Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Every Day Light



Keep Your Balance

"The man who fears God will avoid all [extremes]." (v. 18)

For reading & meditation: Ecclesiastes 7:15-18

One perplexing situation for which wisdom and a divine perspective is needed, says Solomon, is when we see the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper. The psalmist struggled with this age-old problem (particularly in Ps. 73), and so have millions since.

A tyrant lives on, while a missionary family on their way to bring help and medical care to others is lost in a plane crash. You can't make sense of that unless you have an unshakable trust in God, and believe that one day (not now) He will answer every question to our satisfaction.

The second issue for which wisdom and a divine perspective is needed is the matter of spiritual balance. "Do not be overrighteous" is Solomon's advice (v. 16). He is thinking here, I believe, of those who (forgive the cliche) are too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good.

I know people who think they are head over heels in love with the Lord, but who have no love for others. The apostle John called these people "liars" (1 John 4:20). Super-spirituality is out, says Solomon; it's an extreme. But lest we go to the other extreme he speaks out against this also: "Do not be overwicked" (v. 17).

All of us, because of the Fall, have a wicked streak within us, and we should watch that we do not indulge that. He is not saying you can get away with a little wickedness. Far from it. He is saying don't give way to it. Solomon is pleading for moderation. Extremes and excesses are destructive. Keep your balance.

O God, teach me how to avoid all excesses and extremes so that I might be a truly balanced Christian. I would shun overspirituality as I would shun unbridled urges and lusts. Help me, my Father. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

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