June 11, 2017
The Well-Rounded Christian
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. – Ephesians 4:13
Years ago, while looking through the Yellow Pages for a car-repair shop, I came across this rather astonishing claim: “We specialize in all makes of foreign and domestic cars.” I do not recall if I was familiar with the word “oxymoron” at the time, but their ad surely seems like one. How do you specialize in everything? What the owners were trying to say, of course, is that they were a well-rounded repair shop. They knew how to work on all types of vehicles.
In the Christian realm, it is good to be well-rounded. We do not want to be narrowly focused on a single issue, while neglecting things of equal or even greater importance. Every one of us is stronger in some areas than in others, yet in the areas where we are strong, it is natural to try to do even better—we want to excel. By the same token, it is easy to neglect or overlook areas in which improvement is needed. Perhaps, for example, we are good at witnessing. Wonderful! We should keep it up. Yet, maybe we also make thoughtless remarks at times, by which we unintentionally wound those whom we love. Without backing off from witnessing, perhaps the Lord would have us to come up in that other area.
This is just an example; we can fill in the blanks for our own lives. The point is that God would like to see each of us become strong in all areas of our Christian lives. Our focus verse encourages us to work toward the goal of becoming “a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” This sounds like being a well-rounded Christian. Peter tells us to “add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge . . .” (2 Peter 1:5). In other words, while you are strong in one area, it is time to come up in another.
How does one grow in the grace of God? James gives us a clue: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God . . . and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). First we let the Holy Spirit show us our needs; then we can ask God for help in that area; and finally, we must put into action the instruction which He has given us. As we do this, He will cause us to grow and develop. He will make us well-rounded.