WHAT IS A BALANCED LIFE?

WHAT IS A BALANCED LIFE?

Mark 3:20-35 NIV
[20] Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. [21] When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” [22] And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” [23] So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? [24] If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. [25] If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. [26] And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. [27] In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. [28] Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, [29] but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” [30] He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.” [31] Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. [32] A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.” [33] “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. [34] Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! [35] Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, once told his players that they should order their lives by establishing the following priorities:

  1. God
  2. Family
  3. Green Bay Packers

Lombardi’s priorities are often recounted with great approval, and it is certainly refreshing to hear of a football coach telling professional athletes to “put God first” and to be concerned for their families, when so often the professional athlete shows little regard for his family and less for his Creator. Many men struggle to balance all the demands of work, family, and worship. But I do have a problem with Lombardi’s list.

What, I wonder, would have happened if one of the Packers had said to coach Lombardi, “Sorry, coach, that I won’t be able to play in the Super Bowl on Sunday. I feel I need to take my family to church. I’m putting God and family ahead of the Packers, like you said!” I suspect that player would not have been a Green Bay Packer for long! Making lists of priorities is commendable, and Lombardi’s list is much better than most, but life does not fit so conveniently into compartments. A neatly balanced life is not easily achieved.

Perhaps the desire itself is misplaced. How “balanced” was the life of Jesus and his disciples? We are told that the crowds demanding their attention were so vast and the needs so great that “he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat” (Mark 3:20). Jesus and his disciples knew the pressure of life. In their case, it was not the pressure to make more money or the pressure to climb to the top of the corporate ladder by sacrificing family and worship on the way. They knew the pressure of being aware of the needs of a crying world and being prepared to address them. This kind of pressure pushes people away from the equilibrium of a neatly balanced life. You miss meals.

Jesus’ own family did not approve of his lifestyle. In fact, “they tried to make him come home with them. ‘He’s out of his mind,’ they said” (Mark 3:21). The religious leaders went further and attributed his lifestyle to Satan (Mark 3:22). This raises another point. Not only were Jesus and his disciples driven by their world’s need, they also recognized they were in a spiritual battle for the souls of men and women. Fighting this spiritual battle required more than balance—it took everything they had.

Perhaps the desire for a balanced life is not as balanced as it appears. A little divine imbalance may not be wrong!

Mark 1:17-18 NIV
[17] “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” [18] At once they left their nets and followed him.

Be willing to drop your nets in your life when it’s necessary to serve the Lord in seeking and saving the lost. Be willing to reprioritize, inconvenience yourself for God’s will.

Imbalance for the Lord is a pleasure and calls us to grow in our faith and trust in Him!

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