensure that we don't succumb to the pressure of our society and instead become zealots for Christ. Instead of trying to temper excitement, we need to feed it, stoke it, encourage it. By the time of Jesus's crucifixion, Luke 24 records a quote from Cleopas, who asked the disguised Jesus, "Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?" Are there people in your city unaware of what God has done for you? Let's always ensure we are excited to tell our story and never curb our enthusiasm!