Daily Encouragement: Day 293

Adapted from Handbook to Spiritual Growth

AVOIDING TWO EXTREMES

It is easy to slip into one of two extremes regarding the Christian life. The first extreme overemphasizes our role and minimizes God’s role. This position is characterized by the mentality of striving for and living for Jesus. It emphasizes knowledge, rules, rededication efforts, and human activities, and virtually ignores the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

The second extreme overemphasizes God’s role and minimizes our role. This position is characterized by a “let go and let God” form of passivity. It stresses experience, the supernatural, and the person of the Holy Spirit, and downplays the human side of the coin. The biblical balance is that the spiritual life is both human and divine.

Paul places these back to back in Philippians 2:12–13: “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” On the human side, we are responsible to work out (not work for) our salvation, but on the divine side, God is the one who gives us the desire and empowerment to accomplish His purposes.