I know it is not usually good to start a series in the middle of another series, but I am going to do it here. Hey, it’s my blog and I’ll wander if I want to. 🙂
“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Ephesians 4:1
A few days ago I asked a question on Twitter and Facebook: “do you think Jesus was more concerned with a balanced life or an effective life of complete obedience to the Father?” I received some comments and feedback on this.
Then, this past weekend the social media sphere blew up with the news of a popular pastor stepping down due to an “emotional and physical affair.” Many blog posts and articles and rants on all sides have been written since then. Yes, I am joining the cloud and commenting here also. However, I am going back to the question I asked last week about balance.
A lot of talk goes around about being balanced. You can hear sermons, read books, blogs, participate in discussions, and find tons of resources trying to help us live a balanced life. The idea is we become well rounded (figuratively, not physical shaped) and don’t live in the extremes of life. It seems another way to get everyone on the same page of “normal.”
In the church we talk about balance as a way to not be part of the weird and fringe elements of religion. I believe that often when someone talks about balance they are just trying to convince others they are right about something. It’s one of those spiritual “ace” cards we like to pull. Kind of like, “I’ve been praying about this and…” “I feel led…” “God told me…” On and on it goes. People can be very good at spiritualizing their opinion in such a way that they bully others into agreeing with them. But, that’s another subject and I digress.
The idea of balance is that everything is equal on all sides: equal time, attention, energy, etc. I love it when someone says that balance is Biblical. Not to be smart, but I’m still waiting for the scripture reference that backs that up.
I personally believe that balance in life is a myth. Worse yet, it may be a lie. If we get ourselves so focused on achieving balance we can become preoccupied with the wrong things. Chasing balance can cause us to miss out on what God really has for us. The truth is, we can not live a fully balanced life. It is not possible to spend the same amount of time on each area, family, God, work, and play. It is not possible to be in the balanced middle of all issues and all circumstances. We cannot live that way. I’m not sure we should.
Jesus told us the two greatest commandments were to love God with everything and to love our neighbors as ourselves. That seems out of balance to the human understanding. The human wisdom of balance would say to love God with the appropriate measure so that we can give equal attention to the natural. The idea of balance says we become a well-rounded individual equally good at everything. Impossible. And, not very productive. What is the old saying? “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
As I work through scripture, or more accurately, let scriptures work through me, I find a call to an unbalanced life. A life of radical and complete surrender to God. Absolute devotion and commitment to Christ. Fanatical love for people. Life totally submitted to the Holy Spirit. Unwavering devotion. Unhesitant obedience. Leap of faith trust. These are Biblical directives and they are a life out of balance.
I maintain that boundaries are what so many are really defining or leading toward in the conversation about balance. With proper boundaries to guide us and keep life in check, I think we will find ourselves much closer to living a life worthy of the calling God has on each of us.
We’ll explore boundaries more in the next post and then I’ll resume the posts on follow-thru, though there is corelation between the two.