November 01, 2008

Healthy Tension

Ephesians 4:14-16

The whole body … held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love.
Ephesians 4:16


Years ago, I had a Disney puppet of the character Pluto. The legs, head, and other parts were held upright by tight elastic strings. When you released the tension on the strings, the puppet would slump into a sad version of itself.

When we think about stress reducers today, we might be led to believe that we should avoid tension at all costs. But without some tension on our muscles and bones, we wouldn’t be able to stand straight.

Similarly, the body of Christ is held together by ligaments of love that allow us to grow and stand upright in Christ, each part doing the work it is called to do.

This month we are going to explore some of the contrasts and tensions of living in Christ. Some contrasts are necessary, while others should be avoided. Some contrasts work in tension with one another to help us get things done and build each other up.

For example, a dear friend may suddenly become ill. That makes us sad and may even move us to tears. But our sadness exists in tension with the joy of being able to help a friend.

The comfort of our walk with the Lord is that he holds all the contrasts of life and helps us find balance in our everyday living. He is there when we are born, and he is there when we pass through death to eternal life.

Lord of all time, you hold our lives in your hands and you comfort us with your love and compassion. Help us to build each other up amid all the contrasts of life. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Harvey Brink

Rev. Harvey Brink has retired from active ministry in the Christian Reformed Church, having served congregations in Michigan, California, Iowa, New Jersey, Illinois, and
Washington. He and his wife Maxine live near their children and grandchildren in western Washington.

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