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  • Rick LoPresti

Balance


One of the greatest weakness of human nature is the tendency to oscillate between extremes. This great pendulum can take us on dizzying rides of instability. Even people of God in the Bible are not exempt. King Saul started out extremely humble (1Samuel 9-11), and then swung to extreme pride (1Samuel 13-15). It cost him his kingship and his life. The prophet Elijah went from extreme faith to extreme fear (1Kings 17-19). Jephthah tried to address an extreme sense of unworthiness by making and extremely unnecessary sacrifice to God (Judges 11). Martin Luther tried to address an extreme sense of guilt by a doctrine of extreme grace. John Calvin went from extreme grace to extreme judgment when he was involved in the murder of prominent apostolic preacher Michael Servetus.

Religion can set the bar way too low or way too high, although usually it the former. People can go from carnality to "hee-bee jee-bee" overspiritualization of everything. They can go from a charismatic no rules approach to legalism. They can go from being isolationist to forsaking Biblical principles in an effort to be "relevant" to the culture of the world.

The devil wants to try to force us into an "either/or" position. For example, some people overemphasize the spirit, while others so overemphasize knowledge and doctrinal rigidity that they are suffocating the free flow of the Spirit. Jesus told us about the "both" position when He said, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24)." Sometimes people think they have to choose between wisdom and power, but Jesus is both (1Corinthians 1:24). Love and truth and not at odds (Ephessians 4:15, 2Thessalonians 2:10, 1Peter 1:22, 2John 1, 2John 3), and neither are grace and truth (John 1:14 & 17, Colossians 1:6). We are to balance the earthly and the heavenly (1Timothy 4:8). God created both (Genesis 1:1). Other areas of both rather than either/or are quality and quantity, talent and anointing, mind and heart, and the real and the ideal. We need spiritual, emotional, relational, physical, financial, and time management balance. This takes effort, prioritization, and organization; but it is well worth the effort. The key is putting God first and following His word. He gave us every principle we need to live a balanced life, and to get off the roller coaster of extremism.


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