Balancing Act

I came across a really interesting post over on the blog run by the super-creative pastors at lifechurch.tv.  It has to do with balance.  This topic is one of those that is always simmering beneath the surface, especially at the pace of life that so many of us live these days.  As a result, the thoughts of a balanced life are either near and dear or something we hate to hear.  Here’s what the guys over at  Swerve have to say about the subject………

One of the most common topics people ask me about is how I balance my life, family, and ministry.

My response is simple, “I don’t live a balanced life.

In my opinion, the balanced life is unachievable and unbiblical.

balance.jpgJesus didn’t call us to live a balanced life. He called us to follow Him.

While following Jesus, our life will often be out-of-balance. He may lead us on long stretches of ministry followed by a substantial season of rest. Ministry will rarely be predictable.

Some pastors are pursuing the illusive goal of the balanced life only to fail again and again.

  • Their marriages struggle.
  • Their ministries limp along.
  • They are spiritually exhausted.

Their blog is directed mostly to others in ministry.  But I think there is application in other areas as well.  How about you?  Does this throw you a curveball?  Does this offer you some relief?  What are your thoughts?

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2 Responses

  1. I think this depends on your definition of balance. If, by balanced, you mean that your life is equally distributed between work, play, and family, or that you are able to do everything you ever wanted to do, then, no, that is not achievable, and it certainly isn’t scriptural. But I do think that a different kind of balance is attainable–the kind of balance that keeps our spiritual cups filled–the kind of balance that only Christ can give us. This balance is what keeps us steady when the seas get rough. This is how a person can be personally attacked and persecuted time and time again and still stand up–think about Job and the trials he faced. In the world’s view, he was certainly not living a balanced life. And yet he had an inner balance that allowed him to keep going, to persevere, and to keep trusting that God was in control of his life and would protect him. THAT’s the kind of balance that I seek!

  2. I used to feel the same way several years ago when I first heard this concept. Now, I read of great modern heroes of the faith like Billy Graham who I used gain a super-life-ministry approach from looking back over their lives and saying the one thing they regretted was not spending more time with family. You can’t do both. You can’t have more ministry, more impact, and more time with family. Decisions have to be made that honor family first at times.

    My pastor had a serious dialogue with me about my pace at one point sharing your mindset, but not caring for myself very well. He pointed out many men like this, and said, he used to share the same opinion as well, but that many years of experience have moved him toward a more balanced approach.

    I was not familiar with a Biblical term or approach called “balance” and it’s taken me some years mulling it with the Lord to “get it” in a way where I valued it from a Biblical perspective.

    My pastor left me with this thought: “to honor family above all else is to honor God above all else.”

    Paul makes it clear that when a family is taken on, that calls for priority and time. Obviously, we can do more for the kingdom without those responsibilities, but once we choose them, they are to be priorities. He acknowledged that.

    Jesus called men to leave family for a short season, and he calls some to that, but even dying on the cross, he had the care of his mother on his mind. He valued care for family.

    To take care of those responsibilities gave him peace and joy.

    A few years back as I was examining this concept, God showed me at one point that I COULD keep running fast and hard toward Him and toward some goals for ministry, but that I was going to suffer a flat tire because of it if I didn’t allow other areas and people in my life to keep up with the pace and with me…this is balance. Being able to pursue goals AND wait…all at the same time.

    Jesus took time for personal rejuvenation and prayer…this is balance. Not running ahead of God.

    “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength”…this part implies the lack of balance and sold out commitment, but the second part, “and the second is like unto it, love your neighbor as yourself.” These implies a waiting on others, care for them…the inconveniences or relationships and love, prioritizing that just as much as we do pursuing God.

    We take care of our human temples which house the Holy Spirit while we are on this earth…keeping them in good working condition for service. We are good stewards of all we have been given, not denying ourselves the care we need to stay strong.

    This isn’t what God intended.

    No, obedience doesn’t always look balanced to others, no Christian life will. But, we strive for a sense of balance. “For God is a God of order and a God of peace”.

    Balance gives me time to recovery and refresh and find new grace for the next tasks, realizing I am not God, but flesh…human. Life wears on me. It tells me to give myself time to recovery between hard meetings so that I have grace for the next. It recognizes it’s limits. It doesn’t want to have left-overs for self, friends, and families, but saves some of it’s “best moments” for them.

    Well, I certainly don’t have this in formal form and am speaking very off the cuff here, but I hope these thoughts are valuable to you. I fought them for a long time, but have found them good for my health, refreshing to my marriage, and spiritually energizing. Quite the opposite of an illusion of balance. It certainly doesn’t mean I hit quotas or other people’s ideas of balance, but I seek and find my own sense of balance and health so that I can better serve. That’s balance.

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