The Lie We've Believed about Balance
Have you ever read the Bible and thought, "Why aren't things that happened back then, happening today?" or "How did those people follow God in that way, and I struggle to remember to read my Bible?"
I think the vast space between the biblical accounts and modern day Christianity, particularly here in the US, is due in large part to one word. Balance.
Some how through the years, we have allowed this word balance to creep into our lives in ways it was never meant to.
The Bible talks a ton about Wisdom - Ephesians 5:15 "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise."
about Seasons - Ecclesiastes 7:14 "In the day of prosperity be happy, but in the day of adversity consider - God has made the one as well as the other. So that man will not discover anything that will be after Him. "
and about Discipline - Hebrews 12:11 "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."
We should be wise in how we allocate our time. We should embrace the different seasons that come our way, allowing ourselves to rest at times, as well as running with endurance at times. We should be people of discipline, being faithful in what we commit to, and faithful to learn and grow.
If these things are how you define balance, then yes, we should be people of balance.
That isn't the balance I am talking about.
The types of balance I am referring to are:
When we choose to speak ugly about someone else because we are just joking, and really we totally care about that person.
When we spend our time listening to, participating in, or watching something that does not honor God, and explain it away as just enjoying some harmless entertainment.
When we redraw the line of what God's Word says, because we don't want others to think less of us.
When we excuse the things we do in private, or only around close friends, because it isn't hurting anyone.
When we use our religious belief to put us on a moral high ground, giving us opportunity to look down on others; because after all, we are on God's side of the issue.
This type of balance has rendered many Christians immobile, and shown a picture to the world, that "Christianity is simply being the same as everyone else, except we get to be more judgmental and critical."
So you ask, what's the difference between the stories we read in the Bible and today? My thought is, balance.
The lie we have chosen to believe that we can have a "healthy balance" of this world and God's Spirit. The lie that we can have a "healthy balance" of love for things, and love for God. The lie that we can have a "healthy balance" of sin and righteousness.
Matthew 6:33, 34 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
Before you perhaps dismiss this as a radical rant or me being overly religious, consider this. God knows you need a home to live in, a job to provide for your family, food on the table, and clothes to wear.
Even still, He tells us, FIRST seek Him and His kingdom. When we do, all those other things will work out.
What we cannot do, is try to find a balanced comfortable life, and then apply God to it; and expect this to bring miraculous change in us and in others.
My encouragement to you, and the thing I am trying to hang on to for myself is this... In all things, put Christ first. In every circumstance, in every conflict, in every need, in every trial, in every
blessing, in every opportunity, put Christ first.
If we live this way, I believe we will begin to see more and more of what we read about in God's Word.
I believe as we do this, we will not miss for one second, whatever we leave behind.