Balance. It’s a thing.
She toddles toward me, hands outstretched. My eyes are wide, excited and inviting, “Come on,” I urge with a half whisper. A foot lifts, and then another. A wobbly sort of drunken-sailor-tilt, propels her miniature body. A little too far to one side and then the other, she comes closer. And then, just before she lands backwards onto her padded behind, I grab her and pull her into my arms.
In another setting, on a different day, I watched the labored lift and fall of my mother-in-law’s walker as she neared. After several falls, she had submitted to the encumbrance of a metal walker. Instead of tipping on two legs, she added four more for balance.
Off kilter, from smooth babyhood to bent wrinkled-hood, gravity from one source or another pulls at us. It tips our mind and hearts, sideways and backwards, and sometimes we fall.
A definition of balance is, “the ability to move or to remain in a position without losing control or falling.”
In fact, balance has been an issue since the Garden of Eden. All of creation was thrown into tilted chaos by a spiritual decision. Adam and Eve’s gigantic fall complicates all of humankind, and heads us in the same depraved direction.
Balance in the Christian walk often resembles a tightrope walker, or sometimes a trip-line-stumbler.
What I find most alarming is that left alone, my perception of balance is…unbalanced.
Like political lines drawn in the sand, if our balance does not begin with truth, it becomes skewed. Factional. Lopsided. When we lilt too far one way or the other, our perception betrays us. What I find most alarming is that left alone, my perception of balance is…unbalanced. Click To Tweet
Jesus lived in perfect balance. He knew when to speak and when to keep silent. He understood compassion yet required obedience. He worked relentlessly yet knew when to rest. He spent time with people and carved moments alone with God. Jesus lived in perfect balance Click To Tweet
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (Jn 1:14 NASB)
And He balanced everything with grace and truth.
For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17 NASB)
We cannot be people of grace without being people of truth. We cannot be people of truth without being people of grace. And only Jesus got the balance perfectly.
When my spiritual balance is out of kilter, it messes up pretty much every layer of my life. My balance grows myopic in nature. That’s why it requires a stable foundation. That’s why someone waiting on the other side with arms out, or by my side with a hand on my elbow brings equilibrium.
I want to be compassionate to the needs and situations of others, but it’s a bit like carrying an overflowing pitcher of water. It splashes too much one way and then too much the other. Jesus never compromised grace for truth nor truth for grace.
Compassion is no longer compassionate if it erases or obliterates grace for truth or truth for grace. The cost was too high to take lightly. Jesus gave His life so that we might be saved by undeserved grace. Yet truth demanded the penalty for our sins to be paid. Jesus died on the cross without compromising either grace or truth. He fulfilled the requirement of both in perfect self-sacrificing balance.
If you find culture’s hurricane winds bending your balance like the branch of a tree while you strive for grace and truth, there is a place to find it. Open the Bible and dig into truth.
There, in its pages, we learn from the only One who balanced life perfectly.
“That I may know Him,” Paul said in Philippians 3:10. (ESV)
The Father’s hand steadies me as I learn to know more of Him.
As I get older, I find myself reaching out a hand to steady myself more times per day than I’d like to admit. Balance is a thing.
When our feet or minds tangle in the controversies of today, it is imperative for us to remember Who stands firm for all time. Lean on His sure Word. Run into His arms.