I cannot over emphasize the danger in the life of a believer of being even “one degree off” in our pursuit of Christ, and I am overwhelmed with the thought that some of us may not be walking as close to the Lord as we should.
I want you to think with me for a moment. What happens when a shortstop is one degree off when throwing a ball to first base? It’s just off by a couple of inches. However, being one degree off over the course of miles results in an exponential difference in distance. For instance, if you hopped on a plane from Sydney, Australia to New York City and were one degree off for the duration of the flight, you wouldn’t end up in New York City—you’d be in Kansas City! If you are one degree off in living your life for Christ, it may not look like much, but in the end, you will not be where you intended to land and over time will find yourself in a place you never meant to go.
I want you to honestly answer this question today: is there any area of your life in which you are off by one degree? Luke 2:52 says that “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man,” meaning that Jesus Himself was daily protecting his character. We cannot have secret lives in which we compromise sexually, have impure thoughts, eating disorders, or anything that can take us off by one degree. If we do, we will land where we don’t want to land, and that is a catastrophe before God.
Proverbs 22:1 says “a good name is to be desired more than riches.” The problem I see in our world right now is that we think our secrets will remain quiet. Nothing could be further from the truth. Today I want to encourage you to expose your one degree off to God and to your accountability partner. Do your best to live by Proverbs 28:13—“he who conceals his transgressions (secrets) will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes will find compassion.” So confess to God and to another person your one degree off, and then crush it. Today I want to encourage you to live free and find compassion and peace in the Lord.
Keith Chancey is the president of the Kanakuk Institute and graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary.