Without proper balance, even horseradish can harm you. In 1995, Ellen LaBombard of Fairmont, New York, achieved national recognition for her horseradish. The horseradish was available in four flavors: Regular Hot, X Hot, XXX Hot, and Too Darn Hot. One of the secret ingredients in the hottest horseradish flavor was allyl isothiocyanate. But Ellen’s fame did not come from entering the spice in any contests. Rather, she spilled a one-and-a-half-quart bottle in her basement.
In the article “New Horseradish Variety: Hazardous-Materials-Unit Hot,” the Chicago Tribune reported that Ellen plugged in a fan to air out the room, but the strong vapors forced her out. When the Fairmont firefighters responded to her 911 call, they were also overwhelmed by the vapors. Finally, the Onondaga County Hazardous Materials Unit was called to clean up the spill.
Too much of a good thing can be detrimental. Without proper balance, even fine spices can be harmful.
Balance is also necessary in the Body of Christ. The author of the book Grace and Truth writes, “Without the truth about God and His holiness, without the truth about our sinfulness and its consequences, there can be no grace either.” Truth calls for Christians to hate sin in all of its forms because God is holy. Truth says all sin deserves to be punished, and the penalty of sin is death.
But the author continues, “If, on the other hand, we take the grace out of truth, Christianity turns into a powerless legalism.” Grace extends favor without merit. It offers an extended hand to a clenched fist. It returns love for hatred.
As members of the Church – the Body and Bride of Christ and the Temple of God – we should be displaying the same balanced blend of truth and grace which Jesus demonstrated in His life. Such balance is only possible when we are under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Ask God to fill you with His grace and truth today.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.