Wrapping it up: Is Balance Biblical?
This month, in our online community called Balanced and Beautiful, we have delved into the topic of balance, asking these three questions:
- What is balance and is achieving it even possible?
- Is the pursuit of balance biblical?
- How does God’s word make us more balanced individuals?
In response to—What is balance and is achieving it even possible? —wisdom rolled in from our community of women with rich and varied experiences. One woman commented, “90/10 is still 100%” and suggested that balance is unique to each person, their family background, and current circumstances. Another added, “Balance doesn’t always mean 50/50 or 30/30/30. Balance is peace of mind with each part, ever changing.”
These comments highlighted how balance is a dynamic and influential part of our lives, like the pushing and pulling between the left and right legs as we move forward on a bike. Both sides are needed to create a balance and a moving forward. Rest and work are both needed. Giving and receiving are both crucial. Teaching and learning are essential. The question seems to be, how do we move between these opposites and can we make these transitions gracefully?
We addressed question two—Is the pursuit of balance biblical? —using Jordan Raynor’s devotional study on the topic. His challenging proposal is that perhaps the typical pursuit of work-life balance is not necessarily biblical. He states that this is especially true in light of Jesus’ greatest commandment found in Matthew 22:37 (NIV): “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” ALL seems the powerful point in this verse and in Jordan’s explanation; ALL doesn’t seem balanced but rather extreme.
Oddly enough, this paradox, following God’s extreme call on our hearts for wholehearted devotion to, reliance on, obedience to, and trust in Him is what brings perspective and calm to every tangled element in our lives. Whether it’s a goal, worry, fear, abundant blessing, and/or a person in our life that pulls for a higher status in our heart than God himself, every aspect in our life seems to find its proper place when we put God first.
There also seems to be an ebb and flow to priorities and begging the question, will we rely on the Holy Spirit for direction in the hot moment of choice? Will we ask for guidance as we continue to move through life? Interestingly, as Jordan summed up his own look into biblical balance, he encouraged a pivot from the popular pursuit of work-life balance to whole-life excellence as a more accurate application of scripture.
To answer question three—How does God’s word make us more balanced individuals? —the Balanced and Beautiful writing team delved into several areas that have the ability to entangle us and make us off-kilter:
Philippians 4:12-13 NIV – Contentment in all Circumstances through Christ
Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV – Anxiety & Decision Making
Psalm 23 – Part 1: Provision
Psalm 23 – Part 2: Facing Death and Dark Circumstances
2 Timothy 1:7 – Inner Balance
1 Corinthians 6:12 NIV – Priority and Goal/Intention Setting
Romans 8:37-39 NIV – Security
While the Bible is full of God’s promises that bring calm into our lives, the primary challenge is applying them. To apply the promises, we must trust. How do we build our trust in God so we can lean more into His promises?
If you haven’t joined us in the Balanced and Beautiful community, come visit and dive deeper into the writing team’s topical study on the verses mentioned above! Remember, as you join your input enriches our experience, so feel free to share!
Later this month, we plan to discuss balance as we share our homes and our time with others, exploring our new topic: Truly Hospitable.
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” – Ephesians 4:15-16 NIV