Last time I posted about the difference it makes to Christian spiritual formation depending on whether our focus is on holiness or love and how it can lead to distortion in our lives if we focus on one to the neglect of the other.
And that brings in the whole question of balance. Now for some, balance is a bad word, it suggests being compromised, a lacking of conviction, being neither the one thing nor the other, neither cold nor hot, or living a compromised lifestyle. But the balance I’m addressing in this post is of a different kind, involving different truths, or complimentary truths, truths that need to be held in tension, i.e as in the last post, love and holiness.
Without balance we are always in danger of pushing to extremes and becoming lopsided in our walk, and in the worst case we can end up just plain weird! And weirdness is certainly not being Christlike!
Let’s take the doctrines of the sovereignty of God, and the doctrine of the freedom of the will. The person who goes the whole way with the doctrine of God’s sovereignty ends up living in a fatalistic world – key Sera Sera, whatever will be will be, a place where my decisions and actions are beyond my control, and every detail is controlled by God. On the other hand the person who goes the whole way with the doctrine of human freedom ends up in a world entirely of their own making, a world where there is no sense of divine purpose, a world where God cannot intervene without our permission, in other words it’s all up to me!
Scripture doesn’t unpack these truths in a way that works nice and neatly for the Greek/Western way of thinking, which wants to marry truth up in a nice linear fashion, hence the debates that go on right down to today over the two subjects and the tendency to separate into different camps.
So coming back to spiritual formation and the issue of balance, we need both a sense of the sovereignty of God and the responsibility and power of our own choices. We can apply it to other areas too. We need private prayer and corporate prayer, we need to be personally in the Word and also in a place to receive it, we need worship that includes our everyday lives – relationships, work, play, eating and drinking, etc. and also being with the gathered community, and so we could go on.
It may be that you are not making progress in spiritually formation because you are unbalanced.
What areas are out of balance in your life?
What are you going to do to rejig things?