By: Gary L. Hutchens
Is it OK to be almost right, almost successful in an endeavor undertaken, almost safe in the face of potential danger? We know the answer, don’t we? Almost getting that job you wanted means you did not get it. Almost winning means you lost. Almost succeeding means you failed. Almost making it across the street without getting hit by that oncoming car means you got hit! Somebody has said, “almost only works with horseshoes and hand grenades.”
A baseball pitcher has two strikes on a batter. His next pitch is an incredible curve ball. The batter swings and barely gets a piece of the ball for a foul tip. Should the pitcher be credited with a strikeout since the batter almost missed what would have been strike three? No! What about the hitter who smacks a 400 foot drive out of the park, but just an inch foul? Should it be counted as a home run since the ball was almost fair? No!
A football wide receiver catches a pass, leaping in the air in the back of the end zone, but one heel comes down out of bounds. Should it be a touchdown since he was almost completely in bounds? Again, the answer is No!
How many students have failed an exam by just one point? How many phone calls have not gone through because the person placing the call got just one digit wrong in the overall phone number? How many destinations have not been reached because of just one wrong turn along the way? How many times does a computer program not produce the desired results because somebody got just one key stroke wrong?
An electrical circuit board may contain hundreds or thousands of individual connections, but if just one burns out the whole circuit board will malfunction. An automobile has a great many integrated parts, but if the timing belt breaks, the automobile immediately shuts down. That one relatively small part will render the entire automobile inoperable.
We get the principle. But many people seem to believe being almost right spiritually is fine. If they’re living in a little sin, not quite fully dedicated to God, their faith isn’t quite what it should be, they don’t quite obey all that God’s word teaches about salvation, they think they’re still OK. In that part of life wherein it’s most crucial to make sure we’ve got it right, a great many people seem to think ALMOST is OK.
In our spiritual lives we cannot settle for being almost right. We must get altogether straight in our minds 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!” (Rom. 6:1-2).
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), you must turn to your Lord in obedience (Heb. 5:9). We’d like to help you. Please ask us…
Gary L. Hutchens