Yet a couple of months ago, I went to move the towel load from the washer to the dryer, and found my machine sitting cockeyed from the wall. In fact, if the back corner of the machine hadn’t hit the sidewall of the nook where it sat, it might have done a complete 360, water spewing everywhere when the hose pulled out of the wall.
Ever since then, any sort of semi-heavy load sets the machine to walking—towels, jeans, sheets—and I have numerous dings in my laundry nook wall where that back corner always slams into the wall. The washer man gave us some instructions, but nothing works. Somehow my washing machine has become out of balance, and it appears it will stay that way. On our recently slashed retirement budget, it isn’t worth the money to fix.
Some of us have the same problem. We can’t seem to find the balance. Some stress obedience to the neglect of sincerity; others say, “The heart is all that matters.” Some emphasize purity and truth to the point that compassion is all but lost, while others view mercy and compassion as the be-all-and-end-all. A good many believe that wisdom and common sense will solve all matters, avoiding sacrifice for others and unquestioning faith in a God who controls all.
“It isn’t good stewardship of my money.”
“God would never expect…”
“He meant well, and that’s what counts.”
“They have family. Let them do it.”
“At least they attend a sound church.”
“I thought we’d never get him baptized.”
“This isn’t wrong but it might lead to…”
All of these statements are a sign of a washing machine out of balance, banging against the wall as it pits one scripture against another, wresting the Word of God to make it fit what I want, instead of weighing the spirit of the law, and making a righteous decision based upon an appropriate balance of faith and wisdom, purity and compassion, obedience and sincerity.
I know a man who had to study to make an important decision in his life. He said, “I studied it knowing the wrong decision would send me to Hell.” He’s the same man who will reach into his pocket the moment he hears of a need. If you have that kind of balance in your life, none of this will be as difficult as the contentious always want to make it.
But if you had known what this means, I desire mercy and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless, Matt 12:7.