Leading a Balanced Life

Straining towards what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Discipline is often frowned upon as a negative concept.

It often conjures images of punishment or oppressive patterns of rigid routines and daily deprivations that lead to a life of misery.

However, we need to look at discipline as a friend, not a foe. How does anyone reach their goals? – Through discipline. An athlete trains rigorously to reach their physical and competitive goals. A surgeon studies and practices for years before obtaining the necessary skills for their specified work.

Through discipline comes reward. For example, physical discipline through exercise and a balanced diet will bring us a fit body, increased energy levels, resistance to sickness, higher concentration levels and an improved self image.

No Room For Complacency

As Christians, we all have the goal to live for God. We have all been called to become more like Jesus, to witness of His love to the world, to build relationships with Him and others, to serve Him joyously in the church and community, to enjoy the fruits of our labour, along with the gifts and blessings God has for us each day! However, if we don’t lead a disciplined life we will not attain what God has for us. If we are serious about our relationship with God, we dare not approach His purposes for us with a complacent attitude. This will only lead us down a path of mediocrity, shame and regret!

Jesus is our example. Each day He made time to commune with his Father no matter how busy He was. He developed deep relationships with His disciples. He served those around Him and witnessed God’s love to the world. He even made time for enjoying parties and feasts! Jesus led a balanced life. He knew clearly the goals He had and He structured His life to accommodate them.

Living a Balanced Life Helps us Reach God’s Goals for Us

We too need to be focused on the goals God has for us and structure our lives to feed them. We need to discipline ourselves to spend time with God each day in prayer and bible study, leading us to a closer relationship with Him and a growing character. We need to make time to develop relationships with others so that we can enjoy deeper and more satisfying friendships. We need to work as if we are working for God and not man, so that we honour Him in our workplace and develop the reputation as a diligent and trusted worker. We need to dedicate ourselves to serving our church with the specific and special job/s that God has for us, so that those around us are built up in their faith. And of course we must enjoy the gifts and pleasures God has given us. To persevere toward the goals Jesus has called us, we must lead a committed, balanced life. God’s path for us is not easy, but like the athlete who wins gold at the Olympics, or the surgeon who performs life-saving operations each day, we will be rewarded for our efforts if we persevere.

What do we need to do, or give up, to lead a more balanced life? Into what areas of our life do we need to invest more more discipline – daily time with God, developing kingdom changing relationships, leading a more physically healthy lifestyle, or just kicking back? God has called us to be wise and diligent. We are to lead a structured, disciplined life, yet allow room for spontaneity and fun!

God loves us and wants us to experience all the spiritual riches and pleasures He created us for… so let’s do what we can to experience it!

13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

9 thoughts on “Leading a Balanced Life”

  1. Yay. At last, others who see discipline as part of a balanced life. I wont go into gory detail, but I recently had a very poor experience with a church leader who believes that love supersedes any requirement for discipline. What ever happened to the truth spoken in love? I’ll tell you what happened to it — you have exposed it. Thank you.

    1. Thanks for your feedback Rob. I feel discipline has become a unpopular word as people connect it to legalistically following a bunch of rules. However it’s quite the opposite, as I feel biblical discipline is meant to free us to enjoy God more in our lives. We all need boundaries and “disciplines” that help us to draw closer to God and therefore enjoy Him more and be more effective in ministering Him to others.

  2. Hi Julian… good point :) Some good references would be 1 Timothy 4:6-8 in reference to training ourselves to be more honoring to God, Matt 22:37-38 with reference with loving God with all we have and loving others as ourselves (clearly that means making God and others a priority), and of course Matthew 14:23 with reference to Jesus making a point of going to spend time with His Father in prayer.

    It’s also worth noting that the general principles taught in the New Testament highlight our need to invest our energy and time into God and others. How can one grow to be more like Christ if we are not investing into others’ lives?

    Anyway just a few thoughts. Thanks again for your feedback. Hope to hear from you again soon.

    1. I stu…I really resonate with your heart and passion to lead a disciplined life. You’re web site if fantastic too. Hope to meet you one day when I come to Melbourne…
      Check this out Stu…www.esisite.com/gospel
      Bless you

  3. Hi, I found this post in my search for how to live a balanced life.

    I am a member at a church my father Pastors. Recently (past 2 or so years) he’s developed this idea and acts as if we, as Christians, should not have jobs, go to college, or do anything secular. He calls taking care of everyday life “being a martha”.

    I’m so frustrated and confused. I just want balance. I know that God comes first, family second and so forth but it seems that if any of us do anything other than go to church and pray we’re wrong.

    Then there are the constant threats to the 16-21 year olds that if they don’t get it together (which means being at his office night and day almost and not talking about going to college or getting jobs) then they won’t be allowed to work with him in ministry or lead praise and worship or anything.

    My soul is just so sick of it all. I know I’m painting a dark picture. He is genuinely a good pastor/leader but he seems to want out of people more than they’re able to give. Being in full time ministry has to be something, I thought, God called you to do not something someone forced you into and should be done out of love. He (my father) wants us to be so deep in the Spirit realm and unattached from the carnal world we live in that it’s hard for us to do the normal day to day things like laundry, family time, or our jobs without feeling guilty about doing them.

    I’m just so tired and frustrated that I’m seeking answers from where ever I can grasp. Please pray with me and any scriptures or words of help would be wonderful as well.

    Moderator: This comment has undergone very slight editing.

  4. Hi Marie,

    My heart goes out to you. The stresses this world places on someone striving to live a maturing Christian life is tough enough without “extra” pressures and expectations being put on us.

    Reading between the lines a bit, I suspect your dad has good intentions, however we need to realise God’s work for us isn’t just in church ministry. FAR FROM IT! Our great commission is to go and make disciples of Jesus Christ of all nations (). To do that we need to develop relationships and impact people’s lives in the secular world, ie college, workforce, schooling, wherever. God gifts us to serve Him in a huge variety of ways. That includes in the workforce. To put pressure on Christian’s to not work in a “secular” job is unjustified and frankly unproductive toward seeing the Kingdom grow. The important thing is that whatever you do, do it for the glory of God (). Not only can we be a witness to others in the secular workforce, but it’s through some of these more high profile jobs that the church is often supported financially.

    It frustrates me when some Christians put pressure on other Christians working in the workforce to give up their job and work in a more “spiritual” role because they are. Unfortunately I have had the experience of some overseas missionary people with this attitude. I have to wonder what motives deep down drive these so called “mature and spiritual” Christians. I think we can lose sight of how deceptive our sinful nature can be, and how easily we can disguise our proud, jealous and selfish motives with so called “spiritual” ones.

    Marie, let me give you a verse which I think when used correctly is profoundly comforting to every Christian. “There is now no condemnation in Christ Jesus”. If you are feeling condemned according to someone’s expectations of you, remember that Christ died so that you don’t need to take on that condemnation yourself. It doesn’t mean we don’t look out for each other, protecting, correcting and building up each others faith. However I think some potentially well-intentioned Christians don’t realize the pressure and burden they put on others because of their unbiblical expectations.

    I don’t know what the answer is for you, but I do know that in God is a peace and joy for our soul that this world can not provide. God loves you and wants to see you enjoy Him and not stay bogged in a mudpit of condemnation. It doesn’t mean life will be easy. In fact it’s tougher living as a Christian. Yet we live for something so much grander and more exciting then anything this world has to offer – the glory and supremacy of Christ and eternal life with Him.

    So all I can suggest is seek to honour God in your life by serving Him in whatever capacity He places on your heart. That might be in the workforce, at college, within the family and of course within the church. The point is it’s between you and God. Don’t let others force you to do something you are not ready to do or feel inspired/called to do. In particular if there is no clear biblical teaching/direction on the issue. Draw near to God knowing that He will draw near to you () and meditate on His word knowing that the truth will set you free () and that it revives the soul. Trust that God will grant you clear direction, a supportive Christian network and opportunities to reflect His goodness and mercy to others. You do that and He will smile on you, no matter what anyone else says.

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all you ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.

    My prayers go out to you Marie. Please feel free to drop us a line anytime if you would like to chat more or talk about some other Christian topics. There’s always plenty to learn! ☺

    Your brother in Christ,

    Stu

  5. Thank you so much Stu for your reply.

    I am going to meditate on these scriptures and ask God to make them one with me as I seek to please only him.

    I really appreciate the time you took to write a considerate response to a heartache I’ve had for a really long time.

    May God continue to bless you,

    Marie

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