This is when there is a lopsided, out-of-balance slant that results in error, as something is misrepresented by an intensity or exaggerated emphasis instead of the balanced truth. Much false teaching results from only one side being presented, such as God’s grace and love being accentuated without the corresponding truth of His justice and judgment for unconfessed sin and our responsibility to put off the sinful lifestyle (Eph 4:22).

The devil endeavours to get Christians ‘out of balance’ with undue attention given to a particular teaching so there will come a counteracting swing in the opposite direction that will also bring discredit to the cause of Christ. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day had distorted the direct teaching of “Honouring your father and mother’ and instead devoted all their help and gifts to God (Mt 15:3-6). While God is to be first in our lives, this does not negate the other responsibilities we have (Lk 11:42). Be mature and endeavour to understand the correct and complete mind of God in all matters of our faith so that you have a balanced approach. “All Scripture [not just some] is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16). The outworking of what we believe results in the way we live, how we sub-consciously influence others, and ultimately is what we are accountable to God for.

Over-emphasising causes an ignoring or silencing of other important Biblical truths and principles. Do not twist the clear meaning of Scripture to 'support' a view that excludes the clarifying stance also contained in the Bible. It is possible to be so fixated on a truth that we lose our ability to revel in other

Do not distort the truth

glorious truths. While it is acceptable to concentrate on a particular topic for a period, to fully grasp its significance this should not become a long-term one-eyed approach but held in conjunction with the full counsel of God (Act 20:27). It's important to be well rounded in Christ, not focusing exclusively on some aspects at the expense of others.

See also: balance, emphasis, error, truth.