Embracing balance is God's model for our lives

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Minister's Forum

Have you ever had the feeling of being completely overwhelmed?  Maybe overwhelmed by work or school. Maybe you feel more like a taxicab than a mom. Maybe you’re losing sleep at night as you constantly cram for tests or are writing papers for school. Have you ever felt like your life is chaotic and out of balance?
The reality is we all have – and it is something that each  one of us can wrestle with on an ongoing basis.
Look at what Job said: “I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” (Job 3:26)
Can you relate? This turmoil and lack of rest that Job talked about can happen for many reasons. But often, one of the most common reasons we can feel this in our lives is because of a lack of balance. We feel stuck. We feel overwhelmed. We feel frustrated and fatigued, often because our lives are out of balance.
But God’s very nature, his very character, is not one of chaos or imbalance. It says in 1 Corinthians 14:33: “For God is not a God of disorder but a God of peace.” God wants us to experience the order and peace of a balanced life.
But how do we live a healthy,  balanced life? One of the coolest things about God is that he doesn’t make us guess, but gave us the perfect example of a perfectly balanced life in the life of Jesus Christ. Luke 2:52 describes Jesus’ development, and the areas of life that he and we need to balance to experience the life God intends. Luke 2:52 says: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
In order to live the balanced life God intends for us to live, we need to evaluate and balance four areas or our lives. We need to have mental balance, physical balance, relational balance and spiritual balance. These are the four areas described in Luke 2:52.
First, we need to be challenging ourselves mentally. When we stop learning, we stop growing.  We need to be life-long learners. We need to exercise that muscle between our ears. We need to read, we need to dream and  we need to create. What are you doing to challenge yourself mentally? What is the last book you’ve read? Class you’ve taken? Dream you’ve pursued?  We need mental balance.
Second, we need to maintain physical balance. God gave each  of us the gift of a body. How well are we taking care of it?  This is one of the hardest areas for me. But we need balance in this area. Look at this next verse: “…You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore,  honor God with your body.”  (I Corinthians 16:19b-20)  We need to honor God with our bodies in all ways – including eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep.
Next, we need to maintain relational balance. We were created for community, to be with other people.  Jesus was all about connecting with people, spending time with them and developing relationships. On multiple occasions, Jesus stopped to have dinner at someone’s house. He went to weddings and the receptions. Jesus balanced all the work and the miracles and the teaching with times to just be with people and talk with them and have friends.
The sad thing is that because of our busyness, this is becoming a lost aspect of so many people’s lives. In the midst of our chaos and lack of balance,  we start to ignore and lose relationships. Are you creating time in your life for other people?  When was the last time you had someone over for dinner? When was the last time you went over to someone else’s house for dinner or to just hang out? We were made for relationships – relationships with each other and a relationship with God. And Jesus demonstrated this with his life.  He valued relationships above everything else.
Then last, but definitely not least, we need to maintain a spiritual balance. We need time with God on a regular basis.  It’s amazing how when we will honor God and spend time with Him, how he balances out our lives. What does it mean to have spiritual balance? It means praying. It means giving God a few minutes of your day to read the Bible. It means growing in grace and knowledge. In 2 Peter 3:18, it says, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  
So many times, we Christians focus on the knowledge to the detriment of the grace. So often, our focus becomes book knowledge. Knowing the all books of the Bible in order, or knowing who Daniel or Noah or Hezekiah are, none of which is bad. In fact, knowledge is good.  But if grace is not coupled with the knowledge, what use is the knowledge? Grace in this context is growing in the character of and enjoying a relationship with God. Growing in grace is putting into practice that knowledge that we have and becoming more like Christ.
So how balanced is your life?  Are you experiencing the ebbs and flows of a balanced life, or are you stuck in the chaos of imbalance?
We all need to continually be checking our gauges, evaluating ourselves mentally, physically, relationally and spiritually…moving from imbalance to balance. To the life that God desires for each of us to live.