Finding the Middle Ground

Recently, I was mindlessly scrolling social media, as I do quite frequently. I was scrolling and an article caught my eye. Someone had posted a link to an article with a rather inflammatory title and added her own commentary along the lines of, if you are not with us you are against us.

Do I remember the article? Absolutely not. I try to scroll right on past those posts where the comments sections are akin to a Spartan war zone. But it got me to thinking about something else.

We live in a society that tries to push us to the extremes. We are told that we must live on one end of a supposed spectrum. We must plant ourselves in one of two schools of thought, mutually exclusive. I constantly feel bombarded and pushed to exist in a constant state, never to evolve, never to grow, never to change, or learn, or be redeemed.

Faith and belief can be like that sometimes too. One the one hand, some say, once a sinner, always a sinner, just as people viewed the chief tax collector in today’s Gospel. Then on the other hand, some say, well once I’ve been saved, then that’s it and I do not have to change my ways.

But Scripture and Tradition teach us something wholly different. We are shown again and again that one must not live on either end of the extreme.

Yes, Christ died for our sins, but you better believe we still have to live out His commandments and teachings while we are on this earth. And yes, we should strive for holiness and turn away from sin, but we are human, and by that nature, we sin. But we are not doomed from that moment on. We can be forgiven and strengthened by His graces. God’s mercy is infinite.

“The LORD supports all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down” (Psalm 145:14).

May we strive for that middle ground where we know we must live out His commandments, but also know His mercy.

We are shown again and again that one must not live on either end of the extreme. // @Substance_Soul Click To Tweet

Going deeper into mercy, have you seen our study on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy?

Dr. Samantha Aguinaldo-Wetterholm is a wife to Paul, mom to three little ones, and practices dentistry at a public health community center for low income families in the Bay Area, California. She (unashamedly) thinks ice cream is its own food group, does not leave the house without wearing sparkly earrings, and is an enthusiastic proponent of the Oxford comma. She is a contributing author to our children’s devotional prayer book, Rise Up. Find out more about her here.


  • Reply
    Susan Ahlbrand
    November 3, 2019 at 9:08 am


    You have hit on what is missing in our world of extremism. With so many people growing more and more extreme in their beliefs and fueling only their own side (especially as social media’s algorithms force that), the middle ground seems lost.

    And applying this idea to our faith…so insightful. The more we try to be perfect, the less we lean on the grace of Jesus. We can’t be perfect and we need Jesus. This gospel and your insights drive that idea home.

    Thank you.

  • Reply
    November 3, 2019 at 10:32 am

    Y.E.S. !!! Yes, on everything! This sums up so well how I view our faith and what it teaches, and I certainly couldn’t have written it better myself, but it’s exactly how I feel!

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