Tipping the Balance Scales
A careful balance of life can often be a challenge as the pressures of the world can quickly tip the balance scale. I haveÂ concluded that I can be an unbalanced person. Those of you who know me personally can stop laughing at this point and commenting that you have known that for years. I probably need to quantify that statement. I can be unbalanced as I am a passionate person because when I get involved with a project or take on a mission I become so focused that I throw off the delicate balance of life. Perhaps what I should really say is that I am a hyper-focused goal-oriented person when I dedicate myself to an idea. So as my family will attest if I begin working in the studio or take on a responsibilityÂ and becomeÂ focused on that project because I have committed to it then I will not stop for much of anything including dinner. I will work until I drop or finish the project to my satisfaction whether reasonable or not.
I can remember a time a good many years ago of a day in which I had taken on such a project in the studio. I do not remember now what it was that I was working on but I was working and had been all day. The hour grew later and I remember my husband casually walking in and asking if I had any plans for dinner. I remember thinking dinner? It is too early for dinner I will think about that later. Of course later did come and I had not thought about dinner as I wasÂ super focused. As day grew into night, my jokester of a husband filed into the studio withÂ the children in tow all with exaggerated dejected looks of hunger begging me to please stop so they could eat. He had taken matters into his own hands and prepared dinner for us all but the drama got my attention as I really hadn’t realized how late the hour had grown. Thankfully my life partner understood how I often allowed my commitments to take over and he righted the balance in the family. This type of super-focusedÂ commitment however can throw the fine balance of life off and often there is no one to right the balance but ourselves. I remember this story as it did make an impact on me even though my spouse meant it to be funny. IÂ know that I am like that and I have tried to be more aware of it over the years and realize that my commitments are only owned by me and not the others in my life and that I must balance life out.
This idea of balance is a difficult concept for many of us as we often allow the world to influence and dictate our every move. When we go throughÂ life in this wayÂ we only survive in the world and do not thrive because the balance is off. The world we live in with all itsÂ “get it yesterday” attitudesÂ and influence is constantly and consistently telling us how we should live, what we should do, and how we should do it. If we allow this dictation and direction to control our lives we will immediately become out of balance and turn to the world for help when the scales of our lives tip in the wrong direction.
The importanceÂ of balanceÂ in ourÂ life is what leads us to this week’s focus verse; 1 John 2:15;
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. (NLT)
Proper Balance ofÂ the ScaleÂ Puts God in Control
If you garden or haveÂ had responsibilityÂ of a house plant you are fully aware of how important balance is. If there is not enough water in a garden the plants will dry up where as if there is too much water the plants will rot. We, as people, are very much like the delicate balance of water to a plant. If we allow the world to influence us too much we will rot likewise if we do not have enough influence of God and His word we will wither and die. We can however haveÂ the opposite effect. We can become so focused on religion that we cannot interact with the world and then hoard the very thing thatÂ is our purpose, which is to glorify God to others. We have to have balance.
We, as humans, tend to categorize the items in our life. We separate things and put them in, figuratively speaking, neatÂ categories. We have our work life all in one category, our family life in another category, perhaps our social life with our friends and neighbors rest in a third category, and finally our church lifeÂ separatesÂ out in a final category. If we keep the separations between the categories clear we think we have control and can manage our own lives. However this is not what God intends for us to do. Our lives are not neatly stacked and organized boxes the categories become intermingled and tangled up and then we cannot manage them on our own and often will let one category dominate another. When this happens the balance is lost and so is peace.
I have learned that I am a better Christian when I am all by myself, just me and God. I can praise and sing hallelujah. I can allow Him to have full control of my life during that time but…when the rest of life becomes mixed with that Christian category it becomes obvious that I cannot manage the categories alone. They become intermingled and if I am not aware the world can quickly take over as I begin to allow its influences and ways to dictate my life. So should we only have a Christian life box? The Bible tells us clearly no. WeÂ are hereÂ on the earth to glorify God with the gift of free will given to us by God. It is our duty and commitment to God through the great commission to tell others about ChristÂ and to live our lives according toÂ God’s purpose. We cannot do that if we cloister ourselves away from the world to either be by ourselves or only with others of like belief.
Since God does not want us to separate ourselves apart from the world nor does He want us to allow the world to dictate and influence our life above Him, we must achieve balance. We cannot manage this balance alone we must partner with God to avoid allowing the world of physical,Â material, and prideful obsessions andÂ wants to take over our lives. We have often heard the word moderation used when people are attempting to get their bodies in shape. WeÂ must use moderation in exercise, meaningÂ we can overdo it. The body will not burn the fat we are attempting to lose if we over-do it.Â This occurrence is also seenÂ in the diet if we only eat one particular food group or another. We can lose valuable nutrients that our body must have to maintain balance and withoutÂ itÂ the bodyÂ will not be healthy and this ruins the goal of the original reason of the diet to begin with. Even if we allow the proper balance of exercise and diet to lead our lives but yet become prideful in our appearance or allow the dominating obsession of our exercise and diet to influence other’s lives we still have not achieved the overall balance we need for perfect health as our mental health will deteriorate with the lack of companionship.
Partnering with God allows for moderation in all areas to take the lead in our lives and this will create balance. We can begin by allowing God to transform our minds. Romans 12:2 tell us that we should allow God to transform the way we think;
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (NLT)
Once we have allowed God to take control and lead us in the direction He wants us to go we can see the finelyÂ tunedÂ balance of our lives taking place. As God takes control we must remember that God created the world and He put us here to thrive. Mark Hall and Matthew West of Casting Crowns wroteÂ the song, ThriveÂ indicating such.
We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives
Its time for us to more than just survive
We were made to thrive
There would not be much point to God creating the beauty of the world the way He did if we all were here to just survive. He wants us to haveÂ and enjoy our life here for the goodness He has created as it tells us in 1 Timothy 4:4-5,
Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. For we know it is made acceptable by the word of God and prayer. (NLT)
We should thank God for the pleasures in life that He has given us but we must enjoy them in moderation and not in abuse of them. This is the marvelous balance of the goodness of God. We should take the good and use it to serve and honor God back as He has given us good gifts that we should be thankful for. Balance comes about when we love God and not the world while knowing that God created the world for us our values must show that we live with Him in control. If balance is in our livesÂ peace will soon follow.
I pray all ofÂ us have a great balanced week allowing God to lead our lives andÂ asÂ we enjoy the day-to-day gifts of pleasure He bestows upon us let us all gratefully remember to thank Him.
Love in Christ,
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who nurture and care for others as Christ has taught us to do whether you are female or male.
What are Your Thoughts?
Is your life balanced? Do you find yourself getting quickly caught up in the pressures of the world? Join us in discussion; How haveÂ you found balance in your life.