The importance of a small word … AND … cannot be over-emphasized. A lopsided approach to our walk with God leads to deficiences and inconsistencies.
Three key combinations in the New Testament:
Spirit AND Truth (Jn. 4:24)
Faith AND Works (James 2:14-26)
Grace AND Truth (Jn. 1:14, 17)
Taking an Either/Or or Lopsided Approach:
If we focus on spirit, faith, and grace, we can potentially walk by emotion or licentiously. We are into the experience. We tend to make decisions subjectively. We can get caught up in the means or process to the neglect of the end result.
If we focus on truth and works, we can potentially walk cerebrally or legalistically. We are into the evidence. We tend to make decisions objectively but can be callous in the implementation. We can get caught up in the end result to the neglect of the means or process of getting there.
Note the “AND” in the Greatest Commandment:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart AND with all your soul AND with all your mind AND with all your strength. (Mk. 12:30)
God wants us to love Him with our emotions as well as our knowledge, our attitudes as well as our actions. And, God wants us to love Him with all, not some, of our heart, soul, mind, AND strength.
“Being” is the Starting Point:
Who we are inside affects what we do so it is vitally important that we guard the heart above all else (Prov. 4:23).
For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. (Matt. 12:34)
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. (Lk. 6:45)
Are you a Bible teacher? – The Be-Attitudes for Teachers book brings in this balance. This teacher training devotional puts a heavy emphasis on “being” but being that turns into doing what is best in the classroom.