Can God’s Word make me too extreme?

One of my (many) favorite stories as a kid was a picture book called A Fish Out of Water[1].  The story chronicles the nightmarish day of a little boy who feeds his goldfish too much.  The goldfish grows monstrously every time the boy tries to find a big enough water vessel to hold him.  Finally, the boy has to have the goldfish towed to a swimming pool.  The pet store owner comes and shrinks the fish back to ordinary size.

I’ve heard plenty of times phrases like “keep it in balance” or “with moderation” or “don’t get carried away”.

This leads to the thinking that we can grow too much in our love for God, and that this will cause us to do crazy things we will regret later.   Like, what if God asked me to give my house away and live on the street or what if God asked me to be a missionary in a country not simpatico with my food allergies or what if He asked me to bungee jump off a skyscraper (Can I give my house away and go to a faraway country instead?).

Actually, God does ask me to be ready to do all things for Him.

But I don’t have to be afraid, because God cares about me.  When I trust in Him, He won’t guide me into traps or holes.  And while He expects us to give everything to Him–what piddly little pittance I have–I must never forget that I am giving Him the very life He has given me–every breath of it.

And how can I be stingy with the moments of my life, hoarding time slots to myself, when God has already given His life for me?

I might be afraid of growing too radical, of caring too much, but the truth is . . . I don’t have that problem.  I have the problem of staying the very same size or shrinking.

And besides, is growing too big for my current bowl of comfort really a problem?

In my heart, I know that, if I were to get a little bigger than the glass edges of my comfort zone, God would move me into a bigger bowl of His undying love.  I want to Him more and more, because I know, no matter how much I give to Him, I will never come in light years of the love He has given me.

It is impossible to grow too much in the

Grow in the loving-favor that Christ gives you. Learn to know our Lord Jesus Christ better. He is the One Who saves. May He have all the shining-greatness now and forever. Let it be so. (2 Peter 3:18, NLV)


[1] A Fish Out of Water by Helen Palmer, Illustrations by P.D. Eastman

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