When I came to Christ, I belonged to a church that had an emphasis on external standards. They required people to follow a certain set of rules and requirements. They had a standard of dress that was rigidly followed. Certain places, like movie theaters, we’re off limits. No one was allowed to own or watch a television due to its influence.
Looking back, I have a new understanding of why they created those rules. Where they went wrong was they took the principles taught in Scripture and made them laws to be obeyed. The Bible does teach modesty but they tried to legislate it. The Bible wants us to live holy but holiness isn’t achieved by complying with rules. By keeping the “rules” they thought they could gauge if they were (or were not) pleasing God with their lives.
There is no “standard” for everyone. God has created us all different and what He requires of each is different. If we truly want to please Him with our lives, we must allow the Holy Spirit to lead us. John 16:12-14 Romans 8:14 Galatians 5:17-19
One of the the most useful bits of knowledge I have gleaned from life is the importance of balance. There must be balance between work and family. There must be balance between studies and recreation. Chapter three of Ecclesiastes is all about balance. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens..” Verses 1
One of the keys to a fulfilled life is not only knowing which season of life you are in but also accepting that it. I went to the doctor today and he reminded me that my body is aging and I cannot expect it to respond like it did when I was forty. It is a fact that I have to accept and live with it.
Balance sometimes means understanding that not all wrongs will be made right immediately. King David learned this fact. In Psalm 73 he struggled with the prosperity of the wicked. He lamented the fact that there seemed there was no punishment for their wickedness. But God gave him understanding [balance] in verse 17 “Only when I came into God’s holy place did I finally understand what would happen to them.”
God is a God of balance. He will right wrongs and bring justice. God is in control and He never makes a mistake! “…Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Genesis 18:25
People from other countries say that the English language is very difficult to understand. For example: ” don’t make waves around the office.” Meaning – do not cause trouble . You are completely nuts if you think I will go with you. Meaning – You are crazy. Working on a computer for me is a piece of cake. Meaning – Easy to do. There is even a “language” for different sub-cultures. Teens use words that only other teens know what they are saying. Your occupation may use words that only people in your profession understand.
You have probably heard the expression , “I know what I said but I’m not sure what you heard.” Many personal relationships are strained because of what someone said vs. what someone understood. James wrote theses words, “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19
It is vital that husbands understand their wives. “Husbands, in a similar way, live with your wives with understanding… so that nothing will interfere with your prayers.” “Understanding” speaks of being sensitive to your wife’s deepest physical and emotional needs. In other words, be thoughtful and respectful. Unfortunately, most husbands do not take the time nor energy to understand their wives.
Remember, God gave you two ears but only one mouth.