A Balanced Approach to Life

By Nelson Thomas Mumbai

Take any aspect of life; balance is fundamental for a smooth and successful life. For example, to be healthy, one needs to have a balanced diet and exercise. One who fails to keep a right balance between workplace and home will definitely face trouble. Stability and prosperity depend upon our balanced response to variety of duties and obligations however small they may be.

Anything in excess is always counterproductive. Just like a flat tire causes a vehicle to lose the balance and the ride becomes difficult, an unbalanced lifestyle makes the going tough. Whether it is personal, social or spiritual,


giving the same importance to every area in a balanced manner is imperative for a peaceful and harmonious life.Someone has rightly said, “Extremes are always in the gutter.”

Favoring one side and neglecting the other may look convenient for the moment, but in the course of time it will prove to be dangerous. Most of the violence today is the result of extreme ideologies. Even if the intention is right and the cause is noble, we should never lose the balance.This balanced approach to spiritual life should begin with our understanding of and obedience to the word of God. Twice Moses exhorted the people of Israel,

“Therefore you shall be careful to do as the LORD your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left” (Deuteronomy 5:32; 17:11).

Then the LORD reminded Joshua,
“Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go” (Joshua 1:7).

Notice the instruction carefully, ‘do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left’. One of the ideas this expressions gives is the need to maintain balance while we obey God’s word. Holding on to one aspect of the law passionately and neglecting the other will be disastrous.

Twofold truths
It is interesting to notice that most of the Bible teachings have two different aspects. For example, faith versus works, law versus grace, fear of God versus love for God, tradition versus the scripture, zeal versus knowledge, being judgmental versus discerning, worry versus thoughtfulness, etc., are all often misunderstood by many because they focus on one aspect and miss the other. Failure to comprehend and follow such scriptural passages in their dual aspect as revealed in the scripture will lead to error.

Apart from that, there are certain truths that look contradictory or inconsistent, like the divine sovereignty versus human responsibility. For our finite minds, such scriptural truths may be incomprehensible. However, accepting one aspect with all enthusiasm but avoiding the other will only lead to confusion, and even to wrong conclusions.

View in entirety
We have to consider both aspects as the scripture presents and take a balanced position. If something is not yet fully revealed to us, we need to humbly accept that fact instead of assuming something else based on our own logic or preference.

Similarly, regarding the wrath of God, some find it difficult to see God who is angry at the sins of man. They only see a God who loves, cares, and blesses. That’s actually only one side of the truth. God’s love and wrath have both been revealed in the bible and hence we need to hold on to both aspects.

In fact, it is in the background of God’s wrath that we fully appreciate the love of God. On the cross we see these both marvelously demonstrated. In His everlasting love, God allowed His only begotten Son to bear His wrath and die as an atoning sacrifice.

Sincerely erroneous!
Extreme, unbalanced teachings claimed to be based on the Word of God are plenty. Even sincere, godly believers have gone too much to one side, and the very truth which is supposed to liberate, has become a trap for them. At the same time, some others in their effort to be moderate and progressive took the other extreme, maybe without even realizing its seriousness!

In the gospels, we see the Lord Jesus often rebuking the Pharisees for their unbalanced religion. They were so strict in keeping the law that they counted each grain and gave a tenth, yet they neglected weightier matters like justice, mercy and faithfulness. They gave importance to outside show but gave no care for the truth inside.

The Lord Jesus called them hypocrites, fools and blind who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! (Matthew 23:15-25) Notice, how firmly He pronounced woes against them because of such lop-sided religion.

It is sad to notice that certain Christians, universally known for their sound doctrine and profound Bible teaching are now advocating a U-turn to extreme liberalism. Seeing the open-mindedness of these liberals, some others went to the other extreme and become too much narrow minded!

Bondage and division
Moreover, while taking two extreme positions believers tend to be so aggressive in advocating their stand even to the extent of fighting with one another. Such unbalanced mindset and Christian outlook is harmful for individual life as well as the Body of Christ. Instead of the truth liberating and unifying the believers, we see saints under bondage and divided, all because of misplaced emphasis, often on obscure passages.

Let us base our doctrine and practice on the basis of the Word of God in its entirety. Let the entire revelation—the Word of God—be our guide, not any so-called expert or system. Let us be ready to abandon man-made ideologies and practices.

However, we must never compromise a practice or a teaching that is according to the Word of God for the sake of popularity and progressivism. We need to be balanced, not moving to the left or to the right.

As we witness a lot of confusion and contradictory teachings among the born-again Christians today, let us pay attention to the Lord’s command to Joshua, “do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left.”

Do not forget, there are numerous Bible truths that have different facets and holding on to just one aspect is not wise. Let’s seek the help of the Spirit of God to understand the whole counsel of God and follow a balanced Christian life.

Let the right understanding of the word of God enhance our love for one another, not haughtiness and hatred against each other. Praise God for the light that God has graciously given us on His word, and let’s prayerfully and humbly share this with others. And finally, let’s be steadfast and immovable by the grace of God, in favor with God and man. Luke 2:52.




More:- An index for all studies

Prepared by Nelson Thomas as part of his teaching ministry. You can reproduce this article in any medium,
provided it is unedited, and retain the original author / copyright information and reference to this website.
Please feel free to write to the author for details. Or contact    gracepeaceu AT gmail.com