One of our greatest challenges is finding balance in the Christian life. Think of a person on a tightrope. There’s never a point where they just stroll across effortlessly. Balance requires continual effort.
Have you ever noticed that somehow Jesus balanced it all? The demands of His work and ministry left Him exhausted at times, of course—yet somehow He found time to get it all done.
Jesus perfectly balanced the demands of life—with the same 24 hours we have.
Jesus, the Model of Balance
The life of Jesus revealed a number practical ways to pursue balance in the Christian life. Everything the Father expected of Jesus He completed. Everything. Look at His words:
I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. —John 17:4
Jesus’ opportunities were immense. The needs He faced demanded attention. Legitimate needs. Desperate needs. More urgent needs than any of us will ever face. And yet, Jesus walked away from many of them.
Jesus Models 2 Ways You Can Find Balance in the Christian Life
1. Look to God, not to Others, to Determine Your Priorities.
Jesus determined His priorities by spending time with the Father. Look carefully:
Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. Simon and his companions searched for Him; they found Him, and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” He said to them, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.” —Mark 1:35–38
How could Jesus walk away from needs that only He could meet?
- Because the Father had different priorities for Jesus than simply a healing ministry. The healing balanced the teaching.
- Even though the people would have preferred Jesus to choose differently, He determined instead to please the Father. Accordingly, Jesus was misunderstood, rejected, even crucified—and yet, He was successful.
God’s priorities for you and people’s expectations of you will seldom go in tandem. (Tweet that.)
2. Say No, So that You Can Say Yes.
Jesus said no—so that He could say yes to what was most important. Only by gleaning our priorities from Scripture will we be able to make confident decisions amidst overwhelming demands. We can choose many good things and end up missing the best things—the essential priorities.
Don’t fall for the lie that states that a good Christian should never say no to legitimate needs.
I once heard someone say, “Balance is like a pendulum; it’s that brief moment in the middle when you’re swinging from one extreme to the other.” Part of our pursuit of balance contains the realization that it is never perfectly achieved.
The pursuit of balance is the goal. So don’t be frustrated with the constant effort.
Only when we know what to say yes to can we say no everything else. (Tweet that.)
Question: What helps you stay balanced? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Adapted from Wayne Stiles, “All of Me: Growing as a Whole Person,” Growing Like Jesus: Pursuing Health for the Whole Person (IFL Publishing House, 2009).