Dare 2B Daring - June 28, 2018
A daily devotional published by Risk Takers for Christ, Inc.
(Permission granted to reprint with proper attribution.)
“It makes one sad to hear Christians saying, ‘Well, there is no harm in this; there is no harm in that,’ thus getting as near to the world as possible. Grace is at a low ebb in that soul which can even raise the question of how far it may go in worldly conformity.” – C.H. Spurgeon
Pendulums are funny things. Sometimes they swing far to the left, only to lose their momentum… after which they swing equally as far to the right. Back and forth they go, always out of balance, never seeming to find equilibrium.
When I was a new Christian, I attended a couple of Baptist and independent Bible churches that taught sound doctrine. They also had a habit of “majoring on the minors”, focusing more on the things a Christian shouldn’t do as opposed to the things a Christian should do. If you didn’t smoke, drink, dance, or go to movies, then you were obviously walking closely with the Lord. However, there was little attention given to witnessing, caring for the needy, and other “positive” behaviors.
Gradually, the pendulum swung back in the other direction, which I was glad to see. But guess what? It didn’t stop in the middle, it kept on going. Soon it didn’t matter what you did in your personal time as long as you shared your faith – maybe over a beer at the local pub – fed the hungry or clothed the naked.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to go back to the rigid days of legalism, when a person’s outward behavior was all that mattered regardless of the condition of their inner heart. But I am just as troubled by today’s lackadaisical attitude toward sin and the mad dash towards worldliness, lest we be considered aloof, uncool, and unapproachable.
“So what if I enjoy a few mixed drinks (and a nice buzz) at the office party? And what’s the big deal if I wear clothes – or a bathing suit – that reveals way too much skin? R-rated movies with lots of nudity and four-letter words… they don’t bother me, so why should they bother you? And using salty language allows me to fit in with my buddies, making it that much easier to witness, right?”
Folks, there has to be a “happy medium” between acting like a Pharisee and acting like a pagan. Jesus called it being “in the world, but not of it” (see John 15:19 and John 17:14-16).
Believe me… I’m not casting stones, because I haven’t come close to mastering this proper balance and doubt I ever will. But I’m striving to have the faith I profess match the way I live day to day. So, the next time you see me, tell me – honestly – how I’m doing. I really do want to know.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President