Desperately trying to find that middle ground

Have you been reading the news lately? Not a whole lot of positives are being splashed on the headlines, but then that's no surprise. Syria has done some pretty awful things to their own people, but then no one is really sure who actually authorized what so the world is at sort of a standstill on how to respond. Some want to bomb them to send a message, but without all the facts what good will that do?

Then there's Egypt, another big mess. There were a much bigger deal before someone in Syria began gassing fellow Syrians, but they still have many problems that no seems to know how to work out. Hundreds are dead and the government is no longer trusted, but whose to blame for all of the problems? Just where does the buck stop?

I'm glad I'm not the one making national and global political decisions because there seems to be no cut-and-dry answers out there. Diplomacy is always a good first choice, but when no one is listening it's hard to sit back and just tell others to be nice to each other. Even when the nations come together as a coalition, the truth seems so hard to come by (see: Iraq). Many so desperately want to find a middle ground, a common denominator that both sides of the conflicts can agree on, but that rarely if ever seems to happen.

When did our world become so ambiguous?

Answer: It always has been.

As long as people are involved, things are gonna be messy. All sides of the argument will claim that their points are most valid, while the rest of us are trying to figure out where the truth lies. And that's where most of these problems begin - there is no handle on truth. The world exists in its own bath of relativism, with truth being redefined daily depending on what your side needs to accomplish. The truth is out there, but no one seems to want to find it (unless, of course, it bolsters their side).

But Jesus had no problem speaking the truth. In fact, He claimed to be the truth (John 14:6). And if you are bold enough to claim to be the truth, then your perspective is pretty set. There is no need to argue useless points or haggle over details. No matter what you do or say, the truth is the truth.

And that statement usually offends people.

"You mean to tell me that if I don't know Jesus then I don't what truth is?" I'm just repeating what Jesus said about Himself, and I just happen to believe it, too. And this didn't just come from the words of Jesus. There were many men who knew Jesus personally, traveling and ministering with Him, who would later claim the same thing: Apart from Jesus, there is no truth. If you believe in or put your trust in anything or anyone else, then you've been deceived.

This past Sunday I had the chance to teach on 1 John 2:28-3:10. It's one of those passages written by John, one of Jesus' apostles and His best friend while He was here on earth, that can really offend people. John's basic point is this: Either you know God or you don't. There is no middle ground. You either know God and love His Son, Jesus, or you follow after the ways of the devil. Ouch! After the service someone told me that I was being pretty black and white about everything. I agreed with him on that. But it wasn't what I was telling him, rather I was relating the words of God as faithfully as I knew how.

Maybe there is some middle ground to be found in world conflict. Perhaps opposing sides can come together to meet in the middle to solve their differences. I hope so. Compromise between two enemies can be a beautiful thing.

Yet when it comes to God we have to understand this: He isn't looking for compromise. Because when it comes to you and God, there is no compromise. Your way is never best, no matter how good you try to present it. As the author and finisher of our faith, God has the first and the last word. Shoot, He's got the only word. Does this offend you? If it does then it's probably because you've tried for so long to do things your own way that you've convinced yourself that you can do it all on your own. But when you see the truth of God for what it is, you realize there is nothing but freedom in surrendering to God's love for you Some think it's crazy to put all of your eggs in God's basket. I say it's crazy to even think that your own basket could actually carry you anywhere.

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