Everything in Moderation?
EVERYTHING IN MODERATION. I’m sure you have heard this statement before. Many well-intentioned folks, even Christians, have used this statement as a mantra for living. But what message is being sent with this phrase? What is the motivation behind it? Typically people will employ this statement as a means of justifying their participation in some questionable behavior? Many times an individual will utter the words, “Everything in moderation,” as a means of soothing their conscience while they engage in some activity that they know is sinful.
In daily living, we can see how “everything in moderation” applies. For instance, I have known preachers who were working very hard for the kingdom, but at the expense of being a father and a husband. Some preachers have lost their children to the world and have ruined their marriage by not properly balancing work and family. Moderation is extremely important when it comes to children and their video games. I don’t know what rules you have in your household, but my children have to be moderated when it comes to watching television or playing on their phones. They can easily become consumed and forget about everything else.
I’m not suggesting that the concept of moderation is invalid. However, for the record, I am stating that not everything can or should be moderated. Would you want God to moderate His mercy and grace toward you? The joy I have in my heart that stems from being a child of God cannot be moderated. My cup overflows. In the same way, my gratitude must never be moderated. I am eternally grateful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and I cannot and will not moderate my thankfulness. What about sin in moderation? Is it okay to steal in moderation? How about adultery in moderation?
The world has always sought justification for its transgressions. How can I have righteousness without giving up fleshly desires? That is the question and the goal that many folks have sought to answer and achieve. “Everything in moderation” is one such justification. The reasoning goes something like this—as long as I don’t go to the point of excess, then it’s fine. But the major flaw in this argument is that sin, in any form and at any level, is wrong. A little sin is not better than an excess of sin. “Moderating” sin is a false concept. A little lying here and there is still a big offense. Some minor adultery spread out over the course of time is still a major transgression in the eyes of God.
What glorifies God? That is the question we should constantly ask ourselves. Am I bringing glory to God? If that is our mindset, if that is our supreme desire, and our top priority, then we will be cautious about engaging in behaviors that could prove to be toxic to our own selves and to the cause of Christ. We want to argue and debate whether we can have a little here or there. We want to argue and debate as to whether it is really a sin. We come up with all sorts of scenarios and justifications in an effort to show that it’s okay. Shouldn’t that tell us something? We know it’s not good for us. We know the danger it poses. We also know the power of influence. So whose kingdom are you advancing? Don’t buy what the world is selling. Don’t try to moderate sin. And don’t try to moderate the love of Christ. Be diligent to avoid the very appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:22). And be diligent to pursue righteousness at all costs (Mt. 6:33).