Tipping the Scales
by Danny Tippit
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I have learned that balance is very important in all of our lives. Even in the church and a Christians life, balance is essential. A lack of balance has led to bloody crusades that encouraged the death of apostates in the name of God. And apathetic negligence has disguised compromise as tolerance. Some churches lead groups of people to boycott and picket funerals of military veterans because of the military’s stance on homosexuality. While other church’s teach such extreme tolerance that the moral values of the ministerial position are compromised allowing more liberal practices in the pulpit. Balance is crucial or else the church loses its way, its focus, and its positive influence.
So what is happening in our churches? The most important decision a person will ever make in their life, the decision to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, is being clouded by a lack of balance of both evangelism and discipleship. In my experience I have witnessed more and more churches not offering an opportunity for people to make a decision to accept Jesus. The excuse I have heard is that the sermon wasn’t a salvation type message or the congregation is told they can talk with a deacon or prayer partner if they have something that needs lifting up. But what is missing is statements such as, “If you don’t know Jesus, you can meet Him today.” Or the more direct approach, but a little rough around the edges as some would think, “If you don’t know Jesus you are going to hell.”
Some churches get consumed with the current congregation of believers, but forget about the responsibility to evangelize. Or they go the other way where evangelism is the big emphasis, and discipleship is left by the wayside. Churches are forgetting balance. Without evangelism there is no discipleship. Without discipleship there is no evangelism. Too much of one lessens the viability of the other.
How do we get out of balance? One thought I have is when it is said that a person needs a savior, they are then being called a sinner, therefore, they are immediately being held accountable for their “sinful” actions. Many Christians don’t want to feel like they are offending someone so they avoid witnessing as much as possible. The other side of this is that people don’t mind sharing Christ, however, they don’t want to sacrifice their time to disciple someone. They can witness on their own time, but discipling someone generally requires a much greater commitment of time and energy.
These are all selfish reasons. We are a inherently selfish. If we can step out of our comfort zones, we can move into a more balanced life. A selfless life will create the desire and passion to go out and lead people to a decision to accept Jesus and then provide an eagerness and energy to disciple people to follow Christ. Evangelism and discipleship are equally important. Jesus saw it that way and so should we.
Peter and the disciples exemplified this balance in the book of Acts when they would see thousands come to Jesus in a day, and then through the church create an attitude of discipleship through church leaders in smaller, more manageable groups.
Check out the below verses that discuss being balanced. God bless.
Job 31:6 AMP - Oh, let me be weighed in a just balance and let Him weigh me, that God may know my integrity!
Proverbs 11:1 AMP - A false balance and unrighteous dealings are extremely offensive and shamefully sinful to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight.
1 Corinthians 7:3 TMB – Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder.
2 Timothy 1:7 AMP - For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.
1 Peter 5:8 AMP - Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [ in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.
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