Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | February 25, 2021

When Moderation Isn’t A Good Thing

“But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” Romans 13:14

Moderation is a tough thing for me. From my perfectionist and control-freak personality, to my waning addictive tendencies, I am inclined to overdo—not to be moderate. In my BC days (that is, “before Christ”), I would never have used the word “moderation” for my behavior—praise the Lord for redemption and freedom. And, before several injuries (dare I say, Divine injuries) sidelined me, fitness was an idol I worshipped for hours each morning, prioritized over everything else. The battle for food moderation is a thing for me too—always has been. (This was another reason for the whole gym-rat activity—you have to balance your obsessions, am I right?) Then there’s work. I work a lot (present tense), not able to easily turn off that switch, because there are always other things that need to be done “now” and “right.”

When it comes to exercise, food, work, and—for some—even alcohol, we all would probably agree with the adage, “all things in moderation.” I certainly do for most of this list and am in constant pursuit of that philosophical balancing act.

But, for Christians, moderation is not to be chased in all things. There is no moderation of sin. We are fallen humans, living in a fallen world, and we will sin—I’m not saying that. But we are not to find some warped sense of “balance” and rationale in the “acceptable” sins of the world. We are called to be holy and pure (Leviticus 11:44; 1 Peter 1:15; 2 Timothy 2:22). Believers are called to chase after perfection—not in the control-freaky way I am so familiar with—but that of perfect righteousness. It’s an impossible task, until we are perfected in heaven, but we are to move in that direction. The longer we walk in faith, the sooner we recognize our unrighteous thoughts, words, and actions, asking for forgiveness quicker. And our moment-by-moment choices become more and more aligned with God’s Word. We recognize that there are no sin scales in God’s economy—a little white lie and murder weigh the same—and we don’t look to the culture to determine which sins are “outdated” and more acceptable today.

The world will disagree. To them, there is definitely a sin spectrum, as well as moderation in ALL things. “Sin” is different for everyone, as is its level of pursuit. As long as it “doesn’t hurt anyone” or it’s “safe” or it’s “my choice”—well, then it’s ok (and “mind your own business” while you’re at it).

Sisters, let’s do a serious self-assessment. Are there sins that we feel are “ok in moderation”? That TV show that glamorizes fornication or adultery? Using cusswords at opportune times because the situation warrants it? Hating our enemy because, well, they’re evil, and when Jesus said, “Love your neighbor,” He certainly didn’t mean that guy. Ouch.

Moderation is great—in most things. But when it comes to the pursuit of holiness to which we are called as believers in Jesus Christ, let us never put sin into that category.

“Lord, may Your love abound more and more in me, that I may approve what is excellent and be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” (Philippians 1: 9-10).


For His Glory

Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life


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