GENDER: “Weal or Woe?” Series
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,
for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female,
for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26–28)
What do weal—blessing, peace, and prosperity—or woe—curses, evil, and destruction— have to do with gender issues? I like to hear people’s stories and I have my own as well. Between these two means and concerning these questions I have some thoughts.
It is not a small thing that Women’s Issues have been and continue to be the primary source of, one of the bitterest biases against the “old-fashioned” values of marriage commitment and family. Values that originated with God, and so have been taught through godly (not necessarily conservative) people from ancient times and have been best preserved in the Bible in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Immediately, just by my mention of these two Bible Testaments, but especially by my mention of the Lord, God, I will have instantly triggered a negative reaction in many people (some I know personally), if they should be, by some miracle, even reading this. Some would not be willing or anxious to hear me out because of this mention alone and would back away from this conversation in what they believe is righteous or justified anger.
For many people, the words “God,” “the Old Testament,” and “patriarchy” have become dirty words with very negative connotations. They are associated with what is considered the “oppressive Old Testament system” or with supposedly negative, severely outdated, cultural traditions found and reinforced, especially by the Old Testament God and patriarchs.
The current “new,” more “relevant,” and “enlightened” views on Women’s Issues, along with their labels or trigger words are being used effectively to shut down any dialogue having to do not only with the Old Testament but also with the Bible in general. Strongly developed gender biases have become a deterrent to the exchange of ideas—again, especially if they have anything to do with God or the Old Testament.
Sadly, and too often, there are real reasons for these kinds of biases. Too many women, most often when they were vulnerable children, young in years, or young wives have been badly—even horribly—abused, misused, or mistreated by fathers, husbands, relatives, or men who have had some kind of power—authority, headship, or position—over them or in relation to them. (Hopefully, by the time they are older, they have gotten out from under the abuse.)
Too many of these abusers have been powerful, even respected members and sometimes leaders in a Christian church. Too many abusers have perpetuated their deeds in the name of God—terribly misusing His name. Understandably, there is, too often, justifiable bewilderment, frustration, or anger and reason for hating or abhorring at least one supposed “man of God.”
As women have, by necessity or by choice, entered the workforce or sought positions in government or other organizations, they have, again, too often, not been treated as equal in value to male co-workers or officials. In these arenas, there is also, too often, justification for great frustration with, or anger directed at, men in at least one workplace, organization, or system.
There is a great deal of real justification for people to be passionately involved in seeking change or redress because of wrongs done specifically to females and for seeking equal treatment of women in the workplace and the world. However, I have to ask whether this justifies the creation and promotion of other inequities. Are injured or oppressed females—or those who care deeply about them—excused from social responsibility because of the wrongs done to women? Are they then allowed by this “passcard” to go to the extreme of misandry, the hatred of all men and anything connected with them? Including the extreme of hatred toward the role of motherhood because men are associated with it?
Is hatred for and an attack on all men, all patriarchy, and all world systems of governance set up by men a desirable “solution”? What about the real men who care deeply about women and are sympathetic? What about the many more men who would truly like to understand women better? What about men who have been abused by other men or by women?
What about women, who in their own way, have been just as willful and disobedient to God as men in regard to loving people? Women who have been as abusive and destructive as the most heartless male? Don’t tell me negligence, abuse, and oppression are behaviors exclusive to men. This isn’t honest.
What about all the women who have horribly misused their very real influence—acknowledged by them or not—on men and children and society? What about the unjustified hatred for the role of motherhood that supposedly all men want to “force” women into? How is it that suddenly the role of motherhood becomes evil because it is associated with men? Both of these are unbalanced, non-objective views.
I want to be clear that none of these observations about men or women excuse the mistreatment of them or any human being, but they are some things to think about. We do need to think these things through and not only react in the pain or emotions of the moment—or even of the years. And this brings us to God.
God can and will help us and redeem any and every situation for us, but only if we ask and are willing or allow Him to do this. So, first, we have to deal with hard feelings toward God. It is understandable how people can come to a place of bitterness—blaming God for allowing evil to happen to themselves or loved ones. God, being God, does have the power to stop such things. If He were indifferent, as many credit Him to be, this would also be a justifiable reason for being angry at God.
The thing is, it’s just the opposite. God is passionate about us, and that is sometimes why He allows us to go through these hard things. However, He doesn’t mean for us to remain in them, nor does He leave us to go through them alone. He hurts with us, and with all His heart will give us all comfort and help when we cry out to Him and are willing to receive either from Him.
I don’t know all of God’s reasons for allowing us or loved ones to suffer or go through terrible things. But as far as the things that are humanly inflicted go, consider how many times you, yourself, have chosen to do or say something you knew to be wrong or hurtful to someone else, but have done it anyway. God let you choose. He didn’t force you to do the right thing. Consider how many times God has given you or loved ones an “out,” but you or they didn’t take it.
God doesn’t force His will or ways on people. Love can’t be forced. God. doesn’t. force. Anyone! However, and this may or may not be comforting to you, He does, in one way or another eventually bring full justice—death—to us all for our wrongdoing. He will ultimately bring justice to all abusers—and all sinners (all of us), who finally (in the end) chose to reject Him, His love (will and ways), and His mercy (through Jesus).
The amazing thing about God is that He can and will—if we ask or allow Him to—turn all evil to our good, set all things right for us, and make something even greater of us than we ever dreamed or imagined. Out of His own mercy and loving volition, not because any of us deserve it; He sent Jesus to overcome evil (death and hell) for us. But we first have to believe, ask, and choose to let Him. We have to trust Him, let go of and turn from our own wrongdoing, accept His mercy and forgiveness of us, and then we have to forgive those who have hurt us, just as we have been forgiven. (And in case you don’t know this: forgiveness does NOT mean continuing to subject oneself to abuse.) These are not easy things to do. They go against the spirit of independence in us. But, I hope you won’t wait for God to force you, or another person, because He won’t.
Understandable or not, the association of God with abuse, the total abhorrence of the Old Testament or the Bible, and an aversion to the “patriarchs,” prophets, apostles, and values of the Bible are all based on half-truths, the twisting of truth, and outright lies. These deceits, believed, have contributed majorly to the distrust of God, His Word, and Biblical values. They have severely damaged respect among many women for God, men, marriage, and motherhood as a full-time role or employment. Granted, this has been an extreme movement, somewhat limited in scope, but it has undeniably grown in numbers and influence over the last century. Currently, many of its assumptions are accepted as facts by a large and growing number of “Progressive,” “Woke,” “empathetic,” or “sympathetic” people (both “liberals” and “conservatives”) in society.
These suppositions are no longer limited to those who are caught up in bitterness, anger, and hatred towards God and all that is male or patriarchal. This part of the “Progressive” movement has not only seeped into Western society, as a whole, but it has also deeply infiltrated churches and synagogues.
In seeking to alleviate the tension between women’s sensitivities and people’s notions of God, some pastors, Rabbis, and teachers have settled on “translating” God into a female entity and imposing feminine pronouns on all referents to the Lord, God of the Bible—even where they don’t exist in the original text or language in which the Bible or Tanakh was written. Could God not be female in gender, just misrepresented by misogynist men? In too many circles, maleness has become so offensive that in reference to God, people will not use a male pronoun.
Through the lens of this extreme will we now deny how God referred to Himself through Jesus—who was also undeniably a human male? The same Jesus, who—according to the Bible—is God’s only perfectly pure and faithful representative? This is the same Jesus, who claimed the Lord, God of the Old Testament as His Father; who also referred to the Old Testament as being true and authoritative for life because it was authored or inspired by His Father, the Lord, God of the Old Testament; and who taught that He (Jesus) was, and always is, one—in complete unity—with Him (God, the Father).
Though it is a defensible stance that there is a feminine element in the Trinity, predominantly within the character or nature of the Holy Spirit, I’m speaking here of people assigning a purely, only feminine gender to God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ in a misandrous (man-hating) application. In truth, it is bitterness in the human soul, not God’s male aspect, that would transpose God into a monster if He isn’t female. Thankfully, people’s changing their use of language will not—cannot—change the nature of God. God is one being you don’t want to get wrong.
People who insist on holding a view that is antagonistic towards maleness in God must ignore some of the things God has revealed about Himself through Jesus, Christ. And doing this effectively creates an idol—a false image of God. Whereas, the truth about the Lord, God of the Old Testament can only be learned from Him through His revelations about Himself, especially through Jesus Christ, who He sent; and through His Holy Spirit, who He gives to be with us always through Jesus.
Various Women’s Issues do need addressing—continually. It is also true that in too many instances there has been severe ignorance or neglect of the plights or needs of large numbers of women. However, this ignorance and neglect has nothing to do with God or His Word or will on this issue, except that people have continually abused, ignored, and neglected God and His Word on this subject!
It is not honest to ignore the intentional and central place in God’s law and heart—from ancient times to the present—that He has given toward care for the poor, oppressed, disadvantaged, or vulnerable in society. Within the culture and communities of ancient Israel, this group most often included the widowed, fatherless, orphans, and immigrants (sojourners or “foreigners”). These groups were named specifically as individuals God wanted His people to watch over and safeguard. In fact, a major reason for the judgment God brought on His people, sending them into captivity or exile themselves, was specifically because of their neglect of their spouses and families and their taking advantage of—instead of caring for—the widows, fatherless, orphans, and immigrants.
The way God’s one true representative, Jesus, affirmed and treated women was a stark contrast to some of the cultural norms of past times, of His times, and “even” of our times. His loving-kindness and respect toward the rejects and outcasts of society, which compassion and regard He openly demonstrated or expressed, in effect assigned immeasurable value and worth to every human being without partiality. He was perfect in love and respect and justice and mercy as no other man (or woman) on earth has ever been or ever will be. We can never be like Jesus by merely following human nature. By His words and actions, while He lived on the earth, He defined misogyny by living and unveiling the opposite of it, as it had never been seen, recognized, or emphasized before.
His compassion set a new standard for humankind. While He had—and still has—the greatest real power and authority any man (or woman) has ever had; He has only used—and still uses—it to serve people according to their real, soul needs. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, made whole the disabled, cast out demons, and forgave sin (causing it to be forsaken) in all manner of people. He did all this in His own timing and way, not according to anyone’s expectations of Him, except God’s.
During His earthly ministry, He treated all equally—though not at all in the same way—as each person and situation was unique. His attitude was and is the total opposite of misogyny—and misandry. There never was or ever will be anyone else like Him. His light, who He was and is, has forever, through contrast, exposed the dark blot of misogyny and misandry and all other evils that lead to injustice. He has shown us how His Father, God (of the Old Testament) would have each of us treat other human beings regardless of gender, social or economic standing, etc.
The early church continued in the example of Jesus, following Him in compassion and care for the poor, the widows, orphans, and all who were afflicted or oppressed by humans, disease, or their own sins, etc. Those who love and follow Him still continue in this practice.
At the same time, as long as humans remain human and fail to believe, or obey, God—including many who call themselves Christians or devout Jews—they will be limited and fall short in one regard or another in their interactions and relationships with each other. Abuse, ignorance, and neglect will continue to rise rather than diminish on the earth. This is true among men and women alike.
In the end, it will do no good (or Weal) but only harm (or Woe) to the cause of women to try to fault and dispose of God and the Old Testament “system.” The values based on God’s heart, word, and law are still relevant today, even though some specific roles, priorities, and practical applications may no longer apply.
For example, ancient people groups were highly interdependent agricultural societies that could not survive being individualistic or concerned with individual “rights” as moderns tend to be—maybe to a fault. Their ancient focus—maybe to a fault—was on how individuals were part of familial and tribal communities, who had to cooperate to survive or to be prepared for contingencies, who had many preventative laws, which may appear harsh to our modern way of seeing things. Their “norms” were necessary for everyone’s survival.
Also, as hard as it might be to imagine, it appears that women in ancient times viewed themselves very differently than a majority of modern women do. Their pleasure, contentment, and satisfaction came through different means as well. It seems that among themselves it was seen as a great honor to be able to conceive and give birth to even one child who could carry on the family line. It appears that bearing and raising children was more important to them than anything else. It certainly gave them social standing among themselves and in the community. Arranged marriages were the norm. Romantic love between two people was not necessarily a prerequisite for marriage. It didn’t seem to be expected.
The powerful influence (physical and spiritual) of women, both for good and for evil, on men in particular, and in raising good or evil children, was much more acknowledged among the ancients than it is with moderns. If a man was honorable (righteous or God-honoring) or had a special status in the community, it would often be attributed to who his mother or wife was—and the same if he was dishonorable.
It's true men were considered to be of greater economic value, as a slave or free servant, than women. However, economic value was not an indication of intrinsic worth, but rather of utility because of body structure. More hard, physical labor required for survival (in an agricultural society) could be obtained from men. Probably for this same reason, men were the necessary leaders (authorities) and protectors in communities. On occasion, when men failed to step up, women took on these roles.
This is only a light overview of cultural differences between then and now. It is ignorant to judge ancient people through modern eyes, ideals, and expectations. Human perspectives, standards, and ambitions are, in many instances, counter to God’s much better and far-reaching views of and plans for us. God taught the ancient people how to love one another within the context of their culture. His heart has not changed. He wants us modern people to love one another in our cultural setting too.
Yet, as always, human beings who, have been limited at every point in time in their knowledge and understanding compared to God, are judging God—the eternal, all-powerful, all-seeing, all-wise, unchanging, always good, always just Lord, God. They are judging Him by their own lights and ideas of what is good or just. The Lord, God who has only ever asked—commanded—and expected His people to practice justice in the Spirit of His love.
It is also (sadly) true that many who have called themselves God’s people have often not practiced love or justice according to His will. His people also have a will and choices to make. They are still human and subject to err. They all start as new believers who have yet to be transformed or sanctified by God. They are a work in progress. This doesn’t excuse sin, but their sins should be seen as a reflection on them, not on God. Some claim to be God’s people who, in reality, are not. These have done much harm to the reputation of God and His people because many people are not discerning about this.
Extreme women’s movements in our society and time have been a severe reaction to outrageous, harsh, and cruel treatment by men. However, this reaction, in its turn, has done more to hurt women and society than to help, through its equally harsh, intense, immoderate rejection of all men and of God. This movement is itself tyrannical and abusive. You only have to watch the news to see outrageous displays of spoiled, bad-tempered, self-centered, unconstrained, intolerant women at their ugliest ever. Women, who demean themselves and womanhood in every way. They are not a picture of God’s love in action. I suppose some of them, feeling and being fully “justified,” are proud of that.
As I’ve pointed out, the influence of this “justified” extreme in women’s movements has continued to expand in the world. The foundational beliefs, attitudes, and practices behind this movement have opened the way for, inspired, and championed another extreme gender-related movement.
As has been done by those engaged in the extremes of the women’s movement, a false image is being pushed in the LGBTQ+ community. However, it’s not a false image of God that’s being promoted; instead, completely ignoring God, it’s a false image of humanity, as if God does not exist and did not create humans male and female in the first place.
The “transition” to this false image is promoted by the assignment of “new” pronouns and language, too. Unfortunately, the push hasn’t stopped there. This, also extreme, movement is impatiently pressing, shoving, and thrusting forward the much more physically permanent harms of hormone treatments and surgical mutilations. This huge thrust is aimed at young people, adding irreparable damage to the consequences at the end of the choices young people make in their teenage confusion. Even worse, it is being forcibly pressed on young, impressionable children causing great anxiety and conflict where there need not and should not be any! Parents and people who care are being told, “hands off.” Hopefully, they are not listening! From beginning to end, this is a purely evil movement. It seeks to forcefully push, drive, and prod people without relief to do its bidding. Being completely without God, there is no good in it for anyone in the end.
As with the extreme women’s movement, these gender activists automatically assign to anyone who believes in God or godly values their own discussion-stopping labels. These labels are “homophobe,” “transphobe,” or terms denoting or connotating similar meanings. And so, without a trial, without even a hearing, anyone who believes in God or godly values is cut off from dialogue once these labels are affixed. And whether any of these labels are true of God or true believers in Him or not—which they are not—a conversation is not allowed.
And, the reality is, many of the people in the LGBTQ+ community have either experienced real or seeming rejection by “religious” Christians or Jews, or they have heard first-hand accounts of it. They have heard and accepted human words that have caused them to believe that the Lord, God of the Bible does not love them as they are, that He is against them, and that He will never accept them under any circumstances. Most people in this community associate God and those who claim to be His people with rejection.
Who would want to have anything to do with such a god or people who believe in this god? But, by looking no further and accepting this view of “God”—really a god who these people have imagined—these same persons learn to hate, reject, or dismiss, the spiritual Author and Inspiration behind the Old and New Testaments and generally anyone who had anything to do with Him or His Word.
Meanwhile, as with the extremes in the Women’s movement, these labels don’t fit everyone—possibly not even the majority of the people to whom they are assigned. God’s people don’t hate those who choose to practice LGBTQ+ behaviors, even though they may speak openly against the behaviors themselves. People never agree on everything. It’s not conflict that’s evil. Those who truly love us will encourage us to do what’s right by God for us and everyone, even when they know we might not agree.
The truth is: the God who formed and continues to maintain the material (and spiritual) universe(s) loves ALL His creations, and His people will too if they are true believers and followers of Him. He is a Holy God, who is wholly good (just) and perfect in love. He hates what He calls sin because of how it hurts His creations, both those affected and those who indulge in it. Sin is whatever goes against God (who He was, is, and ever will be) and His eternal, all-seeing, knowledge and indication of what is right or good for humans. All sin is considered evil in His eyes, only because He is perfectly just and comprehends and desires the best—the greatest eternal potential and glory—for each individual being.
“Sin” means to miss the mark. We all miss the mark of the perfection of God. But there is a distinction that needs to be made concerning what is sin and what is not. According to God, sexual sin is any sex or sensuality outside of a godly marriage between one man and one woman joined in a life-long commitment to each other. Is “sin” an offensive word in this context? If a person wants to continue in their sin more than he or she wants a relationship with God, then it would be. If a person is convicted and turns from the sin to God, then it might be painful (acknowledging sin in oneself), but not offensive.
All my life, I have struggled with a strong tendency towards suicidal depression. Is this tendency a sin? No. Is willful indulgence in it after God has given me tools for dealing with it a sin? Yes. Even though God has given me a great deal of victory, and it’s an inclination that tends to dwell in the background rather than the foreground of my life now, it occasionally still slips in a back door. Is that a sin? No. Once I recognize it’s there, with God I can deal with it to get the victory over it once again. If I were to choose not to deal with it, knowing it’s there, would this be a sin? I’m sure of it.
Some tendencies are part of one’s DNA. Besides severe depression and other “mental illnesses,” alcoholism is one for some. Sometimes homosexual tendencies are. Some people are more prone to certain kinds of addiction than others, to drugs, gambling, anger, caffeine, sugar, gossip, adrenaline rush, bitterness, envy, procrastination, and every other possibility under the sun. None of us is exempt, and some of us have double, triple, and even more “prizes” that we struggle with.
If one has a tendency or predisposition, does that give that person the license to indulge? What if everybody did? The result would be mass suicides, endlessly destroyed lives and relationships, rampant STDs, destruction of all sorts, constant ill-health and sicknesses, and finally, eternal separation from God and all that’s good. Are any of these ends what people want for themselves or their loved ones?
It’s been repeatedly reinforced in my own life, that practicing or indulging in a tendency or temptation that, whether knowingly or ignorantly, goes against God, still, always, remains a sin before Him. Such behavior only continues the sin. And hiding behind excuses like: “That’s just the way I am”; “I’m not hurting anyone but myself”; “The other person ‘asked’ for it (whatever ‘it’ is)”; or “It’s just this once, I won’t do it again;” does not change the consequences or diminish the continued destructiveness of the practice of sin.
No matter what one’s tendency is, and no matter how strong it is, ignoring it and the consequences of indulgence in it doesn’t make either the propensity or the consequences go away. Consequences, such as hurt and pain, discouragement, depression, despair, misery, dissatisfaction, harmed or broken relationships and homes, financial discord and disaster, loss of employability, emotional paralysis, damaged health and/or property, AIDS, STDs, and so on and on, including premature death are real. They are not what God, as revealed by Jesus, wants for anyone.
It is a very natural and common thing for those who choose to adopt practices or lifestyles that are expressly against God, or who don’t want to pay attention to long-term consequences, to justify themselves. Often this includes choosing to believe, without confirming it, that one has good reason to deplore God and His Word in the Old and New Testament—because they condemn what one is doing. Rejecting God and His Word is a sign someone’s sin has control over them and not the other way around.
Every person is broken in one way or another from birth (some of us in several ways). Brokenness comes through sin (evil) and faults that develop and even that are inherited through one’s DNA or that are adopted from family and social practices and behaviors and cultural “norms.” We were all born with a propensity to sin.
God hates sin because it harms us, but He does not hate people even though they sin, or He would hate everyone. Because every person, but Jesus, has done wrong and so has sinned. It is proof of God’s love that “while we were yet sinners” He sent Jesus to deliver each one of us from our sin and brokenness and the consequences of the same —which consequences are physical death and hell (eternal separation from God). His love and work on behalf of the world is the greatest work of love there is. It is unconditional and immeasurable.
The reason I can say—with certainty—that God is not a homo- or trans- or any kind of -phobe, -hater, or -fearer is because of Jesus. Jesus, His One and only True Representative, clearly showed by His life and words and death in our place what love is. He demonstrated in real-time, in the flesh, in the most real ways that God IS love and that God loves every one of us.
In love, Jesus met and continues to meet people where they are. He is all-in for each one of us—even fully knowing that we, all, each and every one of us, are broken and sinners in one way or another. God did three things by sending Jesus in human form, and as Immanuel (God with us); and by His being willing to give His innocent, pure, perfect life (body and blood) to atone or cover for and so be able to forgive our individual and collective guilt, sin, and shame. (The Old Testament animal sacrifices and the Passover lamb were all pictures pointing to this reality and to Jesus Christ.)
First, by the law of sacrifice, fulfilled in Jesus, He showed the seriousness of sin—that no sin or injustice is acceptable to God. Second, He demonstrated the physical and spiritual reality of its consequences (death and separation from God). And third, He made a way for anyone who is willing and trusts Him (by fully believing in His goodness and faithfulness through Jesus) to become free from brokenness and sin.
This is the way He has provided for us. For those who believe, who seek to obey Him, He will immediately or eventually free us permanently from the consequences of our wrongdoing and from the humanly irrevocable consequences that we (and all people) have earned by sinning.
Through Jesus, God can dwell by His Spirit with and in humankind. Nearer than one’s own heart. He can give each person a new identity in Him, by adopting each one into His family as His child. Each person is first and foremost identified by the appellation, “loved by God.” No one on earth or in heaven is greater than God in love or goodness or wisdom or in any other way. There is no greater validation.
One’s sexuality; skin, hair, or eye color; birth or nationality; social status; employment or skills; and all else is secondary to this primary identity God gives us. God made each person with unique gifts, talents, and aptitudes. One’s uniqueness does not in any way affect or change one’s foundational—lasting (eternal!)—essential worth or status of belonging and being loved forever by God. One’s identity is forever fixed in God and who He is. There is no greater satisfaction, peace, joy, or pleasure for the human soul than being able to rest in its Creator’s great love and to love God in return.
God’s presence is the everlasting cure for the loneliness that is part of the human condition. The loneliness that can only be vanquished by belonging to God and becoming part of His family. Becoming part of His family by serving others as He wills, in His way and timing, espousing and desiring His values. He trains us in personal restraint and responsibility. He makes us glorious—far more and better than we ever dreamed or imagined we could be. When we live for God, giving our lives to Him, we have nothing to lose, but everything to gain!
Am I mad at God for making me with the tendency to suicidal depression (along with other undesirable tendencies)? No. I am grateful for how He has used them to cause me to look to Him, to show His personal concern for me, His presence with me, and His faithfulness in helping me when I need it. I’m also grateful for the sensitivity and empathy it has given me for others in their area(s) of weakness or brokenness, and how it allows me to be of help to others because I have “been there...”
It’s been a huge help to me to understand that in God’s eyes, it is NOT a sin for any person to have a tendency or to be tempted. God has promised His Help when people are sincere about wanting to do what’s right according to His will. His will, which is based on His all-wise, all-seeing perspective. When I have desired to do His will more than I desire anything (or anyone) else, He has never failed to give immediate help. By God’s Spirit dwelling in and with us, by our asking and permission (your will), He can and will change even our innermost desires that are contrary to His love and our own and others’ well-being.
It’s also been helpful to me to realize that God doesn’t generally remove unwanted brokenness, tendencies, or habits all at once (though sometimes He does). I’ve learned to be more patient with myself and others. At the same time it is a comfort and assurance to me that without fail, Jesus will give understanding (light, truth) or strength (right desires, power, energy) to me when I sincerely (not wanting anything or anyone else more) admit where I am—my helplessness or hopelessness without Him—and call on Him for Help to deal with my current looming tendency or temptation. He has promised that to persons who continue to look to Him in faith, He will give full mastery—total victory—(sometimes immediately, usually eventually) over every sin or sinful tendency and that He will completely heal all our brokenness. And He always keeps His word.
Insights the Lord has given me through the principles in the twelve-step programs based on the Beatitudes and the Lord’s prayer have been the greatest help to me. I pray and read through these on an ongoing basis.
Only God can balance our extremes and bring us around to soundness of mind and body. If each of us did what He has taught us in His Word in the Bible; shown us through the life, words, and death of Jesus; and what He will teach and empower us to do by His Spirit through Jesus, extremes would not exist. If each of us were looking to God for wisdom and help, we would be living in peace (blessedness or weal) not heading toward disastrous (evil, woeful) consequences.
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will follow My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him. (John 14:23, NASB)
 To see the introductory blog on this subject visit: https://www.wordsintime.net/post/weal-or-woe-an-introduction  For example, see: Exo. 22:21–23; 23:3, 6, 11; Lev. 19:10, 15; 23:22; 25:35, 39; Deut. 10:17-19; 14:28-29; 15:4-11, 12-15, 18; 24:17-22; 26:12-13, 19; 1 Sam. 2:8; Job 5:16; 24:3-4, 9, 14, 21; 29:11-13; 30:25; 31:16-23; 34:21-28; Ps. 12:5; 14:6; 15:1-5; 22:26; 35:10; 68:5; 69:29-33; 82; 94:6; 112:9; 113:7; 132:15; 140:12;146:9; Prov. 14:31; 15:25; 17:5; 19:17; 21:13; 22:9, 16, 22-23; 28:3, 8, 27; 29:14; 31:8-9, 20; Isa. 1:16-17, 23; 3:13-26; 5:15-17, 20-23; 10:1-4; 11:1-9; 13:11-13; 25:1-4; 26:1-6; 32:7; 41:17; 58:1-14; Jer. 2:31-35; 5:26-29; 7:5-7; 22:3, 16; Ezek. 16:49; 18:12, 17; 22:7, 12, 29; Amos 2:7; 4:1; 5:11-12; 8:4-7; Zech. 7:10; Mal. 3:5  “And they sent their disciples to [Jesus] along with the Herodians, saying, Teacher, we know that You are sincere and what You profess to be and that You teach the way of God truthfully, regardless of consequences and being afraid of no man; for You are impartial and do not regard either the person or the position of anyone.” (Matt. 5:16, AMPC)