Category Archives: Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is Contagious

Whatever dads get excited about, the children get excited about too. If a father is enthusiastic about football then his sons will develop a love for the sport. But if the father can be enthusiastic about spending time together as a family and about sharing times together in God’s Word, then his enthusiasm will reap eternal results.

Quotations Related to Enthusiasm

  • Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Never, never, never give up! — Winston Churchill
  • Enthusiasm is faith set on fire.  George Adams
  • It takes 72 muscles to frown – only 14 to smile!
  • Triumph is just umph added to try.
  • When I was a young man I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. I didn’t want to be a failure, so I did ten times more work. — George Bernard Shaw

Two Frogs In Cream

Two frogs fell into a can of cream,
Or so I’ve’ heard it told:
The sides of the can were shiny and steep,
The cream was deep and cold.
“O, what’s the use?” croaked Number 1,
“Tis fate; no help’s around.
Good-bye, my friends. Good-bye, sad world”
And weeping still, he drowned.
But Number 2, of sterner stuff,
Dog-paddled in surprise.
The while he wiped his creamy face
And dried his creamy eyes.
“I’ll swim awhile, at least,” he said –
Or so I’ve heard he said:
“It really wouldn’t help the world
If one more frog were dead.”
An hour or two he kicked and swam,
Not once he stopped to mutter;
But kicked and kicked and swam and kicked.
Then hopped out, via butter


The Lighted Face of Judson

Many years ago when the great missionary Adoniram Judson was home on furlough, he passed through the city of Stonington, Connecticut. A young boy playing about the wharves at the time of Judson’s arrival was struck by the man’s appearance. Never before had he seen such a light on any human face. He ran up the street to a minister to ask if he knew who the stranger was. The minister hurried back with him, but became so absorbed in conversation with Judson that he forgot all about the impatient youngster standing near him. Many years afterward that boy – who could never get away from the influence of that wonderful face – became the famous preacher Henry Clay Trumbull. In a book of memoirs he penned a chapter entitled: What a Boy Saw in the Face of Adoniram Judson. That lighted countenance had changed his life. Even as flowers thrive when they bend to the light, so shining, radiant faces come to those who constantly turn toward Christ.

Encyclopaedia of 7,700 Illustrations

The Enthusiasm of the Humpback Whale

Contrary to its name, the humpback whale has no hump on its back. Its sleek body enable it to swim swiftly through the ocean as it makes its annual trek across 4,000 miles of open sea, playfully enjoying itself along the way.

Breeching on Enthusiasm

Various kinds of whales demonstrate playful behaviors, but the consistent enthusiasm of the humpback is notable among them.

Splashing, diving, slapping, fluking, and leaping twenty or more feet into the air are among the humpback’s frequent sports. An energetic humpback may lift its entire 50-foot long, 40-ton body from the water, hanging motionlessly suspended in midair for a moment before crashing gloriously into the sea in what is called breaching.

It is unknown exactly why the whale engages in these amazing leaps. Some scientists believe that humpbacks surge out of the waters in an attempt to dislodge parasites. Others have proposed that it is something like a yawn—a great gasp of air.

Without any way of confirming these or other speculations, many researchers refer to the humpback’s energetic leap with the highly scientific designation joie de vivre (French for “joy in life”).

Sharing Enthusiasm

Humpback whales sing the longest song in the animal world. Somewhat like the repeated songs of many birds, the humpback sings a theme of chirps, moans, cries, snores, yups, and oooos, anywhere from 6-20 minutes long. This theme is repeated over and over for hours, reverberating a hundred miles or more through the sea.

Although still shrouded with mystery, the meaning of the whale’s song must be some sort of community-shared expression. Whales living with in the same oceanic region sing the same song amongst themselves.

Throughout a single season prior to migrating, the whales’ song will vary slightly. Each whale within the region picks up on the variations and incorporates them into its song. When the whales return after migration, they pick up the song where they last left off.

Exactly how the humpbacks produce the sounds is not fully understood. They have no vocal cords, yet the sounds they produce cover a wider frequency range than that of any other whale.

Researchers have observed that humpbacks in different oceans or different regions of large oceans sing different songs.

ENTHUSIASM – A One-Minute Announcement

I once knew a woman who had the ability and desire to express joy in every task she was ever given. Her enthusiasm for life and living it to the fullest was so refreshing and quite contagious. Once you caught her enthusiasm, it was difficult not to look at things differently… with a new and fresh outlook. Her smile and love for life was so overflowing that you found that you too were then spreading this enthusiasm to all the other people that you had the opportunity to be with. This enthusiasm was contagious.

The First Ladies of our Nation have known the value of enthusiasm. Martha Washington, was quoted as saying, “The greatest part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions, and not our circumstances.”

And Abigail Adams said, “True greatness has its seat in the heart… it must be elevated by aspiring to great things and by daring to think yourself capable of them.”

We are all capable of jumping out of bed in the morning and greeting the world with a smile. Think of how you’ll affect others as you give your enthusiastic smile to every one you see that morning, especially your family. Then continue on to your job or to school or to your work at home and with this enthusiastic attitude, give your best effort to every task you perform that day.

I am confident that the joy you’ll feel when the day is over will be quite rewarding. You will have done everything to your very best ability and with enthusiasm… and this enthusiasm is contagious

The Faith Committee of the Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Reproduction and Adaptation is encouraged.

Three Types of People

As we rejoice in the Lord and seek not to quench the Spirit we will be enthusiastic. What exactly does it mean to be enthusiastic? There are three types of people in the world, energy-givers, energy-wasters, and energy-takers. God not only loves cheerful "givers" of our finances but also our energy.


  • Helps others
  • Says kind words
  • Smiles
  • Shares with others
  • Stands for what is right
  • Tells the truth, even when difficult


  • Helps if convenient
  • Says nothing
  • Does not smile
  • Keeps things for self
  • Stands for nothing
  • Tells the truth most of the time


  • Helps self
  • Says unkind words
  • Frowns
  • Takes from others
  • Stands for wrong
  • Lies when it is convenient

Enthusiasm is being an "Energy-Giver" in every area of life.

The Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Enthusiasm has special meaning for the Christian

Enthusiasm is a word derived from the Greek, meaning “to have God inside”. Because God is a God of power and energy, the term is often associated with fervor and zeal.

Enthusiasm has special meaning for the Christian. When a person enters into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, and thereby becomes a Christian, God the Holy Spirit (and Spirit of Jesus Christ) immediately comes to indwell (take up residence in) that person’s heart (1 Corinthians 3:16). With God comes all of His characteristics of infinite love, power, knowledge, truth, holiness, etc. But the Holy Spirit of God desires not merely to “dwell” in my house, but also wants to become “head of the household” – to be in control of my “rooms” – my thoughts, words, actions, motives, hobbies, work, etc. For then He can release His power, joy, knowledge, etc. unbridled in me and through me, which will result in bountiful love and blessing for Him, me and others. Thus He commands me to be “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18), to turn over to Him control of every “room and closet of my house”, to let Him fill every facet of my “house” as “head of the household”. With the power of the Holy Spirit controlling my life, I will then be able to exhibit the character quality of Enthusiasm with His great, divine energy.

Being continuously filled with the Holy Spirit is a simple process:

(1) I must desire to be filled – to turn control over to Christ. He will not force it. (John 7:37-39)

(2) I confess my sins and repent. (See steps above)

(3) I yield myself totally to Him as the Lord (managing director) of my life. (Romans 12:1`)

(4) I receive the filling of the Holy Spirit by faith. (Ephesians 5:18, 1 John 5:14-15)

(5) I thank Him and believe on the basis of His Word that he now controls me. (Hebrews 11:6, Romans 1:17)

If I stumble or become aware of an area I have not turned over to Him as Lord, I “breathe spiritually”, exhaling [step (2)] and inhaling [steps (3) – (5)]. Will you join me?

The Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Enthusiasm in the Community

As Christians we are saying, “Lord, teach us character.” It is saying we have decided and are determined to make a difference in our community and in our world. Developing character will conform us into the image of Christ. Character will cause those around us to ask of “the hope” within us. Character will provoke love and good works.

The Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Enthusiasm at Church

Enthusiasm honors the Lord. Allow the songs we sing, the words we say and hear to penetrate deep within. The Holy Spirit will use these to alter attitudes and soften hearts. Show enthusiasm by being on time, greeting everyone, and giving leadership undivided attention.

The Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Enthusiasm at Work

Wake up with purpose. In our routine we forget our presence on the job makes a difference. It’s difficult to be enthusiastic if you don’t feel enthusiastic. When you are around people who are enthusiastic they motivate you. Purpose to be that person. You can spark enthusiasm at work. We are to be salt and light. Being enthusiastic is a way we can fulfill this command of our Lord. Our attitudes make a difference in this world and in our work place. An enthusiastic worker is valuable. Purpose to be enthusiastic for one week. See all tasks, conflicts, circumstances and situations as God sees them.

The Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Enthusiasm at Home

The most challenging place to show enthusiasm is at home with those who know us best. Home is the true test of character. Home is the place where preparation for each day and life takes place. God places within families every characteristic and conflict we need, to prepare us for life. If we can’t get along with our families and show enthusiasm, it is doubtful we will successfully do either away from home.

The Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Enthusiasm in History

Theodore Roosevelt was known by his enthusiastic smile. As a child he enthusiastically exercised to overcome his illness. When he started exercising he could barely do one push-up. He never gave up. He kept trying until he was able to run and play outside. He worked and exercised with his whole heart. These times not only strengthened his physical body, but also his character. Theodore Roosevelt went on to be an adult and leader of American troops that fought the Spanish on the island of Cuba. He realized his task would not be easy. He was not afraid to lead even in the face of insurmountable odds. He led his volunteer troops to Kettle Hill. The men felt encouraged as they followed their bold and courageous leader. Theodore’s example gave energy and strength to the tired soldiers. In the face of danger his smile from ear to ear gave them hope that they might possibly see victory. Theodore and his men continued to pursue the Spanish until they captured not only Kettle Hill, but also another hill as they continued to pursue the retreating enemy. The Americans won the war against the Spanish and the men were able to return to their homes. Theodore became famous for bravery as “Lieutenant Colonel of the Rough Riders”. He was not famous because he won but because he did not quit. He continued in the face of all the odds. He led people to victory because he was a winner himself.

The Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

Enthusiasm in Nature

Imagine yourself floating on an inner tube off Shell Island. All of a sudden the water around you begins to stir…you feel something beneath you. Just a few feet away, the water explodes as a 50-foot long, 50-ton humpback whale soars up into the air! When a whale makes a splash, they make a big splash! Scientist can’t tell us why whales like to do this. This action is called “breaching”. When this happens, it can be heart stopping to watch. Humpback whales have a huge fin at the end of their tail that allows them to go very fast through the water. At about 20 miles per hour, the whale flips up its tail, which sends the whale’s body straight up through the water’s surface. While in the air, they lean backwards and crash into the water with a big splash. Not only does the humpback whale make big splashes, it also makes big bubbles. They catch their food by making a net using bubbles. Taking a deep breath they dive deep into the water and blow a steady stream of bubbles trapping the fish. Whales catch and eat over 1,000 pounds of food at every meal! Whales not only make a big splash and big bubbles they also sing a big song. The humpback whale shows enthusiasm. But enthusiasm is not always doing things big. Enthusiasm is doing the right thing, the right way, with the right heart, at the right time.We can learn from nature through the example of the whale. Do what you can, the best you can, in God’s strength.

The Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky



1. The Meaning

2. The Means

3. The Mechanics

The Meaning:

Enthusiasm is a dynamic success quality as well as a very interesting word. It is actually formed from 2 Greek words: en = in, theos = god. So enthusiasm literally means “God in”. For the Christian believer, this is a very important life message. Whatever we do, if we feel that God is in the effort, how great an effort is then possible! In fact, it’s a Scriptural principle: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…”- enthusiasm (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

By what means do you generate enthusiasm?

The Means:

First, since Christians are “indwelt by God”, the first source of energy for a task is knowing that God wants you to do it, or knowing that God is in it!

Second, If you are convinced your cause is just, enthusiasm springs to your aid. Here, it’s a case of “right makes might”.

Third, If you are convinced that what you’re doing is needed, enthusiasm becomes your partner.

Fourth, If you are convinced that what you are doing will enrich the lives of others, enthusiasm squeezes your adrenal glands and provides the energy needed to get the job done! Thomas Edison knew what the electric light would for the lamp-lit farms and small towns of America, to say nothing of its business community. Enthusiasm squeezed his adrenal system and sustained him through his own long nights of hundreds of failures. He got the job done!

The Mechanics:

A very helpful life maxim is this truth: “The difference between success and failure, as often as not, depends on what you do when you feel like quitting.” If you can keep enthusiasm for your task, your job, your marriage current and strong, you won’t quit and GOOD THINGS COME TO GOOD PEOPLE WHO REFUSE TO QUIT DOING GOOD THINGS. Jesus is used as our example: Hebrews 12:2:

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, Who for the joy (enthusiasm) that was set before him (i.e. “bringing many sons to glory” Heb. 3:10) endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Christ won! HE FINISHED THE JOB! Why? He knew God was in what He was doing and He did it with –ENTHUSIASM!

For success, then, –get enthusiasm!

How? 1) Know God is in what you’re doing. 2) Be convinced your cause is just. 3) Be convinced of the need of what you’re doing. 4) Know that what you’re doing is helpful to others. If you are convinced of these things, your heart will respond with enthusiasm, and with ENTHUSIASM, you’ll get the job done!

Clyde C. Miller, Cincinnati, OH

The “I Wills” of Enthusiasm

  • I will be an energy-giver

Everyone loves and respects an energy-giver. These are the people who never need to be reminded of their work. They volunteer to do task others would resist. Energy givers maintain a good attitude while they work. A giver of energy gives energy. Energy-takers and energy-wasters, on the other hand, are the ones who float through life without contributing much to anyone’s goals but their own. Ask daily, “Am I giving or taking energy?”

  • I will smile

The most attractive thing you can wear is a smile! A smile is contagious. A smile comes natural when you see another person smiling. Smiling improves health. Experiments were made with actors. They were told to use expressions unrelated to the way they were feeling. During these test, their heart rates rose and fell according to their expressions. A smile does more than improve health and make your face attractive. A smile brings beauty from the inside out.

  • I will treat every job as important

If you enjoy a job, enthusiasm comes naturally. It is difficult to be enthusiastic if you do not feel enthusiastic. Practicing enthusiasm will give new perspective to menial tasks. Everything we do has an end result. Keeping the end result in view will build enthusiasm for those difficult tasks.

  • I will put my whole heart into what I do

Successful lives require effort. Success requires going the “second mile.” Extra investment pays off in the long run. Giving half our best yields half the results. The Lord is our example. He went the extra mile for us.

  • I will not be discouraged by failure

It’s easy to become discouraged when met with discouragement. Enthusiasm is seeing beyond the failure to the lessons and benefits of the failure.

Character First! Education Series 3

How to Demonstrate Enthusiasm

at Home

  • Showing excitement about lessons learned through life struggles.
  • Completing chores in good time with a positive attitude motivated by a love for making things clean and shiny.
  • Tackling work with a vision of how it will benefit others.
  • Showing genuine interest in the games and activities that other family members enjoy.
  • Fathers showing excitement about doing things together as a family.

at Work/School

  • Participate in class by asking and answering questions.
  • Show your enthusiasm for learning by writing a note expressing gratefulness to your teachers.

at Church

  • Greet others with a cheerful smile.
  • Get involved in the ministry of your local church.
  • Purpose not to complain or talk critically of others.

Character Definitions of Enthusiasm

  • Learning what actions and attitudes please God and becoming excited about doing them. Learning how to motivate others by a spirit of praise and joy. Seeing value in situations that would normally discourage others. Learning the difference between emotional excitement and a spirit of enthusiasm. (Character Clues Game)
  • Expressing joy in each task as I give it my best effort. (Character First!)
  • intense and lively interest; passionate zeal; possession by a god, inspiration or religious exaltation »Greek enthousiasmos a god-inspired zeal, from enthousiazein to be inspired by a god, from en in, and theos a god (Chambers Dictionary)

Bible Verses Related to Enthusiasm

Spend an evening (or several) looking at just one of these verses at a time. Discuss with your family what each verse or story teaches about the character quality; and give vital application of how this quality can be applied to your family. Choose several verses to memorize together as a family during the month. Since the English word “enthusiasm” does not appear in the Authorized Version, we have included a list of verses which relate to this important character quality.

  • Numbers 13:30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
  • Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
  • Deuteronomy 4:29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find [him], if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
  • Deuteronomy 10:12 ¶ And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
  • Deuteronomy 26:16 ¶ This day the LORD thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
  • Deuteronomy 30:2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
  • Deuteronomy 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
  • 1 Chronicles 22:19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the LORD.
  • 1 Chronicles 29:2 Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for [things to be made] of gold, and the silver for [things] of silver, and the brass for [things] of brass, the iron for [things] of iron, and wood for [things] of wood; onyx stones, and [stones] to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.
  • 2 Chronicles 31:21 And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did [it] with all his heart, and prospered.
  • Psalms 71:15 My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness [and] thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers [thereof].
  • Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
  • Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do [it] with thy might;
  • Jeremiah 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find [me], when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
  • Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
  • Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
  • Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment.
  • Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
  • John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
  • Acts 8:37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
  • Romans 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
  • 1 Corinthians 9:24 ¶ Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
  • Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

Hymns and Choruses Related to Enthusiasm

By clicking the underlined titles to the following hymns, you will be taken to the CyberHymnal web site which provides a hymn history, the words of the hymn and – if you have a sound card installed – the opportunity to hear a midi recording.