The Believer’s Tight Rope

Posted: March 19, 2007 in bible, Bible Study, Biblical Topics, Christ, Christianity, General Study, homosexuality, life, Me, misc, personal, Religion, sin, Virtues

It seems that as believers we often walk a tight rope between two sides of an issue.  If we fall too far to the left or right we risk sound doctrine and right behavior- to the right is legalism and to the left empty words.  Here are a few examples of those tight rope’s we walk.  [I encourage you to comment on how you maintain a good and faithful path].

1) Conviction vs. Judgment

2) Justice vs. Mercy

3) Planning vs. Imminence

4) Loving the sinner vs. Hating the sin

5) In the world vs. being of the world

6) Prayer for justice vs. Prayer for safety

All of these present problems because they create situations where we must tread lightly and thoughtfully through interactions and conversations lest we be guilty of extremes on either side.  But this shouldn’t be a problem, since the Christian’s walk should be marked by thoughtful deliberation.

1)  Conviction vs. Judgment:  How do you convince the world that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” without becoming judgmental and prideful?

2) Justice vs. Mercy:  It is often hard to determine when either justice or mercy are required.  There are some who think mercy should be given in all instances. But as British Poet Edward Young wrote, “A God all mercy is a God unjust.”  On the other hand there are others who would refuse mercy to any who transgress.

Fortunately the Lord is just and He judges by the heart.  There is mercy enough for all who repent.  But this isn’t the problem.  The problem is whether to show mercy or justice on this earth for worldly problems.  Does the murder deserve mercy based on biblical precepts?  Does the evil man deserve a just reward or a merciful pardon?

3) Planning vs. Imminence:  As Christians we all should carry close to our hearts the hope that Christ’s return is imminent.  While we know not the hour or the day, we know the signs (and have been instructed to look for them).  But how do we balance proper stewardship with a right and consistent belief that Christ is coming in our lifetime?
4) Loving the sinner vs. Hating the sin:  This problem is more often a problem of perception than our own creation.  For the world sees any rebuke of its sinful behavior as hatred expressed toward individuals.  So how do we walk the line between a consistent and strong stance on God’s word and showing those in the world the love and kindness that so often help bring them to Christ?

5) In the world vs. being of the world: I once knew a self-professed Christian who justified trips to the local strip clubs with his buddies as an opportunity to  “minister” to his friends (and presumably the strippers).  It is quite obvious that this served as little more than an excuse.  For while we should minister to the sick and dying of this world, we can not make our witness susceptible to charges of hypocrisy and judgmental behavior.

6) Prayer for justice vs. Prayer for safety: Christ said, “Pray for those who persecute you.”  Yet try to reconcile that with Psalms.  After all David was a man after God’s own heart.  Yet when he prays for his enemy’s, what does he pray for?

“Arise, O LORD! Deliver me, O my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.” Psalms 3:7.

“Let death take my enemies by surprise; let them go down alive to the grave, for evil finds lodging among them.” Psalms 55:15.

So what do you think?

  1. Balance. I know it is a very difficult thing for me to achieve and I think that is true for most human beings. I think the only real solution is to “abide in the vine”. After all, one area we can never go too far in is intimacy with Christ. If we are staying close, and seeking His guidance throughout the day, it helps a lot.

  2. Erik says:

    Ultimately we will fail on all these from time to time. I think the key to them all is to remember that you are a sinner and you are only saved because Jesus Christ paid for your sins with his blood.

    If you truly meditate on this then that should help keep your pride in check. Starting from the right heart(Loving your neighbor and God)should guide you right. When in doubt pray 🙂

    The one problem I noticed is a lot of people don’t know what love is. You provide what the person needs(lawful needs). In the case of sinners what they need is the truth and the gospel of Jesus. They may not desire it and say you are hating them when you are trying to give them what they need(love).
    Effectively communicating it is something learned over time. Some will be offended though regardless.

  3. timbob says:

    Greetings. It’s an ongoing balancing act. I really like II Timothy 2:225-26 where we are admonished to “in meekness instruct them that oppose themselves. I think that for some folks, however, no matter how much humility you have or how explainative you are concerning biblical principles, they’ll feel that we’re judging them. truly God gives the increase. Thanks for a thought provoking post. We all need our thoughts provoked. (?)
    Have a great day in Christ Jesus.


  4. DulceDiana says:

    Wow. What an awesome point you make. Either way we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He is the equilibrium in our lives. If we are attentive to hear his voice he will lead us to purposed decisions.

    (5) In the world vs. being of the world)
    I have taken the advice of a close friend, she said, “Be a little in the dark places.” Of course, this is for *me and for this *time. I’m sure she would not have said this if she didn’t know I was prepared to face the darkness.


  5. Neil says:

    Excellent points. Wrestling with this balance is part of being a Christian. Jesus did it perfectly – John 1:14 – The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth

    We won’t do it perfectly but we should try to emulate Christ.

  6. DulceDiana says:

    PS: No more perks for me…lol…just hard work! 😉

  7. Angel says:

    what true insights..Life is a balancing doubt!

  8. jarvis says:

    Stellar post bro…truly, we do live in a artificially polarizing world, as oppose to the natural polarization of truth & falsehood living in separate quarters. The topic(s) of your post could consume hours of dialog, but one thing I know for sure is The King desires His children to abide in both Love & True in all things, guided by His Spirit… since we are always facing new experiences in life, often on the same topics, we always need to call upon the Lord for assistance in all things. Christly Love & Truth is the Solution, but being endless, their solutions sure have depth in “details” :). May we continue to Praise Him for His Faithfulness & Guiding Light.

    Blessings In Christ Bro.

  9. faithwalk says:

    JK, In my opinion for what it’s worth, it all boils down to being led by the Holy Spirit. Every situation is unique and requires a response from the Spirit, and not our intellect.
    having ministered to girls who were strippers, I’ve got a pretty good take on these type of men and I will say this; these guys need to be slapped. What a joke and lame excuse.
    The girls find it disgusting that “christian” men frequent the joint and say we would be shocked at who all comes in including many pastors who think no one knows.
    Shame on them!

  10. faithwalk says:

    Kind of hit a trigger point it seems. sorry about that!

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