Seeking Abundance Over Balance

Work-life balance continues to receive a lot of attention.  People are looking for ways to reduce stress and burnout, maintain focus and control and increase productivity.  I did a Google search for “Work-Life Balance” and it garnered about 630,000,000 results, examples include:

  • 6 Tips for the better work-life balance – Forbes

  • Adopt these 12 habits for a better work-life balance – Entrepreneur

  • 7 habits of people who have achieved work-life balance – Fast Company

There was some useful information contained in the articles:

  • Unplug – leave work at work

  • Turn off technology

  • Let go of perfectionism/Let go of fear

  • Learn to say “no”

  • Set boundaries

However, most of the articles concluded that life can’t really be balanced.  It’s just a myth.  It can only be managed.  Not a great way to live a flourishing life.

Often in our society the idea of work-life balance is held up as the secret to joy, contentment and peace of mind.  Yet, in our consumer culture, material gratification is continuously encouraged, we feel a sense of discontent, and success is measured more by what you have than who you are.
— Hugh Whelchel, IFW&E, May 2017

Interestingly, the Bible has nothing to say about work-life balance.  I did a Bible search and got zero results.  Scripture does not encourage us to live balanced lives.  If fact, as you read the Gospels, you realize that Jesus’ life was not balanced.  He lived with purpose and passion but not necessarily with balance. 

Jesus didn’t balance his family and work well.  Rather He saw His priorities to family and work as equal ‘rhythms’ that demanded all of His attention at a given point, rather than competing loyalties that must be balanced at a given point.  When He was supposed to be working, He gave it His all; His very life!  When He was supposed to be doing life with God or people, He was fully present physically, emotionally and mentally.
— Shawn Lovejoy, Church Leaders, May 2017

Speaking on work-life balance, Simon Sinek, the best-selling author and motivational speaker has said, “The goal is not simply to ‘work hard, play hard’. The goal is to make our work and play indistinguishable.”  That’s what we see in Jesus’ life.  Everything in his life was integrated and indistinguishable.  Nothing was compartmentalized. 

God does not view our lives as compartmentalized either, so why should we.  Perhaps the secret to work-life balance is not seeking it all.  Maybe there is something better?

 

Abundant Life

God’s plan for us is to live integrated, abundant lives.  In John 10:10, Jesus says “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.”   He did not say I have come that they might have a balanced life.  The word abundant in Greek means “considerably more than one could expect or anticipate”.  Jesus wants us to have a life like this.  A life that is full of purpose and passion.  A life that is eternally abundant, not abundant from an earthly perspective.  A life that is integrated and produces an eternal return.  So, how can we experience an abundant life? 

  • Love the Lord your God with everything you have – Matthew 22:37

  • Hunger and thirst for righteousness – Matthew 5:6

  • Seek first the Kingdom – Matthew 6:33

  • Delight yourself in the Lord – Psalm 37:4

  • Be content – Philippians 4:12

When we seek first the Kingdom of God, everything else will be provided.  When we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart.   When we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we will be satisfied.   

The abundant life is so much better than a balanced life!


If you want to learn more about how to find a better work-life balance, or are interested in ongoing business and leadership skill-development, consider joining a Convene Peer Advisory Group.  

You can also learn more about work-life balance in this Convene White Paper, Living The Abundant Adventure. 


About the Author

bruce-lane.jpg

Before becoming a Convene Chair, Bruce gained 25+ years of experience in Human Capital Management, Organizational Development, Leadership Development and Strategy and has an outstanding track record of maximizing revenue, profitability and performance.  His expertise includes helping companies improve their organizational health and optimize their financial and operational performance by aligning their business and people strategies. 

To learn more and connect with Bruce, view his profile or connect with him here.