Thoughts of balance come up often in my mind. In numerous conversations with Christian friends, the subject often leads us to this idea of balance – that elusive place… or is it?
(Side note: please know that in the following thoughts I’m not disregarding our responsibility to stand up for right and wrong, but this post is about our focus.)
As I consider my life as a Christian, I see that my relationship with the Lord has been weighed down by a deep fear that I could possibly mess this salvation thing up. What if I go too far to the left? to the right?
What about you? Have you been afraid of this too? I didn’t realize just how much this consumed me. I’ve come to understand some of the “why” but that’s for another day.
There’s an infinite variety of “Christian” running around – some are Republican; some are Democrat; some are neither; some are in a part of this world with no such thing; some attend conservative churches; some attend liberal churches; some attend/have neither; some believe they can only listen to hymns and gospel music; some listen to contemporary Christian or secular music; some feel condemned for using/listening to an instrument; some dance, clap, jump & shout; some want to stand still; some drink alcohol; some don’t; some watch t.v.; some don’t. The list could go on forever, with infinite combinations of do’s and don’ts.
Is it my job description to classify the Kingdom of God? Thankfully, no.
I do believe it’s important for me to examine myself and the path of my own feet in relation to God and His Word, but I have to let others do this as well, on those things that aren’t clearly sin. When my path intersects with Christian very different from me, I have to be so careful not to judge them according to my conscience.
I’m not throwing out our need for discernment. The warnings in God’s Word are clear about false teachers, false gospels, etc… but if Satan can’t tempt us with license, he’ll come to us with legalism. Fixing our eyes on error and debating our positions on issues can have the subtle effect of destroying others in our minds who are on the other side of our argument. And we are left with the “thank you Lord that I’m not like THAT man” mentality. Yikes.
We continually stand at the crossroads, having to choose this way or that. We do so while others around us make their own choices. We can easily feel overwhelmed because of the many different examples we see. It can leave us scared, thinking: “Lord, what is right?” “Where is balance?”
But this is where our Lord can continually step in and give us rest… He did just that for me not long ago.
I had been listening to someone’s “faith journey” on CD as I was driving around running errands. Her testimony sounded so far “left” compared to my beliefs and understanding that it baffled me. Could we possibly even be talking about the same God? Should I shut her out of the kingdom? Should she shut me out? Should I even be thinking this way?
She had shared a good deal of her childhood experiences in a previous book I’d read of hers, so I could see how these influences would make for an entirely different “faith journey” than mine. Still, I was left comparing – something I regret to be typical of my thought process.
I’ll admit that I believe my conservative leanings are right – that her political views are wrong – but an overriding question is: Should this be my focus?
With a deep sigh of confusion, I turned the testimony OFF and took it up with the Lord… a frustrated prayer poured out “WHO IS RIGHT? HELP ME FIND BALANCE, LORD!”
I can’t say there have been many times that I’ve received a quick response. But this day, I received a memorable, short answer that led directly to my rest. I sensed the Lord say, “I AM your balance.” And that was enough for me. Ultimately, it’s enough for others in Him as well.
This idea is further clarified by the word, justified. This is our position. And so, my focus should move from looking at others, to looking at Him. This will balance me. No doubt, I will go too far to the left & too far to the right. So will you. But He nailed it perfectly FOR ME. He nailed it perfectly FOR YOU.
Today, we get to choose what our focus will be. We can get stuck in debate & arguments. We can even be in the “right” over & over. Or, we can leave off arguing and rest in the One who IS OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
If you’ve struggled with this same thing, I’d love to know about it. Let me know how the Lord has helped you.
Focusing on Him with you, friend…