Bible in a Year – Day 228: A Balancing Act
God’s instruction to Jeremiah in chapter 15 are really words for us all to live by:
Let this people turn to you,
but you must not turn to them. (Jeremiah 15:19b)
In many ways, these two lines sum up the struggle of those of us who consider ourselves followers of God’s way. We have been instructed to be holy – set apart in spirit and action – and yet, we are also instructed to love and serve those around us, and to make every effort to invite them into the family of God.
And so sometimes we struggle with balancing those two instructions. In order to invite them into the family, we really need to invest in a relationship with them. And yet, to do so is to put ourselves in a position where it might be easier to compromise our values – to “turn to them,” instead of them turning to us.
But here’s the thing: The Bible makes it very clear that just because it is hard to do this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t. In fact, I truly believe that God would prefer us to extend love and invitation to people (and occasionally be drawn a little too close to their way of life) than for us to completely isolate ourselves in an effort to remain “holy”.
I just imagine God as a father looking at me as a son and saying, “I would rather you try and fail than to not try at all. Now, go get ‘em!” It’s really important that I not hide or shield the gift of God and Jesus from those around me. It is also really important that I maintain focus on God’s ways. I take comfort in knowing that God has grace when I fail, but I’m even more encouraged by the fact that I know he’s got my back when I try.
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