Balance, balance, balance. You hear it everywhere. Your doctor will say it. Your financial advisor will talk about it. That guy on TedTalks just spoke about it. And most certainly you have heard conversations about it at church or maybe even from the pulpit.
It is a prevalent message in the culture today and it has snuck into the Christian church under a disguise of life-application. We speak about it as though it is one of our greatest practical needs as people, to lead balanced lives.
And here’s how we are told to do that:
We need to work a lot but not too much. Spend time with friends, but not excessively. Have spiritual time at church and maybe pray daily, without becoming an extremist. Excercise 5 times a week but just enough to not feel bad about eating McDonald 3 times a week. Go on a couple family vacations a year, but not so often that you feel frivolous. Watch your favorite sports as much as humanly possible but…actually nevermind this one most people are ok with doing to the extreme.
It’s a balanced life. You have all the facets of what makes life enjoyable at play along with the responsible stuff that is necessary to make the enjoyable stuff possible. However the Christian life has very little to do with balancing everything perfectly.
Of course I understand the sentiment. It is a reaction to the reality of our time. We are working too much and families are suffering for it.
We can have way too much leisure/holiday time or none at all. People are either addicted to the gym or ignore physical activity all together. And sports have become such an important element to life, while church has become optional. Life can get away from us. Non-essentials start to out-weigh the important stuff. It’s a difficult time in history to keep everything in life straight and in its proper place.
But leading a biblically Christian life is different. So you don’t have to watch a TedTalks on 7 key ways to have a more balanced to life, to figure it out.
Being a Christian has everything to do with having our faith drive every single thing we do. If we see ourselves as Christ imitators above everything else…If we consider the great commission every morning as we prepare for the day…If we meditate on the kingdom of God and how the Lord desires to use us…then Jesus goes with us everywhere we go.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. ~ Matthew 6:33
Jesus at work, Jesus on vacation, Jesus with friends, Jesus at the gym, Jesus in parenting, Jesus at the drive through, Jesus watching the game.
What I am saying is that you ought to become a fanatic about your faith to have everything become so-called balanced. The things that are unbalanced, by God’s grace will be made very aware to you. And it will be easy to correct as you allow Christ to be your guide.
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. ~ 1 Cor 11:1-2
Your faith is the stream that pours in and through every area of your life. It is the thing that drives how you interact with the world around you. And your faith should be informed by the study of the Word of God and the filling of the Spirit.
Trust me, I am not trying to make an overly simplistic Carrie Underwood “Jesus take the wheel” Christianized point. Because doing this is no easy task. You may not be liked by everyone at work because you have convictions on its place in your life. You will no longer feel tempted to laugh at all your friends crass jokes and they may wonder why. You’ll feel the pull of that play-off game tugging at your affection above your desire to worship Christ and conviction will be inevitable.
It’s hard making much of Him and less of your own desires. But this is good news. Because when trials creep in, you’ll already have Christ in charge. You wont have to re-orient your life to include Him when it is most difficult to do so.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6
This verse is one we hear often but don’t really listen to. No, Proverbs are not promises, but they are important principles. They are rich pieces of wisdom we ought to take very seriously. Think about this verse. Meditate on it. Let it grow roots in your soul. It is a truth we need desperately.
Stop trying to live a balanced life and let your faith in Jesus over-power everything and then watch Christ make your path straight.