I went on a walk with David Blevins this morning. Ronan came with us, and he and I got stung by wasp-like things. I asked David what God has been teaching him recently. His reply: 'The need for balance.'
For example there is the need for balance when it comes to grace and discipline (although this might not be the right categorisation). We want people with messed-up lives to feel attracted to our church community. We desire to reflect a God who has open arms for the returning prodigal. Yet those who experience this embrace are called to live holy lives. The Apostle Paul gets this balance when he asks, 'What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?', and then tells the Corinthians to expel the immoral brother (1 Cor. 5:12-13).
There is a similar balance in John 8, when Jesus deals with the woman caught in adultery. He says, 'he who is without sin cast the first stone'; and tells her, 'neither do I condemn you.' He also commands her to 'go and sin no more.'
This wasn't the only balance issue we thought of. We struggled to label that balance of passion and the mind; professionalism and authenticity; and, the faith that expects from God with the faith that trusts God when his ways are different than ours.