July 19, 2018

Pastoral Nuggets: A Fine Line

Brother-Aaron-236x300I read a post on Facebook the other day that made me laugh out loud.  It said, “There is a fine line between a long sermon and a hostage situation.”

Being a preacher, and sometimes a long-winded one, I can relate! As I thought about that humorous little statement, I realized that it is applicable to most everything in life.

Often there is a very fine line between something being good or bad, correct or incorrect, or right or wrong.

There is a fine line between salvation and Christianity. Being saved doesn’t automatically make you a Christian and living a Christian life doesn’t automatically mean you’ve been saved. (Born-again.) I once had somebody tell me that I was narrow-minded.

I thought that Southern Baptists were the only ones going to heaven. I told them I was more narrow-minded than that.  I don’t even think all of us are going!  Salvation and Christianity should go hand in hand, but sadly, that’s not always the case.

The Bible teaches us that not everybody that says Lord, Lord, is going to heaven! In fact, I’ve heard stories of pastors, who after serving their churches for years, heard a sermon one day, fell under conviction from God, and as a pastor – got saved!

There is a fine line between being educated and being smart. I know some folks who are educated way beyond their intelligence. You do too! Conversely, I have known folks who could barely write their name; yet they were some of the smartest people I ever met. Education and wisdom should be synonymous, but that’s not always the case.

There is a fine line between an acquaintance and a friend. Early in my ministry a wise old man told me, “Son, when you come to the end of your life, if you can look back over it and honestly say you’ve been blessed to have two or three real friends, you will be a very blessed man.” I though he was crazy. He wasn’t. I have discovered in life that acquaintances are innumerable while true friends are precious and few.

There is a fine line between parenting a child and spoiling a child. There is no higher calling and responsibility than being a parent. It has rightfully been said that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

From the moment a child is born, as a parent, our job is to teach him or her the life skills they will need to survive and be successful – without us. Think about it. From the moment they arrive, if we do our job as a parent correctly, we prepare them to leave! And this involves discipline.

And while “discipline” is often equated with “punishment,” it is far more than that! Discipline is teaching a child the importance of sticking with something when they want to quit. It is teaching them responsibility and accountability for their actions. And by the way, we’re not called to be our children’s BFF! We’re called to be their parent!!!

And while I’m 100% against child abuse in any form, sometimes parents inflict more abuse on their child by not setting and enforcing rules, and spoiling their child by giving them everything their heart desires, than perhaps going a little overboard with strict punishment.

There’s a fine line between lots of other things that column space prevents me from elaborating on. Things like the fine line between love and lust, money and means, humor and hurt, and remorse and repentance, just to name a few.

I close this Pastors Column with this thought: The finished work of Calvary drew a line of separation that spans the ages. Make sure you’re on the right side of the line. You see, there’s a fine line between heaven and hell. And eternity is too long to be wrong!

Brother Aaron

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