“A Christian’s goal should be serving God, not finding balance! Too many of us have made God one of our many priorities.”
WANT TO ACHIEVE A PERFECT LIFE BALANCE? PUT GOD FIRST
Are you trying to achieve balance between demands of family, work and church? If so, Pastor Olayemi Adeleke writes that if you put God first, everything will fall into place
Perfect balance is a rarity these days, when trying to meet work and life needs, such as family, church duties, daily chores and housework.
Most Christian women find themselves constantly trying to allocate limited resources of time, money and energy between seemingly endless demands, and they always end up feeling exhausted, broke and guilty.
What we simply want is a life of balance, where we can do the really important things without always feeling rushed or overwhelmed; where every area of our lives receives adequate time and attention.
The first step in achieving a balanced life – put God first
Firstly, a Christian’s goal should be serving God, not finding balance! Too many of us have made God one of our many priorities: “There’s my career, marriage, kids, and there’s God.” But God will not tolerate being an item on a list! He must be our first and only priority.
So, the question isn’t how to balance ‘work’, ‘life’ and ‘God’, but how to follow Christ faithfully in every area of life. We shouldn’t focus on an abstract state of ‘balance’. When we align our entire life with God’s will, we’ll achieve true balance.
“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.” – Philippians 3:8
Following Christ can also appear very imbalanced. In Mark 14:3-7, a woman poured expensive perfume, worth a year’s wages, on Jesus. While others rebuked her, Jesus commended her, saying, “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to Me.”
What would you do with a year’s salary? The prudent, ‘balanced’ thing would be to spread it out:10% as tithe, 40% for bills, 20% on a vacation and 30% into savings. But this woman spent it all on a gift for Jesus Christ.
The expected order of priority is: God, family, work and ministry. However, 35 years of ministry and pastoral work have taught me that things don’t always follow that order. You can only experience a truly integrated life by putting Christ first and subjecting everything else to Him.
How do we allocate our time and resources to most effectively serve the Lord?
1. Examine your obligations. What is necessary? What is essential?
In Luke 10:38-42,Jesus visits Mary and Martha. While Mary sits and learns from Jesus, Martha is rushing around making preparations, which were useful but not necessary. She missed the most important thing: having personal fellowship with Christ. The things we consider absolutely essential usually aren’t and, in doing them, we often miss the really important things, like having our quiet time.
If your life seems imbalanced, ask yourself, “Am I doing this because I think it’s necessary or because I think I have no choice?” “Why do I think so? Is it really necessary? If not, is it something God wants me to do?” You’ll discover the things you’re doing out of a false sense of obligation, while neglecting what is really needed.
2. Examine your expectations.
Most of us live by the ‘shoulds and oughts’ of life – rules and regulations we can’t justify or whose origins we can’t trace, eg. “A family should always eat Sunday dinner together” and “There should never be dishes in the sink.”
The problem is, you can’t follow all these regulations. Yes, you try, but inevitably you’ll fail. Stop and ask yourself, “Why am I doing this? Who says I should be doing it? Is that true, or can I just bypass it, since it’s keeping me from something more important?”
In Mark 7:1-8, when the Pharisees and Teachers of the law accused Jesus and His disciples of eating with unclean hands, He replied saying, “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.” Get delivered from the tyranny of ‘shoulds and oughts’.
3. Run for the audience of one.
I decided long ago to stop trying to please or impress people, and it has really helped me in ministry. The person that matters most is God. Let God be pleased with you instead.
“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ….”
Are you rushing around doing what seems important, instead of what’s really necessary? Are you holding on to man’s traditions and expectations, while ignoring God’s commands? Are you trying to impress man or God?
Until you deal with these three issues and make Christ your most important priority, you will always live an imbalanced life. Focus on God, and the peace of God that passes all understanding will become yours as you experience a new lease of life.
Olayemi Adeleke serves as Senior Pastor of the House of Praise, Charlton, London and is a provincial pastor over 70 churches. She is also President of Total Woman Ministries. For more details, visit www.totalwomanministries.org