I spend a lot of time listening to people who are struggling. Sometimes a Christian will struggle even more than others because they have an unbalanced view of God, life and what Jesus did for us… and what we still have to do. The deeper the damage, sometimes the deeper the passivity and immobility.
In other words, when someone is very damaged they rely very deeply on Jesus and have may have very great faith… but still they struggle terribly. This post explains the need for a biblically based balance in our lives. The bible itself describes the components we need to have. We need all of them, together. I’ll explain…
If a person has low self esteem they may be highly focussed on loving God and loving others, but they may choose not to love themselves. They may see themselves as unimportant to God, they may think He wants them to “deny yourself” or “I must become less (while He becomes more)” and in fact those may be some of their most quoted verses. Plus “its not I that lives (but Christ in me)” may be frequently quoted as well.
If the emotional damage goes deeper – where their very survival was threatened - they may have gone further with their thinking and they may have decide that we are called to only love God and have “faith”, but not even love others and not love themselves. They may not realize that this is how they think, they just focus exclusively on God alone.
This kind of thinking is a survival strategy, because the person wants God to save them (and they usually don’t want to be saved by anyone else).
Their fav verse may be “return to your first love” but because the haven’t experienced real love in their lives, they confuse romance with love. They therefore see God as a romance – and their Christianity becomes highly emotional and terribly unbalanced. They experience emotional swings from excitement to dis-illusionment. Music is relied on to lift them up on bad days.
Love God, others, self
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” – Matt 22:37-40 (see also Deut 6:5 and Lev 19:18)
What is missing is biblical balance. We need all three, not just our fav one. We can only really perform well in our lives when we love God AND ALSO love others AND ALSO love ourselves. All three (God, others, self) are needed to function in a balanced way as a human being. The bible says so! For more of my writing on this see Why does the bible say to love yourself?
Faith, hope and love
The same problem can be seen in the balance needed for faith, hope and love. We may value faith over love or hope, but then we have problems later on. Some problems are healed by loving yourself enough to have boundaries to protect yourself. Some problems need hope to be given by a kind trusted friend. Some problems can only be dealt with by having faith in the blood of Jesus shed on the cross.
Law, grace and truth
Another three concepts that must be kept in balance is law, grace and truth. Law in it’s very nature is religious and puts us into bondage if we don’t add grace (aka love/compassion). But grace doesn’t make sense without law. Together the law of Abraham plus the grace of Jesus Christ make up TRUTH.
If you only focus on law, you won’t get it. If you only focus on grace you won’t get the whole picture, you won’t even understand WHY you needed to receive grace. If you can see both you can receive truth.
We need a biblical balance in our every day lives. We need to combine things and keep them together in balance.
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