Elijah replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” 1 Kings 19:10
In the past two weeks, we’ve been dealing with emotional issues using Elijah as a case study. The secret of men is in their story. Elijah is giving out the cause of his anxiety in the above scripture. We want to take a deeper look at it.
“I have been very zealous”
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defined zealous as being marked by fervent partisanship for a person, a cause, or an ideal. Being zealous is good enough, overzealous is taking it to the roof. That is the plight of Elijah, and so many of us that are committed to a certain cause. One can even be overzealous for God or a good cause but that still doesn’t make it right.
When you come to understand that zealous and jealous share not just a rhyme, but an etymology, you will appreciate the inherent danger in being overzealous. We’ve seen what jealous partners could do to each other.
“I am the only one left”
When you have this mentality, you have a chip on your shoulder and the earlier you get it removed the better. In fact, you’re carrying too much on your head. When you believe that if you’re not there, the whole thing will collapse, you’re stretching it too thin.
And if in reality the whole weight of the organization or department is resting on you, then you’re not doing a good job as a leader. You need to grow in the art of delegation and people development. And if you’re the one that must supply all the emotional gas to keep the relationship going, you may need to talk to a counselor. Something is not right, and the earlier you address it the better.
There’s another way of looking at the idea of being the only one left, and that is seeing yourself as the odd one out, or the left behind. When you see yourself as being on the wrong end of life; when you become too self-absorbed with the feeling that you’re unlucky with relationships, jobs or whatever, or that you’re not good enough; that is a dangerous terrain to walk.
That something has happened 3 or 4 times does not earn you a label. Don’t let what you’re going through define you. It’s only a phase in your life, and it will soon pass. The best way to deal with it is to stop that kind of stinking thinking.