Mr. Webster defines a counterbalance as, “a weight or force that balances another” or “to offset”. I began thinking about this today, as I do from time to time, when sin comes creeping around my corner. It was a concept that I first heard many years ago in college. And I do mean many years ago.
I was the youth director at a small church in County Line, Texas. We had a Baptist Men’s Breakfast and our guest speaker was the pastor from a church in a nearby town. (Yes, I remember his name.) His topic was this idea of counterbalance. The point was, we all have things in our life that offset our propensity to get “too big for our britches!” In other words, when we think we are getting a little too cocky in our spiritual “attitude”, something comes along to knock us down a peg or two. It was what he called a “counterbalance”. Of course, he did not go so far as to tell us what his particular counterbalance was, but I believe we all were sharp enough to get his point and make our own applications.
The irony of it all, just a couple years after that, I ended up as a senior pastor in a church in the same town. He did not remember me, but I sure remembered him and that devotional talk.
Since that time, plenty of “stuff” has flowed through the gray matter occupying space in my cranium. Few things have stuck with me as long as that particular illustration. Perhaps it is because the nemeses that I have joined to that concept continues to follow me around, I’m not certain. Nevertheless, I believe he had a valid point.
We all have one, maybe more, counterbalance that keeps us from tipping over into the abyss of self-righteousness. Those who ignore it are akin to the ones we read about in the paper or hear about in the news. Those who acknowledge it, are the ones who struggle, but continue to hunger and seek after righteousness. It is never pretty, seldom easy, but we keep striving.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for (my) power is made perfect in weakness.” 2Cor. 12:9