What Does a Balanced Life Look Like For You?

How do we find a healthy balance in our out-of-balance culture? We live with daily tension between our culture’s lure to self-centeredness and our calling to be “salt and light” in a world desperately looking for love in all the wrong places. Paul encourages us to balance our lives by applying the teachings of Christ in our culture rather than being shaped by its values.

In his letter to the Philippians, he tells us to live out our salvation experience in our current environment of unbelief and opposition: “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling…in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:12, 15).

I believe a large part of our struggle with balance is our confusion between the goal of life and the counterfeit offers of our culture. Maybe we are so busy with the “means” that we haven’t thought deeply about the “end” or purpose of our existence. A few seem to get it, but many do not.

God has intended that our money, time, health, and all good things he has made available to us are to serve as a means to an end. When we forget where these gifts originate or the purpose for which they exist, we become very narrowly focused and selfish. If we follow the way of our culture, our possessions will inevitably possess us.

Here are some suggestions/questions to consider if you want to live well and serve the Lord well.

  1. What does a balanced life look like?

Many people may have different answers to this question, but this is a question about the meaning of life, and what matters most to us. The Bible gives a clear answer to what “should” determine the target or balance beam to us as followers of Jesus. The answer is in Matthew 22:36-40.

We do not live for money, fame, or anything this world offers. Our life purpose, that which brings true balance is to love God more than anything else and to love others as we love ourselves. A balanced life is to live in a way in which we love as Jesus loves. You can find more help with how this works in my book.

  1. What are some signs or indicators that your life is out of balance?  Ask yourself these questions:

Am I developing a growing personal relationship with God through prayer, scripture reading, meditation, and obedience to the teachings of the Bible?

Am I  depending on God to save and keep me or am I attempting to achieve my good standing with him through what I do?

Am I growing in my ability to understand and love myself? 

Am I learning to be more accepting and forgiving of others? 

Am I taking care of my health as best I can?

Are there habits in my life that I need to break that by doing so would help me love myself and others better?  Do I have a cynical attitude? Do I destructively use my anger? This is a long list, to which many more questions could be added. You may have particular ones you need to ask yourself.

  1. How do I get the balance back in my life?

The first step is to admit you have a problem or need. You’ll never be able to fix anything if you don’t admit it is broken. So ask for help to identify things that may be keeping you off balance. Ask the Lord and a trusted friend to gently help you realize areas of concern you need to deal with.

Hearing criticism, even lovingly given, is difficult for all of us but doing so can be the beginning of a much more balanced life for us. Think about what you are hearing, pray, and consider how this is true. Do not defend yourself and make excuses. Let this sink in.

Next, decide how you will deal with the problem. Begin by talking with God about it. Repent and ask forgiveness for what you have done to create and continue the issue. Get your relationship straight with God, then focus on how to deal with how you think about and treat yourself and others.

This may seem overwhelming, so decide on small ways to begin and ask God for the strength to do what you can do to get your relationships with Him, yourself, and others in a healthy, balanced place.

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