Give Grace Some Space

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Know when to let sin rest. Recognize when it is time to let go temporarily. Overdone is undone. Take time to pause to consider, to evaluate, to be silent. Jesus remarked, “The zeal of thine house has eaten me up.” (John 2:17) The intensity of your effort can cause you to lose your sense of proportion.

There is nothing worse than a nagging righteousness. It sours the souls of those exposed to it. An excess of effort does not necessarily make others give in. It may make them run out of patience.

Too much opposition to evil can build opposition to Christ. Remember that in fighting evil, we want not only to stop it, we want a conversion. That means you should keep the good will of sinners lest they close themselves to Christ.

Consider if and when you need to let sin rest. Leave things alone. Let grace shine and the good settle in. By doing too much, you may do worse than too little. By saying too much, you may immunize a person against what you say. Going too far can boomerang.

Scripture urges those pushing too hard, “Let your moderation be known...” (Philippians 4:5) We might translate moderation” as “good sense.” Let your good sense be used and seen by others. Know when to quit. Whatever we do or do not do, the Lord will still come. And there are times to rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him. (Psalm 37:7)

There are rhythms in life and different times for different things. Ecclesiastes 3:18 begins: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose...” We must realize there is a time to start and a time to stop. There is a time to go and a time to let go. There is a time to pause and a time to work. We must give grace some space.

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Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.