Come on Down Before you get Hurt
One very difficult concept that most Christians have a hard time understanding is that of balance. Balance somehow gets confused with being middle-of-the-road. Nothing could be further from the truth. Balance is moderating one’s born again characteristic of God with another. Like balancing works with faith; love of good with hatred of evil; and patience with zeal. If taken individually, one characteristic without the counter-balance of the other, would work in contradiction to God’s plan. However, truly holy people have learned to off set one nature with another, accepting the gift of wisdom from the Holy Spirit.
Jesus, God’s example to this lost world, was the master of balance. He weighed each of his responses and gave the only possible answer that could come from the lips of God. Like in John’s gospel, chapter 8, when the woman is caught in adultery. Jesus very simple states, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” Jesus, who was both God and man, knew the sinful nature of all, but also knew the compassion His Father in heaven has for sinners who truly repent.
There was no legalistic rhetoric that came from his lips, like "Why do you bring this poor child out and not the man who participated with her in this terrible act?" Doesn’t the law state both are to be stoned? There was no holier than thou attitude that said "You sinned. Yes kill her." He simply states "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
Jesus finishes this story of balance by stating, “Woman where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." Just like it would be against Jesus’ nature, God’s nature, not to forgive this child, it was just as much in his nature to balance his response with go and sin no more. God the lover’s response, “neither do I”, is countered by God the Judge’s warning, “go and sin no more.”
Now let me try to explain middle-of-the-road to you. Being middle-of-the-road is down right unhealthy. Let me tell you why. In the gospel of Jesus Christ, Revelations, the Lord states to the church at Laodicea, “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth. Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing - and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked - As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”
Being middle-of-the-road was Solomon’s and Israel’s down fall. Another word for middle-of-the-road is apathetic. In 1 Kings, chapter 3, it tells of Solomon’s unwise marriage. “Solomon made a treaty with Pharaoh King of Egypt, and married Pharaoh’s daughter; then he brought her to the City of David until he had finished building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the walls all around Jerusalem. Meanwhile the people sacrificed at the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the Lord until those days. And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statues of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places.” What could Solomon the wise have been thinking? Rationally, he probably thought he was making his wife happy, so what is a little incenses at an altar, it’s not like I believe it. Apathy, middle-of-the-road, same thing, both destroys the very fabric of true holiness.
Yes, being middle-of-the-road can be very painful. Have you ever jumped between two people who were going to fight? Who was the only one to get hurt? Being a military person, I’ve learned not to be between two warring parties because you will bare the brunt of both. If you’re not a fence climber, don’t climb fences. Invariably, you’re going to get stuck on the top. Like the old expression that says "If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for everything", you will.
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they must make a conscious decision to standup for the things of God or to stand for the things of this world. Making a choice in either direction defines you as a person. It places you among the crowd you will fight with and for. You can’t go back and forth selecting which battles you will fight. Mmmm, let me see, I’m for abortion and against mercy killing. I’m for allowing a divorced person to remarry but against adultery. I’m for homosexual rights but against fornication. Stop! Choose! Can’t you see that the sin in one is the sin of the other? Before you get stuck on top of the fences, only to be cut by the barbwire of life, I’d suggest choosing a side. Don’t be the lukewarm Jesus will spew out of his mouth on the Day of Judgment. For the Lord said in Luke 12, verse 9 “he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.” You can’t serve both God and man. One or the other will suffer.
Well it’s time! Before reading further in this book I suggest you choose a side. Will you standup for God and have Jesus say, when you appear before him on Judgment Day, "let this one in Father, he/she is one of the ones I died for on that tree of disgrace." Or will you be like the rich man in Luke 16, who received his reward on earth, but upon his death was relegated to the torments of Hades. The choice, again, is yours. Choose wisely! Come on down. Stop straddling the fence of life. You might get hurt.
You see, there is a fine line between saint and sinner. This line is called balance. I will continue to walk this narrow path of success, and although I may fall, with God’s grace, the damage will be minimal. But walking along that large yellow line that splits the road in two, that is dangerous. One slip off that line can have you bouncing off a car on one side, only to say howdy to a truck on the other. Choose! Even if your choice is to follow this world’s ways, at least you can have some fun along the way. But walking down the middle-of-the-road will bring you only misery here and now, and in the world to come. Choose!