Without a doubt, one of the most difficult areas in the Christian life is that of maintaining balance between things that are important. The best way to develop the proper kind of balance is to examine what God has already said about this difficult subject. Matthew 5:48 says, Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Here we find the command that has been given to every Christian to be perfect. How can this be done? We first must realize that the word perfect means mature or balanced. When a person is first learning to ride a bicycle, he is weaving all over the place because he is unbalanced. Once he gains experience, he is then able to ride it in a straight line showing that he has become an experienced or mature cyclist. When Jesus challenged His followers to be perfect, He was telling them to become balanced in their Christian lives.
One of the most important place in which we should be balanced is in our relationships. God has given us the gift of companionship in our relationships. Here is where we can find much joy, but sadly for many, this is where they can find copious amounts of strife when there is an imbalance in these relationships. Let us look at what the Bible says about finding balance in a few specific relationships.
A relationship in which we need to work toward balance is in the “spouse versus children” relationship.
Many marriages are hurt and sometimes even broken by divorce because a wife allows her care of the children to get out of balance. The typical situation involves a wife having a baby and pouring herself into her relationship with the baby to the neglect of the husband. Matthew 19:4-6 says, And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Notice the fact here that God Himself has supernaturally joined a husband and wife in a one flesh relationship that NO ONE (not even children) is allowed to destroy.
Another relationship in which there can be an imbalance if we are not careful is that of the “spouse versus parents.”
There are three killers of our marriages against which we must constantly guard: money, the physical relationship, and in-laws. Genesis 2:24 says, Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. One of the biggest problems in our marriages is that when a person gets married, he tries to cleave to the spouse without letting go of the parents. Great harm is done when a spouse criticizes his mate to a parent. It causes a loss of respect in the eyes of the parent which will only add fuel to the fire when troubles come. Proper balance arrives when a spouse learns to honor the spouse over and above the parents. There must be a transfer of love from the parents to the spouse.
The last relationship we will look at that can be eroded by imbalance is that of the “friend versus friend.”
More Christians are spiritually hurt by friends than by enemies. Amnon had a friend who used his influence to encourage Amnon to rape his half sister Tamar. When Absalom finally carried out his plan to murder Amnon, Jonadab was nowhere to be found (II Samuel 13).
We have a responsibility to the Lord to protect our spiritual condition, meaning that that we must be willing to separate ourselves from best friends and even relatives if they are hurting us spiritually.
Proverbs 27:17 says, Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. This verse contains both a blessing and a curse. It is a tremendous blessing when we run with the right crowd because they will help us to become better Christians. However, if we spend time with a gossip, then we will eventually become one. If we are spending time with a critic, we will soon become critical, also.
Similarly to working to have balance in our relationships, we must also find balance in our walk with God. One of the most important aspects of a Christian’s life is his walk with God. His walk with God will affect every other area of his life. When a person falls short in his walk with the Lord, not soon after every around him will notice. Let us look at what the Bible says about finding balance in walking with God.
Our balance in walking with God can be found in the balance of “family versus church.”
Backsliders have done much to promote the idea that we cannot do justice to both the family and the church. Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. said it best: “Duties don’t conflict.” Matthew 11:30 says, For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Have some people become too involved in the church to the neglect of the family? Yes, but it was not the fault of the church nor was that person in the will of God when he allowed that to happen. The most common situation that occurs is when there are marital problems from which someone is trying to escape. They use a place of serving the Lord as a way of escaping the problems at home. The church was created by the Lord to be the perfect complement to the home and an added blessing to parents in helping them build godly homes. Hebrew 10:24-25 says, And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
We can also find balance in our walk with God in the balance of “Bible versus prayer versus soulwinning.”
There is always a tendency to major on what we enjoy doing and to ignore what is not fun. Bible study is extremely important to our Christian lives. II Timothy 2:15 says, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.If all a person does is study his Bible without ever using it to help people, he is severely out of balance!
Prayer is another vital element of the Christian life. Jude 20-21 says, But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. When we pray, we talk to God. Instead of doing all the talking, we need to make sure that we are doing some listening to what He has to say as well.
The third great element of walking with God is soulwinning. Act 20:19-21 says, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul was a man of great learning who knew the Scriptures, and he was also a man of prayer. He was well-balanced because he put his Bible knowledge to work with his praying to bring in converts by his house-to-house soulwinning.
Finally, we can find the balance in our walk with God in the balance of “God versus friends.”
We should never have to make a choice between the Lord and a so-called friend. Why? A true friend is a person sent into our lives by God to bring us into an even closer walk with Him. Proverbs 27:6 says, Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. A God-sent friend is faithful to be God’s mouthpiece in keeping us straight with godly counsel.
In conclusion, we must find out what the Bible has to say about our relationships. There is no problem that does not have a solution. God has already placed His solutions in the Bible. Our job is to search out God’s desire. We must realize that balance will never be achieved permanently in our lives. Balance is obtained by making constant changes.
Proverbs 11:1 – A false balance is abomination to the LORD: But a just weight is his delight.
Editor’s Note: The above blog post is an abridged version of a Sunday School lesson , “Finding Balance in the Christian Life,” by Pastor Greg Neal. Many of his lessons and sermons are available in print from Berean Publications.
Pastor Neal, through his preaching and his counseling, displays the compassionate heart of a pastor, follows the true leading of the Holy Spirit, and expresses a fervent desire to see lost souls come to know Christ. It is his ultimate desire to see the greater Jacksonville area reached for the cause of Christ and for revival to come to Northeast Florida.