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May 13, 2009


How do you deal with tension? What is your natural response? Do we fear tension? Regret it? Try to avoid it?

One definition of tension is a strained relationship between people, groups, or ideas. I think it is impossible to avoid tension. In marriage you have two different people who often carry two different ideas of how something should be done.

I think a desire to avoid tension can lead us to extremes. Instead of understanding the need for tension we swing to one side or the other. I think it exists between grace and obedience. When it comes to grace the words of Paul recorded in Romans 6:1 ring in my ear. It would seem that the tension was lost and grace was held up as an excuse to sin.

I think the church needs tension because the other definition for the word is the act of being stretched. You see I don’t think we grow without tension. I think too many yes-men is dangerous.

We needed to be reminded that the pull of each side is essential.

I think one of our problems is we measure tension by winning and losing. If one side seems to have the upper hand we think the other loses. I don’t think that is necessarily true. It may be that for a time correction is necessary.

In our church we spent far too long not working on our internal structure. Sure we were impacting the community but without organization and order we could not sustain or increase this impact. In the end without tension our outwardly focused ministry is less effective. We need the tension of improving our inward structure to insure that our outward one is strong.

I hate tension but I recognize is it necessary. Without it the church moves to extremes. Some people say you can’t live in tension and I agree but the answer is a respite and a break, not giving in to one side or the other.

Jesus must have dealt with tension often. I mean they wanted to make him King. They wanted him to heal without a break. Notice that Jesus often corrected the people and pulled them back with a message about sin and forgiveness. He reminded them it wasn’t just about healing or help.

No, I think Jesus got away not to have a mountain top experience, I think he may have gotten away to rest and recharge with his Father because of tension, not to escape tension but to prepare to engage with it again.

How about you?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. John-David permalink
    May 14, 2009 5:47 pm

    “Just as iron sharpens iron, a person sharpens the character of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17 (The Complete Jewish Bible)

  2. May 15, 2009 4:13 pm


    You my brother are definitely sharpened steal.

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