I’ve been looking for a balanced life for several decades now.
I figured that after college, my life would get “normal.” Umm…I’m still looking!!
Researchers and mentors have all told me that it’s important to balance family-work-play-faith-rest. It’s like my brain is supposed to have an imaginary scale that weighs the hours in the day. The scale seems to be broken most of the time.
Nearly 60 million results popped up when I googled “balanced life”! Apparently, my broken scale is not alone.
But then …. EUREKA! …. I do get it right sometimes.
Why does it seem, though, that this balance escapes shortly after I achieve it? Things run smoothly for a few days (or hours?!) then all goes awry! Life feels precarious and imbalanced once again.
The reality is … we live in a broken and fallen world. Trials are a part of every day. They regularly unbalance our imaginary mental scale! Failure everyday.
Guess what I recently learned?? This concept of “balance” is not the the Bible!
The Bible uses the Greek word “sophron” to describe balance in mature believers. It conveys “moderation” and “being in control of oneself.” (1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:8; 2:2, 5) It is also translated as a “sound mind.” Biblical balance has everything to do with our mindset and very little to do with measuring the use of daily hours.
There is nothing in Scripture about calculating the hours we work, play, and rest.
That is freedom, Friends!
What does balance in a believer look like?
The Bible depicts balance in the mature believer as an inward focus on Christ that effortlessly shapes outward actions. Maturity demonstrates self-restraint with desires and personal agendas. Faith in Christ fills the day instead of self-centered worries and anxieties.
New balance = Contentment in the moment
Indeed, we can benefit from assessing how we spend our 24-hour daily allotments. But, really, most of us are just trying to get by day to day. Some days we focus more on family, others on ministry and giving time, others on work, others on ________ (fill in the blank with your own commitments).
Amidst the commitments in life, we need to focus our decisions on our faith in Christ. Fulfill your commitments with integrity and with joy. If joy is missing, you may need to re-assess your involvement with that activity.
The secret to a balanced life? Throw away the scale! Replace the daily to-do assessments with daily faith-focused decisions.
Pray about all that you do. Ponder your motives. Really.
So…in the coming seven days, be mindful of your activities and commitments. Then journal responses to a few questions:
- How does your faith in Christ motivate your involvement?
- Which days gave you the most contentment and joy?
- How did your faith manifest in your actions?
What did you learn about “balance” in your seven days?