Masters at living in the middle

By Dave Henning / October 30, 2019

“We’re masters at living in the middle — between truth and dishonesty, generosity and selfishness, restraint and indulgence, new life and old life.  But we love the middle.  The middle sounds so nice, so accommodating . . .”- Bob Merritt

In Chapter 7 (“The Middle is Miserable”) of Done With That, Bob Merritt reminds us what happens if we identify our signature sins and start controlling what flows into our minds.  We begin to flip the script.  As a result, we find ourselves more at peace with God and with ourselves.  Furthermore, a newer, freer, happier life emerges.

However, in order for that to occur, we must abandon the middle.  Because, as the chapter title indicates, we only find misery in the middle.  Thus, Pastor Merritt contends, the middle represents the worst place you can be.

In addition, the author observes, most of us remain aware of our really big blunders.  Also, Pastor Merritt states, we expertly meander around the edges of blatant sin.  But what about the smaller stuff we consider no big deal.  For example, perhaps we never blatantly lie, yet fudge the truth just a little.

And even though moral and relational land mines fill the middle, it remains popular.  For it’s in the middle, the author illustrates, that people say:

  • I want to fit into my jeans, but I also want a pint of ice cream every night.
  • I want a healthy body, but I don’t want to exercise.

Finally Pastor Merritt cites psychologist and author Henry Cloud.  In his article Necessary Endings, Cloud wrote:

“Part of maturity is getting to the place where we can let go of one wish in order to have another.  The immature mind ‘wants it all.’  But the truth is that the most valuable things come with a cost.”

But, the worst thing that happens in the middle = our relationship with God wants.  Hence, when people misalign themselves with God, they shun anything that reminds them of their disobedience.

Today’s question: Do you find yourself joining the masters of living in the middle?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Tension between the old and new lives”

About the author

Dave Henning

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