The Fallacy of Balance in the Christian Life

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12: 1-2

It never fails to amaze me how many Christians will talk about finding “balance” in their lives.  Balancing their committments between work and home, school and play, reponsibilites and relaxation and fun.  While that all sounds great on the surface, I can’t find the concept of “balance” anywhere in God’s word.

As far as I can see Jesus actually talks about living a life of extreme sacrifice, of giving everything you have and then giving more.  This was certainly the pattern of His life.  That’s not to say that He didn’t take time out to be refreshed in the presence of His Father, but certainly the example of His life was one of self-sacrifice and pouring Himself out for others, rather than seeking His own comfort.

Perhaps this is too simplistic a view of things, or perhaps I am to understand that the modern, North American concept of “balance” is something that while wasn’t true for Christ, we are to consider something to be attained today?   Maybe I’m not truly understanding the concept of “balance” for which Christians today are striving.  I certainly do see the value in prioritizing family over work (but of course realize that work also has to happen) and see the importance of taking time out to play and relax and rest.

However, I’m not too sure how how Romans 12 (esp vs 1) fits in to our understanding of “balance.”  I’m not sure how offering our lives as a sacrifice, nor how following Christ’s example as He offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sake’s jives with the idea of living a “balanced” life.  Perhaps there are others who can shed some light . . .?  Or perhaps we need to ensure that we “do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind?”

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Filed under March 2010

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