by: Gary L. Hutchens
Is it OK to be almost right, almost successful in an endeavor undertaken, almost safe and secure in the face of potential danger? In most cases we’d quickly acknowledge that almost is not OK.
Consider a baseball pitcher who has two strikes on a batter. He throws an incredible curve ball; the batter swings and barely gets a piece of the ball for a foul tip? Should the batter be called out since he almost missed what would have been strike three? What about the hitter who smacks a 400 foot drive out of the park but just an inch foul? Should he be awarded a home run since his drive was almost fair? Or how about the receiver who catches a pass from his quarterback, leaping in the air in the back of the end zone but coming down with one heel out of bounds? Should it be a touchdown since he was almost completely in bounds? Of course, the answer in all of these scenarios is “No!”
How many students have failed an exam by just one point? How many phone calls have been missed because the person placing the call got wrong just one digit in the overall phone number? How many destinations have not been reached due to just one wrong turn along the way? How many times does a computer program not produce the desired results simply because somebody got wrong just one key stroke?
An electrical circuit board may contain hundreds or thousands of individual connections. Even though almost all of those connections can be firing efficiently, if just one burns out the whole circuit board will malfunction. An automobile has a great many integrated parts, each performing a unique function. In the overall scheme of things, a timing belt is a relatively small and simple part. If it breaks, though, the automobile immediately shuts down. Almost everything will be working properly, but that one small part will render the entire automobile inoperable.
Somebody has said, “almost only works with horseshoes and hand grenades.” But many people seem to believe that being almost right spiritually is fine. If they’re living in a little sin, if they’re not quite fully dedicated to God, if their faith isn’t quite what it should be, if they don’t quite obey all that God’s word teaches about salvation, if they don’t quite have the right concept of the church or what their relationship thereto should be, they think it’ll still be OK. In the area of life wherein it’s most crucial to make sure that we’ve got it right, it seems that people commonly think that almost is OK…
When it comes to our spiritual lives, it’s imperative that we not settle for being almost right. We need to get altogether straight in our minds just what God’s will is for our lives. Many people claim that God’s grace will suffice for our carelessness. But that cheapens His grace. The apostle Paul asked, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” He left no doubt as to the correct answer when he said, “Certainly not!”
Are you trying to get by with being almost dedicated, almost committed, almost obedient, almost faithful to God? Here’s a question for you: “Do you want to just almost get to Heaven?” If you want to be sure of your salvation (1 Jn. 5:13), then you must turn to the Lord in obedience (Heb. 5:9). We’d like to help you along these lines, if you’ll ask us. Please do…
Gary L. Hutchens