By Christian Bonner
How do you feel about the word “balance,” because personally I have a love-hate relationship with it. No matter the age of a woman I talk to, it is clear that we struggle to feel our lives are appropriately balanced, even though we desire it. We have many different roles we live in daily and to be honest, balance is necessary in this thing we call “life”.
Sometimes I find myself defining what balance should look like by looking at others. But God’s design for us isn’t to compete or compare with others. The amount and type of hats that one wears isn’t always the same as another person, nor is what the Lord uses to help us find balance. Instead of looking at others, we should seek Him personally and try to define balance by what the Bible says it is. (Matthew 6: 33-34)
I heard a business leader once share; “True balance isn’t walking through life on a tightrope with a monkey on our backs, trying not to fall off”. Though it can certainly feel this way and we do all we can to stay on that rope, one unexpected event, task, comment, failure, etc., knocks us right off.
So, what is true balance?
Here are some ways others have defined it:
Now look at two ways the Bible uses the word balance:
Proverbs 11:1 “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight”
Leviticus 19:36, “You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt”
These verses are referring to cheating others, or better yet, the importance of NOT cheating others. When we get out of balance, we cheat someone or something that God has placed in our lives. It can be ourselves, our spouse, our boss, church, children, friends, etc. I believe we know this and deep down, that is part of the cause of our distress and desire for true balance.
With that in mind, let’s talk for a minute about a scale, like the one pictured below.
As you can see, these specific scales have two sides. It works by putting an item/weight in one bowl and the other is slowly filled up until both sides are of equal weight.
I would like to designate the use of the bowls with our Wikipedia definition in mind (a desirable point between two or more opposite forces), because truthfully, we are “between” two forces.
Held in one side are the forces of this world; its obligations, temptations, desires, family, etc..
The other side holds the force of our relationship with Jesus: efforts to please our Lord, getting to know him and living in his will, etc..
So, as our day unfolds, the sides fill up.
We may get up and read our Bible- bing! a few weights on the God side.
Then the kids get up, we feed them breakfast, that’s like 5 weights on the other side.
We pray, a couple more weights on the Jesus side.
We get ready for work, another on the “world” side.
We do this all day, all week, all month and all year long. Sometimes we are so involved at church or a ministry, we can feel like we have too many weights in the Jesus side. Or we are working overtime that we barely have time to put weights in the Jesus bowl.
We spend our lives doing this, trying to stay balanced, when just one tiny weight from either side knocks us out of balance.
Herein lies the problem.
We are putting our relationship with Christ on the same level as everything else, and we have started seeing our imbalance as a problem to be solved instead of what it really is: a symptom of where our relationship with the Lord is. To my knowledge, the Bible never instructs us to keep enough of God in our lives so we can balance with the world. It says the opposite as you can see in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
To do this, I suggest we change our idea of how balance is found.
What if we pictured our lives with the Bible and our relationship with God as our foundation? If we put that foundation under the scale, more specifically, under the bowls, they don’t move at all.
1 Corinthians 3:11 says, “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ”
Ephesians 2:19-20 says, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone…”
We need to build our lives in a way where the foundation is so solid, we won’t feel imbalanced as often.
We build this foundation by loving the Lord:
Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “You shall love the lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might”.
We build it by seeking the Lord:
Colossians 3: 1-3, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God”.
We build it by finding our strength in Him:
Isaiah 41:10, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand”.
As we do these things, searching Him out in Scripture, we realize that we are first, above all else, women of God. When we stop defining ourselves by our hats and others, we see our true balance comes from knowing who He is and who we are in Him. As we grow and rest in that knowledge, we then are more sensitive to His guidance in our daily lives. We have more confidence in Him and what He has placed before us, which leads to wisdom in what we choose to do and to a feeling of better balance. It is also easier to gather ourselves when we do get the feeling of falling out of balance, because we know where to direct our hearts.
Let me reassure you that I still struggle with finding the feeling of balance. As life changes, which is quite often with little ones at home, I try to stay focused on the one constant, my Lord. I encourage you to do the same.
Things to consider:
How do you need to adjust your view of what true balance is?
What areas do you need to surrender to the Lord that may be causing you to feel like you are walking a tightrope?
What can you do to keep your relationship with the Lord above the level of the world?