Balancing the tensions

February 17th, 2009

One of the things I have been reflecting on lately is balancing the tensions we can sometimes experience in the Christian walk. Not tension in a bad sense, but some of the things we might experience as we commit to living out the faith we have in Christ. Here’s a few of the tensions I have been thinking through…

Study versus doing – At times I find there is a tension between studying God’s Word to understand it better and actually doing what it says. Studying the Word is vital to understand it in a deeper way, but we can get so caught up in study that we never do what it says.

Seeking versus hearts desire – Another tension I find is seeking God for what He wants you to do and pursuing your goals or dreams. We should always pray and seek God’s guidance, but one of the way God leads us at times is by placing the desire in our heart to do something.

Today versus eternity – Living today in the here and now versus living in light of eternity can be another tension point. Getting the balance right of being fully where you are right now and not worrying about tomorrow versus being mindful of spending eternity with God and giving account to Him for my life’s work.

Spending versus stewarding – As a husband and father I want to bless my family and give them some of the good things that money can buy. However, I am also conscious of being a good steward and using my money to honour God and make a difference to those around me.

Drawing aside versus working – Another point that can cause tension for us as Jesus followers is the tension of drawing aside to rest and spend time with the Father and the need to reach people for Christ and minister to them. If we get this wrong we can go flat out and burn out or we draw aside too much and do nothing.

Inside versus outside – The last tension point that needs refelction is ministering inside the church to Christians verus outside the church to those in need. I have always wondered how Pastors of small churches balance this one out. The balance between evangelism and discipleship causes a tension inside me.  I am sometimes torn between the “go” versus the “show” .

As I have been thinking through these things I come to a few conclusions…

1. Living with these tensions is not a bad thing because it helps us to rely on God and seek His guidance in all we do. We need to rely on the promptings of the Holy Spirit as we go about our lives and ministry.

2. There will be times when we will go from one extreme to the other. For example we might need to press into God for a few months while seeking His will and at other times we might just follow the desire of our heart.

3. We all need to decide how we work best. I have met people whose lives are driven by eternity and I have met others who can’t look past today. In both cases it worked for them. Understanding how you tick can help you be more effective in serving God long term.