By: Woodrow Odom Lucas
God is about a lot of things. God is about faith. God is about hope. God is about love. But God is also about balance. Often as we journey this walk of faith, we forget that although balance isn’t mentioned much in Christian scripture, that it is absolutely essential to well- rounded development in Christ. I have often thought that many Christians who believe in eternal hell are loving in an imbalanced way, where they love God to the exclusion of their human brothers and sisters rather than loving God directly and through loving their human brothers and sisters. I have often also thought that Christians who have a lot of anger toward God as a consequence of human injustice are loving their human brothers and sisters to the exclusion of God rather than loving their human brothers and sisters directly and through loving God. The balance of horizontal and vertical love makes for the most fulfilling life.
Recently, in regards to balance, I have arrived at some conclusions about gratitude, performance, compassion, vulnerability, transparency, mumbling, grumbling, complaining, faith and presumption. In the same way as loving God, loving ourselves, and loving others is a multidimensional scenario that requires balance to operate in appropriately it seems that to operate in gratitude, compassion, vulnerability, and faith also requires balance.
When we operate in gratitude there is often a temptation to perform and hide our ugliness from God and others. But our ugliness is part of what makes us the beautiful creatures that we are and you can’t overcome something that you are constantly hiding. So when we are grateful we need to balance that gratitude with a compassion, vulnerability, and transparency concerning ourselves and others.
But as we operate in compassion, vulnerability, and transparency then mumbling, grumbling, and complaining often arises against the powers that be who allow all of the suffering that we are embracing. Acceptance, helps us to stay grateful even while we are embracing the suffering in our own lives and the lives of others with compassion, vulnerability, and transparency.
Lastly, when we engage in faith, that is “the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen” there is often a tendency to also engage in presumption or assuming that things are true that just simply aren’t true. It is very hard to walk the balance between faith and presumption, because part of faith is making assumptions about reality based on the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Because we all see as through a glass darkly and then face to face and because we all know in part, it seems as though presumption and faith are natural bedfellows. But through praxis in honesty, humility, truth telling and truth receiving I believe that it is possible to walk in faith that has a dirth of presumption accompanying it.
The true balance that we seek as saints is to walk in gratitude and testimony without performance, to walk in true compassion , vulnerability, and transparency without mumbling, grumbling, and complaining, and to walk in true faith without presumption. Oh what a gift balance is.