Life is like a box of chocolates. Most days it’s a myriad of wonderful surprises and exciting opportunities just waiting to be consumed. Other days, life is like a box of chocolates that has somehow fallen over and it’s up to us to figure out how to separate the truffles from the coconut-filled and the strawberry cremes. Forrest Gump clearly left that part out. On this earth, life is a never-ending balancing act. We have to master the art of taking on just enough responsibility, maintaining a Christ-centered focus, taking care of our health, and serving others— and that’s not even the half of it. No question about it, the secret to a healthy and happy life lies in finding the right balance. As a girl that wears several hats, finding the perfect balance is a struggle that I know all too well. About a week ago, I started feeling overwhelmed as we all do when we go through life. I thought to myself, Lord this can’t be life. There’s got to be a better way. Show me how to find balance your way. So of course, I immediately went to the word and it turns out the Father left a handful of instructions on how to find life balance. Here are some tips on achieving life balance—not from a New York Times Bestseller or a motivational speaker, but from God himself.
Slow Down and Take A Rest When You Need It
God never intended for us to go full-speed all the time. If he did, he would have never given us the gifts of day and night. Listen, our bodies have real needs and it is our God-given duty to make sure that we pay attention to those needs and respond to them accordingly. Mark 6:31 says,
And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. (NIV)
Anyone else guilty of missing valuable rest and meals in the name of ‘getting stuff done’? The Bible says that our bodies were bought at a price. Think about that for a second. Our entire existence was bought with something that could never be replaced. We owe it not only to ourselves but to Christ to take care of the temples that he has so graciously blessed us with. When we constantly push ourselves to the point of exhaustion, the mental, emotional, and physical effects far outweigh whatever we’re trying to gain. If you’ve ever tried to operate in a sleep-deprived state then you know this to be true. I know there are truly never enough hours in the day but rest is a necessary component and when we neglect to make it a priority, we almost intentionally throw off the balance in our lives. Even if you don’t feel it now, it will always catch up with you. If you’re exhausted and you need a nap, allow yourself to take a nap. If you need a break, take a break. Make the choice to go to bed early or take a day off to take it easy. Even God needed a rest day, right? Right.
Be Mindful Of Your Timing
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1
Just because you find the time to do something, it doesn’t always mean that it’s the right time to do something. This was an incredibly difficult lesson for me to learn. Sometimes we come across amazing opportunities and instead of taking the time to actually make sure that our lifestyles are a great fit for that opportunity, we make that opportunity fit into our lifestyle. Let me be the one to tell you that that is unhealthy. I like to think of life as a gigantic scale and one side is labeled ‘YOU’ and the other side is labeled ‘EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING ELSE’. When we constantly pile on schedule obligations and responsibilities, we push aside the priority of caring for ourselves. When we overload the ‘YOU’ side, we become disengaged and we forget one of the main reasons we were placed here in the first place—people. We have to be selective about the time obligations that we allow into our lives because if we’re not, we make life so much more difficult and we make proper balance so much harder to find. Be mindful of your timing and make sure that it aligns with God’s. If you feel in your spirit after seeking God that maybe that opportunity is not the one for you, let it go. Chances are it’ll throw off your balance and bring frustration that you just don’t need. Find the power in just saying ‘no’.
Stop Worrying About Other People & Stay Focused
Whether it’s gossip, worrying about what your coworkers are doing, or judging those people that rub you the wrong way, when you put too much time into worrying about other people and their affairs it throws your balance way off. I’ll give you a perfect example. Everyone has a cause but sometimes we find an issue that has been heavily propagated through social media and we hastily make the decision to take a stand. Every now and then when we take a stand, that stance becomes obsessive, we villanize people and it becomes hard to look away. I’m guilty of this and I know some of you know exactly what I mean. 2 Peter 3:17 says:
“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.”
Here’s the thing: as long as we are living in a broken world where everyone is born into sin, there will always be injustice and there will always be incredibly flawed people. Make no mistake, it is our civic duty to have tough discussions on the wrong within our society—in moderation, of course. If we spend too much time thinking and talking about those flaws, what good are we doing for ourselves and the people around us? Is it really worth it to weigh down your scale with negativity when you have so much more going on? Don’t become so engulfed by the troubles of the world that you lose your focus. Your emotional health and your purpose are at stake. Never lose sight of either.
Remain Positive & Be Content With Where You Are
I know most of us have heard this over and over again but let me tell you again: positivity is a lifestyle. Remaining positive is literally taking control of your thoughts and denying the enemy the opportunity to take captivity of your mind. If you’ve ever said anything negative, and I’m going to assume that you have, you know that negativity is a slippery slope. You make one negative comment and another is sure to follow. Next thing you know, you’ve spent an entire day feeling down and saying things that you almost never allow yourself to say. Is that not the exact definition of imbalance? One of my favorite verses says,
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Phillipians 4:8
Just because negative thoughts come that doesn’t mean that we have to accept them. We have the ability to cast them down in Jesus’ name and move forward in positivity. Negativity is like the plague that comes to consume your days, distract you from the goodness of God and deplete your willpower to go on. By all means, stay positive! Be intentional about it.
Being content with where you are in life goes hand-in-hand with maintaining a positive lifestyle. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being ambitious but when you become so displeased with what you currently have that you obsessively long for more, it becomes a problem. Find delight in the simple things! I live on a pretty tight budget and at times it’s difficult but when I wake up in the morning, my heart is full because my family has a warm home to live in and I have been blessed with more than enough. Like the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:11,“…for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
At the end of the day, when our lives are out of balance, something tends to suffer—more times than not, it’s our relationship with Christ. As we constantly add things to the scale of life, things get heavy and our focus shifts from Him to things that aren’t nearly as important. If you’re human like me and you’ve struggled with maintaining a healthy life balance from time to time, join me on a journey to achieve life balance God’s way. Let’s stay spiritually full, let’s rest when we need it, let’s be mindful of our timing, let’s keep our focus, and always maintain a positive lifestyle. God bless!
What are some of the ways that you like to keep your life well-balanced?