The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Keeping Our Balance

"For oppression makes a wise man mad, and a bribe corrupts his heart....Do not say, 'Why is it that the former days were better than these?' For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this" (Ecc. 7: 7 & 10).

I have heard a lot of complaints about the hot weather of the past month or so here in NJ. Commenting is OK, but complaining just makes us look like a bunch of whiners, as if we could affect the hotness though our complaints. I guess that it is human nature to strike a kind of balance in things...You know...Not too hot, not too cold.... not too bright, not too dim..... not too fast, not too slow....It is easy for us to get out of balance. In many ways, life works like that. There seems to be a perpetual temptation for people to just abandon wise choices and cling to foolish behavior. Even people who we might view as very wise will make some foolish decisions as if their better judgement went off track somehow. There are so many stories out there about people who have led good well-intentioned lives, that have had them ruined in a matter of moments by a foolish choice...Someone might be impatient with how his life is progressing and make a hasty decision that sets him back. Its kind of like our computers working too slowly and us pressing keys that we ought not press when the results seem to be coming too slowly. Often the consequences are that things turn out much differently than we expected, and mostly not for the better...

The wise person evaluates his decisions, looking to the long-term outcomes. How worthy a thing is, is best determined when we look at it from conception to completion and see all the parts fall together and fit well. If we look at it piece by piece, it does not always make sense. "For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it" (Luke 14:28)? Dangers that are not seen early in an undertaking of a project are sometimes obscured, hastening us to make evaluations all along the way through to completion. Those dangers must be anticipated. (Murphy's Law?) Solomon gave some sound advice to his young student that might well illustrate my point. "Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent and stings like a viper" (Proverbs 23:31-32)...We must keep our balance.....

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