One Simple Way to Find Balance

BALANCE– an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady; a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions

As I consider the various areas of my life as a Christian woman, I know I need to keep growing in all aspects (Eph. 4:15).  I need to nurture my relationship with God.  I need to take care of myself physically.  I need to work at being a better wife and mother.  I need to look for ways to reach the lost, help the needy, and encourage others.

Sometimes it’s a real challenge for me to feel “upright and steady” and to keep everything “in the correct proportions.”  I’ll do great at exercising and eating right but find myself neglecting personal Bible study.  I’ll put more concerted effort into my marriage, and then realize it’s been way too long since I’ve had someone in my home or invited someone to worship.   It’s like I forget certain areas while I’m focusing on other ones.

It could be that’s just how my mind works.  I have to write things down to remind myself to do them.  When it comes to finding balance in my Christian walk, I finally came up with the kind of list that actually works for me.  It’s all on one sheet, it’s easy, and it reminds me to “grow in all aspects.”

I’ve hesitated to share this list because I don’t want to give the impression that Christianity is a checklist of good deeds, and as long as I can check everything off my list, I can feel good about myself.  Truly, that’s not what this is about.  Christianity is putting God’s will first and allowing it to affect every area of my life.  But we are commanded to be soul-winners (Mark 16:15), to be benevolent (Matt. 25:34-46), to show hospitality (Rom. 12:13), and to encourage others (Heb. 10:24,25).  It just helps me personally to have a visual reminder of those areas so I can think about ways to live them out each day.

About the list:

  • The first half focuses on daily communication with the Father (Bible study and prayer).
  • The next section focuses on physical health.  I put tally marks down for each glass of water I drink and list the type of exercise I did.  At first I tried to include a space for a food journal, but a.) it took too long to record everything I ate (ha!), and b.) I find that if I’m exercising and drinking plenty of water each day, I end up eating better anyway.
  • Then there’s a place to list the three most prioritized things that need accomplished that day.
  • The final section is really what makes this list work for me.  It simply lists benevolence, hospitality, soul-winning, and encouragement.  It reminds me to do something that falls under one of those categories, and then I’ll write down next to it what I did (like sending a card, making a call or visit, having a family over, putting tracts in the car for distribution opportunities, etc.).  Because one of those areas comes more naturally to me than the others, this section also allows me to see when I’ve been neglecting the ones that push me out of my comfort zone.

To make it a little more fun and feminine, I printed the list off on a variety of pretty papers.  I can choose whichever print strikes my fancy each day.

You might find this list helpful, too (see below).  It’s plain and simple, mainly because I don’t know how to make it look cool and modern.  But you’re more than welcome to use it, and if you know how to make it more appealing, more efficient, or more practical, then please share!

Finding Balance List

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Here is a revised list that was sent to me by a reader.  She gave me permission to share it here.  Thank you, Amy Ellis, for the cute and cool version!

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*This post can also be found at ImageProxy.mvc

Never Good Enough

Some people are just hard to please.  No amount of effort is enough.  No task is done right.  Even thoughtful gestures or gifts are received in such a way as to let you know you fell short somehow.  Trying to please the hard-to-please person is wearying.  After a while, I don’t even want to try.

I wonder if some have this view of God.  They feel like they can never serve enough to please Him.  No sacrifice is great enough and no amount of effort will satisfy His demands.  This view of God is not biblical.  Yes, He wants us to be “living sacrifices” (Rom. 12:1).  Yes, He wants us to put Him first (Matt. 6:33).  And yes, He even wants us to strive to live as righteously as possible (Gal. 5:19-21).  But He is very pleased with our efforts to do just that.  How do I know?  Two words:  blood and grace.

Blood.  We’re all going to sin (Rom. 3:23).  Even the most faithful Christian will stumble (1 John 1:8).  Instead of being hard to please, God made it possible for us to still be pleasing to Him.  “But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).  We don’t have to worry about never being good enough because the God we serve is faithful and righteous to forgive.

Grace.  Day by day the blood of Christ is washing away my imperfections, and day by day the grace of God is strengthening my heart (Heb. 13:9).  Right after we’re told that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God, we’re also told that we “are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).  Instead of being hard to please, God has given us this beautiful gift (Eph. 2:8).  He gives this gift of grace to us in abundance (2 Pet. 1:2).  And He wants this grace to give us confidence, knowing that we can turn to Him for help at any time (Heb. 4:16).  Troy Woolery, a recent graduate of the Bear Valley Bible Institute, said, “When we’re lacking, grace fills in the gaps.”

“I’ll never be good enough.”  This sentiment causes some nonChristians to put off obeying the gospel because they feel they’ll never be able to measure up.  It causes some Christians to want to quit because they feel like they can never get it right.  Who wants the nonChristian to reject salvation?  Who wants the Christian to give up in despair?  It’s not God.  Instead of feeling like we can never be good enough, He wants us to know that He has made us more than enough.

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

(Rom. 8:37)

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