When I was about 15 years old, Dad suggested taking me for a sailboat ride on Lake Michigan with his cousin, Trena, her husband, and my mom. Trena recalled her boating experiences with my dad in the past.

“Absolutely not! I remember all those summers when you would terrorize me with a motor boat. I will never get on a boat with you again.”

Trena had scarcely said no to the whole idea when she found herself on the boat with the rest of us.

The trip began with pristine conditions for sailing. It was a cloudless day with a medium breeze. Trena was actually beginning to enjoy herself. Our small boat gently rocked back and forth as we cut through the waves.

We were several miles away from the shoreline when the sky suddenly darkened. The light breeze became an angry gust, which nearly tipped our boat. Water rushed onto the deck as lightning flashed and thunder roared. Dad lowered the main sail and ushered us inside the cabin to ride out the storm. Thankfully, we survived. The only casualty was Trena’s desire to ever take another boat ride.

While a little rocking on a sailboat makes for an enjoyable ride, in excess it endangers the vessel and its occupants. The same concept is true in the Christian life. Whenever we allow ourselves to list, we risk tipping over. We need to be on an even keel.

If you charted your spiritual progress over the course of this month, how would your “ship” be faring? You have the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and the armor of God to ensure you stay afloat. But it’s up to you to establish proper balance. Don’t rock the boat.

However advanced a man may be in piety or age, he is still in danger of falling. — Charles Simeon

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.