Fighting Extremes

Matthew 11:28–30

STRANGE, ISN’T IT, how we tend toward extremes? What begins as self-improvement becomes self-enslavement. What starts as merely a mellow change of pace leads to a marathon of fanaticism. We’re nuts! Left to ourselves, we’ll opt for extremes almost every time. Which explains why God’s Book so often addresses moderation and self-control, softening our sharp-cornered lives with more curves that necessitate a slower speed.

The psalmist calmly counsels us to “Be still” so we can know that God is God—that’s especially important this month. Jesus Himself found it essential to escape the press of people to get His bearings. On several occasions, He arose quite early just to be alone. Immediately after His Twelve returned hot and sweaty from ministry, it was His idea that they retreat and repair. And who can ever forget His gracious invitation? I often return to it just to let the words wash over me.

Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.

MATTHEW 11:28–30

In this commercialized season leading up to Christmas, He offers us rest. While so many others are demanding, He’s gentle. While the pressure to perform and provide intensifies and gets increasingly hard, being yoked with Him is easy. Yes, He said that. It’s easy. And instead of increasing our load of anxiety, He promises to make it lighter. Is it any wonder Jesus’ style and message created such a stir? While so many were piling on more guilt, more “shoulds” and “musts,” He quietly offered the comfort of relief.

Where do you go to find enough stillness to rediscover that God is God? Where do you turn when your days and nights start running together? What spot becomes your hideaway so that a little perspective is gleaned as a touch of sanity returns? Where do you get relief from the fever-pitch extremes? Run to Jesus. Take Him up on His offer to lighten your load.

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.