Is A Balanced Life Possible?



In my initial post on”balance,” we talked a lot about the importance of balance to athletes and how balance plays an important role in almost every aspect of our daily lives. It matters in our budgets, our health, our emotional lives, our marriages, and many other areas.

You probably have a pretty good idea or feeling of what balance or imbalance is like in those areas. But don’t you think it would helpful to have a definition of the word (balance) to guide us as we think about balancing our lives?

The goal of a sports team is to win games. That requires players to contribute to a balanced offence and defense. Snowboarders, skiers, gymnasts, golfers, and other athletes must also put a priority on balance if they want to win. The same is true in the “game of life.”

What is your goal in life? Do you want to “win?” You decide if winning means becoming wealthy or famous, discovering a cure for cancer, or some other devastating disease, or being an everyday kind of person who’s just going about being ordinary. Each of these will require that you balance your time and effort to accomplish your goal. 

In the two previous posts I have talked about our need for balance but I have not gotten around to clearly stating what I think it is. In a moment I will attempt to steer you in a focused direction toward what I think the Bible says about balanced living. But now let’s attempt to get a definition of balance we can understand and work with.

What is Balance? Balance happens when…….

…. various components that are required to achieve your goal are coordinated. For example, a skier must be able to coordinate speed, angle, body position, emotions, and strength to complete a successful jump.

Any worthwhile endeavor requires we understand the different components for success and bring them together in a way that is most likely to help us win. This is true in finances, business endeavors, your emotional life, your relationships, and your family.

For example, if you want to have good friends you will need to understand what it means to be a friend and  make the effort involved in balancing the time, energy, commitment, and communication necessary to develop deep friendships.

What Is a Balanced Life From a Biblical Perspective?

Notice here that my question moves from subjects such as finances, marriage, sports, and friendship to the issue of a “balanced life.” And, I have added another component, “From a Biblical Perspective.” I do this because I want to know what the Bible has to say about the “balance bar,” that which defines or lays out the true meaning of our existence and the “balance” we need to do life well.

In our society, there are many different ways balance is defined or celebrated but for me and you the Bible has the definitive word about the “components” we are to balance in order to live a balanced life. When we don’t understand this or act in ways contrary to the Bible’s teaching we do so to our own detriment and potential ruin.

Here is a scriptural passage that I believe, more than any I’m aware of, encapsulates what is required to live a balanced life. The context is where Jesus is answering a question of a serious teacher of biblical Law. His question is “What is the greatest commandment in the Law.” I interpret this as “What is the most important thing, the ultimate meaning of life?”

What does Jesus say about this, what is his answer? Matthew 22:37-40 gives us the verdict.

‘“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. And the second is like it, ”You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”’

This is the biblical challenge to living a balanced life. It’s a narrow “balance beam” isn’t it? Let’s break this down into the component parts to see if we can possibly do this? What’s involved here? 

  1. This is a “personal” challenge. “You” are required to do something, to decide, to will to do something.
  2. The something you are to do is love certain others, i.e., God, yourself, and other people.
  3. Your love is to have a certain order to it, to prioritize God above all other loves.
  4. Your love for God must be complete; every part of you completely devoted to God.
  5. You are required to love others as you love yourself. 

This feels really daunting to me. How can I do this? To live according to Jesus’ teaching will require me do something I am not capable of doing. Although, I may think I want to do this, my self-centered ego, my fallen nature does not really want to do this even if I could.

Yes I’m saved, that’s an issue that has been settled for a long time. The problem is that I’m told I need to live in a way, to do something that is impossible for me to do. Where does this leave us? I need God’s help to do this. That’s where this leaves me. I need a savior who has lived the perfectly balanced life.  

The Perfectly Balanced Life

I believe Jesus’ underlying message in Matthew 22:37-40 is that we need his saving, transforming grace and mercy to grow us to become more like himself. He is not saying we can do this by our self, only a perfect person can do this perfectly. In all of human history Jesus is the single person who has balanced his relationship with the Father, himself, and others perfectly.

Here’s some good news for you and me. Jesus has fulfilled every detail of the teachings in the Law and Prophets for us. And, he became the perfect sacrifice for us to atone for all the times we  have sinned by breaking God’s Law. And, even more than that he was raised from the grave to prove that his death has saved us and covered all our sins.

So, what can we do with Jesus’ teaching and his example of a perfectly balanced life? Here are some options.

We can ignore it as a radical idea, something Jesus didn’t really mean to say.

We can try to do this on our own as a way to try to somehow balance the scales with God.

Or, we can see this as a goal Jesus has achieved and how he wants to live inside us to help us gradually learn the meaning of love and to balance our lives in the way we relate to our Father, ourselves, and others .  



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *