Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Balancing Act

A tightrope walker only has one necessary skill: balance. Move an inch to the left, or overcompensate two inches to the right, and he is finished for sure. Recently it has occurred to me just how much of a balancing act Christians need as well.

I am not talking about walking right down the middle. Absolutely not. We need to stand up for what we believe in, no matter how politically incorrect we might be. The last thing we need to worry about is being people pleasers.

The balance that we need as Christian is to avoid going to extremes on most issues. Now, if something is black and white in Scripture, than do no make it gray. But other things require good balance.

For example, take prayer. The Bible is full of verses that tell us that we will receive what we ask for if we do it with enough faith, or in the name of Jesus. But there are also verses that say to ask for God’s will to be done instead of our own. This has caused some Christian groups to believe that God will answer “Yes” to every single prayer, and if He doesn’t, you didn’t have enough faith. Other groups will never “let their requests be made unto God” because they don’t want to pray for their will to be done. We need a balancing act. We cannot take one verse of Scripture about prayer and ignore all the others. Find that balance between asking in faith while yielding to God’s will.

Another example is one that has led 21st Century Christians groups to each have their own Jesus. One group has the Jesus of love and the other has the Jesus of wrath. Jesus is not all love and no wrath, but neither is He all wrath and no love. Guess what? He is actually found right in the middle, doing His own balancing act. In His sovereignty, God will never tip the scale one way or the other. God is love, and His love requires Him to exercise His wrath. God is 100% love and 100% wrath at the same time.

One final example. In John 15 Jesus said that He called His disciples, not servants, but friends. What a great thought! But in John’s Revelation, Jesus spoke His own name and John fell down like he was dead. My grandparents’ generation seemed to have been more on the side of John, while this new generation prefers to focus on John 15. This has led one group to go overboard and, in a blasphemous manner, announce that Jesus is their homeboy. The other group is guilty of making Jesus a million mile away God. What do we do? We find a balance. Remember, the apostle John recorded both occasions, so he certainly knew where the balance was.

So how do we find the balance? We ask God for help. The closer we get to God the more we will know Him. As we get to know God more we will know where to find that balance. It is not an arrogant statement to say that we know God. We should get closer to Him each day. Here is how:

1. Diligently seek Him. God will reward that. (Hebrews 11:6)
2. Draw close to God. God will draw close to you. (James 4:8)
3. Ask for wisdom. God will pour it out. (James 1:5)

The truth of God is not up for debate or left up to us to make Him who we want Him to be. We must properly know who God is.

Don’t go overboard, and don’t lose your balance!


bmann24 said...

I like this. I like the part about people having different Jesus's. I don't remember who made the quote, but I like it: "God made man in His image, and then we returned the favor."

I think there are many different Jesuses that people have, but I think my favorite is the Plastic Dashboard Jesus. He's the Jesus that tags right along with you everywhere you go, never says anything, and just nods his head, approving of everything you do. =)

Anyway....Good post.

Tommy Mann said...

That quote is attributed to Voltaire. That was a good one.