I often hear Christians discussing, even complaining, about how difficult it is to balance their faith, relationships, career, social lives, etc. Well, I too have sought to live a balanced life in those areas. And like many, I’ve looked to the world to help me in my quest.
The world caters to our desire for balance. Go online, and you’ll find an endless array of products, courses, and articles containing the keys to creating a balanced life. There are apps for our computers and mobile devices, accountability groups, and elaborate calendars—all designed to help us maintain the right balance of time for each area of our lives. A whole industry exists off this desire!
It seems like a worthy goal.
As Christians, we desire a life that feels balanced between all our activities. For example, we don’t want to give too much time to our hobbies and ignore our work. Nor do we want to work nonstop and ignore our need for rest and fun. Likewise, we want to serve God, but we don’t want to ignore our family in the process.
We often find ourselves wishing we had more hours in the day because we can’t seem to make it all fit.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of those trying to find this balance never quite get it right. It seems like a forever struggle. But what if I were to tell you that finding balance isn’t what God desires at all? In fact, this goal is in direct conflict with scripture.
If you don’t believe me, then read the following question an expert in religious law asked Jesus in Matthew 22:35–38:
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.”
Note the three uses of the word all. When you read back over these verses, do you get a sense of balance? Do you feel led toward a balanced life or one that is 100 percent focused on Jesus?
I must tell you that balance is the last thing I think about when I read this passage. Instead, I get the sense that every aspect of my life should be focused on God and His purposes. In fact, I get the feeling that anything less than 100 percent focus on Him is out of balance.
So, what is the answer to finding a feeling of balance? Colossians 3:23 tells us: “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
The answer to that feeling of imbalance is to do everything for God. We are to focus on Him and His will for us, and we are to do this in every area of our lives.
As we approach our work, we are not to seek a healthy balance there. Instead, we should ask God what He desires from our work. We should study His Word and strive to apply it in every way as we fulfill our job duties and responsibilities. We should give 100 percent of our work to Him and seek to do it in a way that points others toward Him.
We are to do the same in every area of our lives—in our family relationships, our hobbies, our social lives, etc. While it might seem like this will lead to greater imbalance, it is my belief that God will cause the opposite to happen.
If we are truly seeking His leading in every area of our lives, don’t you think He would lead us to a balance that honors Him?
Too often, we forget that “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength” (1 Corinthians 1:25 NIV).
I am convinced that if we follow His greatest command, He will give us a life that is patterned according to His balance. And that’s a life I want to live!
Written by Chris Patton
Photo by Joshua Earle