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The Urban Dictionary refers to half-stepping as “starting something with no intention of finishing.”
The Online Slang Dictionary defines half-stepping like this: “To act like you want to engage in a fight, but then back down once the other person fights back.”
Basically, it means to do anything in a half-hearted manner.
I thought of this term while reading Paul’s words to the Corinthians.
Jesus described people who commit to God in a half-hearted way in the Sermon on the Mount.
He said, “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other” (Matthew 6.24).
Even though we really can’t serve two masters, we try it all the time.
For example, the children of Israel wanted a relationship with both God and Baal. Some Corinthians claimed to be devoted to Jesus, but remained associated with pagan worship.
In my opinion half-stepping is a serious problem among Christians today. To many people get started with Jesus, but are unwilling to go “all-in” with him. They back off from the fight, when things get difficult.
Half-Stepping Doesn’t Work
What happens when we start following Jesus, but stop short of fully following him?
What happens when we open our lives to Jesus, but have no intention of following through with a full commitment to him?
In a passage that is often used about marriage, Paul counsels us to not be closely connected with unbelievers.
He wrote, “Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness?
“Or what fellowship is there between light and darkness?
“What agreement does Christ have with Beliar (another name for Satan)? Or what does a believer share with an unbeliever?
“What agreement has the temple of God with idols?” (2 Corinthians 6.14-16)
Paul’s words are good counsel with regard to marriage, but if we limit them to marriage we have missed his main message.
For example, what if the “unbeliever” is actually a part of who we are? We believe, but our actions show our lack of faith, too.
What if we attempt what Jesus said is impossible, to serve two masters?
Both Jesus and Paul teach that we can’t serve righteousness and sin at the same time, but we must admit that we often try to make it work.
The same can be said about trying to live in the light and retain parts of the darkness at the same time. Light and darkness cannot coexist together, but we attempt to make it happen.
Paul makes it clear that we can’t grasp with one hand a relationship with Jesus and with the other an idol. We may try, but Jesus says that we will actually be devoted to one and think less of the other.
Who We Are In Christ
There are many reasons why the half-stepping commitment to Jesus that I have outlined above is a serious error. One of the biggest reasons is that we miss out on best life God has for us.
Please read the next verses as God’s firm opinion of who you are.
Paul wrote, “For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
‘I will live in them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
Therefore come out from them,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch nothing unclean;
then I will welcome you,
and I will be your father,
and you shall be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty'” (2 Corinthians 6.16-18)
Let’s examine Paul’s words and be amazed at how much God thinks of us.
(1) God’s Temple – God values you as a precious and holy dwelling place for his Spirit.
Let this amazing fact sink in. God loves and values you so much that he desires for his Holy Spirit to live in you.
(2) God’s Companion – The Greatest Being of All declares that he will walk with you and that you belong to him.
If you were a close friend with Patrick Mahomes or Brittany Matthews, that would be pretty amazing.
You may never be a close friend with a national celebrity, but you can actually be a close friend with God, the Creator of the Universe.
Meditate on the fact that God wants to live in you and walk with you throughout life.
(3) God’s Child – God claims you as his adopted child.
As an infant, Sterling Mahomes has already been offered a soccer scholarship to Texas Tech. No doubt, she is quite a fortunate little girl.
Great news for you! You are an adopted child of God. He has claimed you as his own. No doubt, this is the greatest privilege of all.
Careful readers will notice that I skipped over verse 17 in my comments.
A modern translation of verse 17 may read like this: “Since you are a temple of God’s Spirit, and since you are God’s friend and since you are God’s adopted child, you must cease half-stepping in your relationship with God.”
Go all-in with Jesus. You have started in your walk with him. Don’t stop until you go all the way with him.
Stop trying to hold Jesus with one hand and your old life with the other.
You can trust Jesus with your life. He loves you more than you can imagine. He is perfectly good.
Go all the way with him and see what he will do with you.
May We Pray for You?
Maywood Baptist Church has a prayer team who is honored to pray for your requests. Please email me with your prayer needs at firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. We will pray for you.