Christ's Glory, Not Mine

by science fiction author Andrea J. Graham

Balance

child railroadIt’s tough to keep our balance. I have a weakness for losing my balance in the literal physical sense and metaphorically in life. I have a tendency to fall/slump to one side and this leads to pain on the other side, or in compensating I can over correct and ouch again.

So where do I get off priding myself on my balance?

On theology and general controversial issues,that’s where. When I don’t have anything better to do, I carefully study a matter of interest online, here both sides’ arguments, and find as many ways to tick off both as possible with my take. It usually is fairly easy to do in our deeply divided society. An us versus them mentality reigns today. If they take X stance, they are the enemy, so I will take Y stance, which is the exact opposite, because they are the enemy.

That isn’t the way Christians are supposed to decide where we stand. We’re supposed to prayerfully turn to the Bible for moral guidance through dark and troubled waters and seek out where Christ stands and seek strength from Christ to stand with Christ, regardless of where the rest of “our” group or the rest of “their” group happens to be, if God’s shown us from the Word, and we’re not making God our puppet and forcing the Word to okay our own sinful desires.

No doubt I am not nearly as good as that as I like to think. Like I said starting off, balance is a weak area that I struggle with a lot in the flesh in many areas. Most left of center would at a glance pin me down as a far right-wing conservative, a “legalistic nut job” who only wears skirts, would home school if God gave me children, who married my best friend after a one-week courtship that came after months of pretending my boyfriend was still only my best friend and finding dozens of ways to say “I love you” without actually saying “I love you” to get around a self-imposed definitely legalistic rule. Hey, we were young and still learning wisdom.

In this heavily divided “us” or “them” climate, I don’t expect to impress “them” or “us” with my efforts at fairness, listening to all sides and evaluating scientific facts for whether they’re actual science or mere propaganda, at showing I am in fact listening despite stubbornly staying standing on the Bible. I expect “them” to call me one of “us” and say everything they say about “us” about me anyway. I’m also braced for “us” to accuse me of being a traitor, etc.

Sometimes, I hope to be clearly a conservative Christian who isn’t stupid and knows how to think for myself rather than just repeat party lines. To be fair, my ears truthfully hear from all sides party lines being mindlessly repeated without really digging into a matter, including from some who pride themselves on being intellectuals or even free-thinkers. No doubt I have done that kind of thing myself in lazy moments where something was “obvious” at a glance.

Perhaps balance isn’t easy for anyone. Perhaps sometimes we’re stronger in weak areas when we know we’re weak and seek to overcome it. Perhaps some of us have medical conditions that give us difficulty balancing in some areas, but not in others, and the problem won’t just go away if we try hard enough. Perhaps we do all need sometimes to latch onto Christ’s hand and let him lead us. He may leave physical imbalances to remind us to stay close, but he’ll slowly bring us into spiritual balance.