The Sail and the Rudder

The Sail and the Rudder

Romans 12:2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 

When I was in high school, I went to a friend’s house who lived on a lake and he asked if I wanted to go sailing. I didn’t know how to sail but, on a sailboat, you have the sail and a rudder. The sail is powerful and has all the passion, but the rudder was necessary to direct it. My friend was a master at sailing the boat and he asked me if I wanted to try.

Honestly, I’m lucky to be here today. That’s how poorly it went.

I could either get the sail going or the rudder, but I could never figure out both. I would be like “We’re going!” and he’d exclaim, “Towards the dock!” or I’d say “Ok, we’re going straight” and he’d say, “But there’s no power”.

So many people live with the sail up but no hand on the rudder. They live with passion and emotion and reaction and everything in the media and on social media is meant to ignite that.

Paul tells us to be discerning, not to believe everything we think or someone else thinks. We need to be mindful, not mindless, Christians that are discerning. It shouldn’t lack passion but also needs direction. It needs the passion of the emotions, like the sail, but the direction of the mind, like the rudder.

Do you tend towards being more passionate like the sail or practical like the rudder? How can you have a better balance between the two?

To find the free Romans 12-16 digital study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit or download the Real Faith app.

Mark Driscoll
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