Thursday, October 31, 2019

The Wonderful Grace of Balance

I had the wonderful grace (ha-ha!) of being able to see a political commercial today. As most of you know, I do not watch tv (it has been almost 30 years), but I happened to be somewhere that a tv was playing and I thought it would interesting to pay attention for a moment -- I was wrong. The candidate is apparently running for the Democratic nomination for president. The commercial did not give his last name (I guess he believes that everyone knows who he is?), nor did he actually tell me anything about himself (I guess he believes that everyone already knows what his positions are?) other than his first name and his desire to be nominated.

What he did spend the entire 60 seconds talking about was how much he wants to impeach President Trump. From that one commercial I know nothing more than his opinion of our current President. Seriously, why would anyone think that such a presentation would be an encouragement for people to support him? I can tell you why. It is precisely because the thinking of most people in America today is unbalanced. I do not mean merely that their thinking is odd, but genuinely unbalanced.

Many people today have been taught "muddy" thinking (and others have been taught just to "feel" rather than actually think). Thus, if I were to say "this person is good because he hates that person", the majority of Americans would not recognize that that is a completely ridiculous argument. What moves people to action is more often something that irrationally sits on the extremes; in other words, "unbalanced" thinking.

Just listen to many of the points that are made in discussions today. You will find that vast numbers of people always run to an extreme to make their case. To say that something is good, people will say "this is the absolutest, most fantastic, most wonderful, amazing thing ever, in the history of the world." To say that something is bad, people will say "this is most horriblest, terriblest, awful and hideously bad thing in all of existence". No balance. It seems we no longer know how to examine things carefully and critically (in a proper manner).

It is an amazing grace (at least in this modern era) to be able to look at something and see both the good and the bad in it. I am not claiming that everything is a balance of good and bad (that is Chinese pagan philosophy), but rather that the things that we see as "bad" often are not as bad as we think. Additionally, those things that we see as "good" often have some "less than good" aspects.

This is to say, when I see a "good" thing, someone else may see it as "bad" because they are not looking at the same things that I am (and vice versa). People often end up at odds with each other merely because they are both holding to extremes, and because of muddy thinking they are unable to recognize the error of this behavior. Thus, both parties take a stand on a foolish position, when both are wrong. It does help only to exemplify balance, for people who are unbalanced do not recognize balance as anything other than "wrong" in their minds. We must go farther and make sure that we are teaching people how to think.

If we were to become more precise in our thinking as well as more careful in our reactions to things, we would be able to deal better with this world. When we are criticized for something, we will not have a knee-jerk reaction that makes us look like a lunatic. When we see something that we know is wrong, we will not react as though the world is falling apart (and even if it is, Jesus is still on His throne!). To be ready to speak to a fallen world with the grace and wisdom of Christ is an essential duty if we are wanting to teach the grace and wisdom of Christ. What else would we ever want to teach the world? A reactionary and muddy-thinking group of Catholics will not make anyone want to convert, and those who cannot think clearly are not able to think clearly about our precious Redeemer.