I'm on the hunt for balance. Aren't we all? We try to balance our check books and our schedules. We try to balance our diets. Sometimes, we don't balance anything at all, but in the end we are all looking for that "perfect balance", that happy place in the center. And when we find it, it leads to a much more simple and peaceful life.
But, what happens when we can't find balance? What happens when we keep ending up on one side of the spectrum? How do we manage it then? How do we move closer to the center?
I don't think there is much debate on what the Bible commands when it comes to the topics of grace and truth. Clearly, as John 1:14 states, Jesus was full of both and we are to follow by His example.
However, I tend to come across a common problem within the church. Although called to portray both grace and truth, it seems that many have a problem finding balance between the two.
You have the group of people who lean heavy on the truth side of the spectrum, struggling to display grace in the midst of sin. And you have the other group that is so engulfed in grace, they seem to lose sight of the truth or struggle with speaking it out loud.
Of course, you have people scattered all across the board, not everyone will be completely one or the other. And I do, occasionally, come across Christians who have managed to land pretty close to the center. But, how to we become and stay balanced, full of both grace and truth, when our culture is constantly shifting?
I keep imagining a flag pole. The pole is sturdy, grounded, not wavering in the harshest winds. It stands firm and does not move. It's not the most attractive object, sort of dull and grey, but it serves a purpose.
Then I imagine the flag attached. The light, silky fabric dances and sways with each breeze. It moves with ease, almost as if free. The dye on the fabric glows in the sunlight, attracting the eye. It represents freedom and victory.
But, what happens if you detach the flag from the pole? The flag blows away, moving in whatever direction the wind seems best, eventually becoming lost. And the pole? Well, it's just a dull, grey flag pole. Some might wonder why it is there. Others might not even notice it.
I think truth is like the flag pole and grace is the flag. When married, the flag and the pole become a fantastic team. But when separated, they become lost and purposeless.
To all who are flag wavers: The world needs you. As brokenness continues to collapse the hearts and homes around us, we need to continue to wave the grace flag. We need to continue to love with arms open and shine lights for Jesus. All those broken souls that surround us need a safe place to be broken. I need it, you need it, we all need it. But, we must be cautious not get detached from the flag pole of truth.
Without truth we are simply being blown around by the winds of cultural changes. Without truth we may end up lost. Without truth we are missing the point and become susceptible to deceit around us.
To all who prefer the sturdiness of the flag pole: The world needs you. Our culture continues to change and move further and further away from God. Things that were never acceptable are now boasted about. Families, relationships, and individual souls continue to believe the lies of the enemy, allowing destruction to march in. We must not unbuckle our belts of truth or we will not prepared for the battle ahead. We must continue to gently and humbly lead others back to the Lord. We must not be afraid to speak the truth in love. But, we must be cautious to not let go of our flag.
Even a flag at half mass, isn't good enough. It causes sadness. It alerts others that something has gone wrong. It's not a sight we like to see.
Without the flag raised up high, blowing beautifully in the wind, we've lost sight of the love our Savior has for us. Without the flag, we are hard to look at and hard to listen to. Without the flag we may go unnoticed.
Which do you tend to lean towards? Which do you wish you had more of in your life? How do you stay balanced? I'm on this journey with you and I am excited to see what God does as we venture together towards the flag pole. I encourage all of you to share, in the comments, your ideas, your thoughts, your struggles, and your victories! Let's encourage one another as we work towards this balanced life we so crave and this world so desperately needs.
Lord may You fill our minds with wisdom as we try to find the balance of grace and truth. Jesus did it so perfectly, and without You we can never measure up. Guide us as we seek for the center point. Fill our hearts with Your grace and Your truth so that we can pour it out into the world. May Your name be glorified through it all. Amen.
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14 NIV
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