Saturday, September 26, 2015

At the Edge

When we lived next door to good friends on the lake I was able to use their zero turn mower for our yard. It’s an impressive piece of machinery and it made yard work quicker and much more fun. I remember the first time I used it and how cautious I was as I learned how to maneuver. This was especially true along the outer edge of our yard next to the lake. I was afraid of moving too far and sliding off the wall and into the lake on a very expensive mower. It didn’t take long before I stopped worrying about that and got more comfortable being close to the edge. After all, I had been this close a number of times by then and had already proven I wouldn’t fall in.

If we take the same approach with our morality we can find ourselves in more trouble than just a waterlogged mower. Getting as close to the edge of danger reflects a mindset of trying to see what we can get away with before experiencing damage. We might initially be fearfully cautious of the boundary between safety and harm, but lose that fear as we spend more time near the edge of smart behavior. It reflects an attitude of “how close to the line can I get?” before doing something that harms our relationships and diminishes our character.

Perhaps the smarter alternative is to decide to stay away from that “line” and stay close to the center of what is good and safe. This is less about testing the limits of Christian behavior as it is about doing everything we can to maintain close contact with God. Ultimately we’ve got to decide which edge we want to be close to—one that can cause us great damage or one which keeps us closer to God’s best for our life.

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