The Pursuit of Balance Through “Yes…But..”

January 15, 2014

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The topic of grace is one which is often met with the response, “Yes…..But,….”

Why is this?

We agree, but feel the need to bring balance or present another equally important truth.

Is it because there is such a fine line of walking in truth and avoiding extremes?

Think of how often we do this….

“Grace covers all our sins.” Yes, but it doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want.
“We cannot do anything to increase God’s love for us.” Yes, but faith without action is dead.
“God is totally in control.”Yes, but we are not robots; our choices matter.

I found myself doing this recently with a book I’m reading. I love the concepts the author is presenting and I agree. Yet, as I imagine myself presenting this to people, I think of all the ways they may abuse it or swing to an extreme.

I am saying, “Yes, I love this concept; but……”

I am responsible as a communicator to present balanced truth. But what is this exactly?

What is the elusive place of perfect balance in all areas representing who God is and our response to Him?

If we find it, we would only remain there for a split-second and then slip to one side or the other.

The quest for balance is a noble pursuit, but not one that has a final place of culmination. We will never raise our hands on the victors podium in perfect balance.

Maybe life is a constant series of new and fresh statements of “Yes.”

When we begin to slip out of balance, God is there to point us towards the next “Yes”

Are we responsible for the “Buts” or is He?

Consider Jesus. Did he present a truth about the kingdom only to follow it up with a caution against embracing it too fully and falling out of balance?

Did the apostle Paul ever attempt to reconcile the seemingly opposite truths he proclaimed?

Romans 9 and 10 give us a great illustration of this. Chapter 9 is an amazing picture of God being in control. Can the clay tell the potter what to do? No. It’s all about God.

Chapter 10 follows with one of the greatest admonitions that we are responsible to take the gospel to those who do not know. If we don’t do it, who will? It’s all about our response to the gift of God.

There is no chapter 9 1/2 to explain how these two work.

Throughout history, people have gotten out of balance on these issues. Whole theological systems are perpetuated based on these passages. They are “Yes” passages.

Paul makes no attempt to explain the “But”…

He simply says they are both true. We must live in that tension.

The next time we are tempted to look at an aspect of God’s character or His Truth and minimize it with a “Yes,…But…”, let’s think twice.

Does God need us to protect Him?
Must we cushion the extreme someone might respond with?”

Or should we encourage the pursuit of ALL of God.

Balance is noble, but unobtainable.

If we feel we’ve reached it, someone might say, “Yes balance is good, but pride is a sin.”

God is mysterious and un-containable.

Let us focus more on the “Yes” than the “But”. 

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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God