Jump Start # 2381
2 Timothy 2:25 “with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition; if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of truth.”
Our verse today brings to our mind an important concept that is necessary both spiritually and in life. That concept is balance. Here, in our verse, Paul says to correct with gentleness. For some, those ideas are opposites. If I am gentle, then I am going to let a guy slide by. I’ll give him a pass on what he has done. But to correct, gentleness goes out the window. That’s how some see it and that’s how many use it. They cannot correct without screaming, threatening, and running past Jerusalem. They don’t correct, they destroy a person. When they are finished, a person is pulverized, defeated and crushed. They are humiliated. They are embarrassed. In many ways, the correction ruined them more than their wrong choices.
So, Paul buffers correction with a sense of gentleness. Kindness. Balance, is the word we would use. Balance is important in all of our lives.
Let’s take a look at some areas where we need balance:
Reading the Bible is so important, but one cannot do that and nothing else. How then could he be a light into the world? How could he bear one another’s burdens? How could he lead his family? There would be no time because he would always be reading his Bible. Balance is necessary.
Balance is necessary in our preaching. To only preach certain type of sermons or only things we like leaves us “unbalanced.” The grace of God needs to be preached as well as the justice and the wrath of God. Only preaching about Heaven can leave the impression that Hell just disappeared. Balance. Love and law. Grace and obedience. Doctrine and relationship. Textual and topical. Balance.
Balance is necessary in our relationships, especially in our fellowship and in our homes. We tend to bump into each other and hurt each other’s feelings. Throw the book at someone or be patient with them. When do you draw the line and declare enough is enough? Those are tough decisions. Shepherds have to deal with those things. Parents must deal with those things. Balance.
Balance is important in our thinking. We can lean too much one way. In fact, we can lean so far one way that we might fall over. Things influence our thinking, including what we read and what we listen to and what we invite into our hearts. Years ago a well know preacher stopped by and walked through my office. He wanted to see my books. I expected that he would give me a lecture because I had several books from authors who were progressive in their thinking. But this wise man didn’t do that. He pulled one book out and it happened to be just the one that was autographed to me by a progressive author. He smiled and said that he liked that book. He then told me to not drink water from just one well. Read what our people are writing. Read what progressives are writing. Be balanced. That has always stuck with me. That’s sound words for today. If all we read on Facebook and the only podcasts we listen to are of one narrow path, we may miss many things. Be open. Be balanced. This will keep you from floating off to la-la land and it will keep you from becoming overly harsh and lacking compassion.
Balance is important in our use of time. This is where many of us struggle with. There are too many things to do and just not enough time to do them. We want to do what we like to do. There’s demands at work. The family needs us. We have responsibilities with our church family. So many ways to be pulled. So many choices. Balance. Use your time wisely. Get organized. Become efficient. Doing only what you want makes you selfish. But always doing things for others, leaves you tired and stretched. It’s hard to say “no,” but sometimes you have to. It’s a matter of balance.
Walking across the balance beam or the tight rope is a matter of balance. Getting on or off the teeter-totter is a matter of balance. Walking across a room with a book on top of your head is a matter of balance. The doctors want us to eat a balanced diet. It’s all about balance. And, I found out something about balance, it’s the choices that we make that determines whether or not I stay balanced. Fruit, veggies, protein on my plate is a matter of choice. The attitude I carry is a matter of my choice. The words I say are a matter of my choice. What I think about someone, is a matter of choice.
So, when a guy is “out of balance,” it’s because he has made those choices. Some love to dwell in the land of negatives. Rainy, gloomy days describe their outlook. They are quick to see what’s wrong. They’ll catch a mistake faster than anyone. Complaining is their favorite hobby. We know folks like this. Usually there’s one or two in every family and in every church. Why are they like that? Their choices. Do they have to be that way? No. However, for some, they’ve been this way for so long, they don’t know how else to act. “Doom, despair and agony on me” are their favorite songs to sing.
Balance is a choice. You lean too far one way and you’ll fall that way. Too much the other way, and you’ll go that way. It’s like driving a car down the highway. You turn the wheel a little this way and a little that way. Not too much, or you’ll be off the road.
It helps hearing what you say to others. That’s one of the best ways to pick up on how balanced you are. Are you correcting with gentleness, even in the home? Or, are you like the riot police, ready to break down doors and charge in? Sometimes things get us upset. We tend to lean too far one way when that happens. Calm down. Think a moment. Pray. Straighten yourself back up. Get your balance.
I’m glad the Holy Spirit put the word gentleness right behind correcting. We might get out of balanced had that not been there. Another thing, the golden rule sure helps out here. Thinking about how I’d like to be treated sure helps me make the right choices.
Balanced—something to think about…