What is balance in life? Sounds like a simple enough question. However, if you ask ten different people you will get ten different answers.
In Luke 10:38-42 (ESV) is this story about Mary and Martha:
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken from her.”
Are you most like Martha, or Mary? Many assume that Mary is the right one and that Martha is the wrong one. Jesus let Martha know about her busyness, but he did not blame her for being a hard worker and efficient. Jesus did not want Martha to be “like Mary,” but rather to stop worrying about doing things for him rather than experiencing the intimacy of being with him. Do you have a Martha spirit or a Mary spirit?
Are you that hard-charging leader who is totally consumed by the business, always working in it and not on it, afflicted with the need to always over-achieve and reach the mountain top regardless of the cost? Or are you a leader who is clear about priorities, and as it is written in Romans 12:2 (ESV); “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” That is what Jesus meant when he spoke to Martha.
Want a role model for work-life balance? Look to Jesus. He is the perfect example of effectively balancing both halves of life. How about focusing your thoughts on honoring Jesus with your life and work? How about not seeking your own personal wants and desires? As Paul wrote to the Philippians in chapter 2:3-4 (ESV): “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Charles Spurgeon once said, “The best work is done by the happy, joyful workman. And so it is with Christ. He does not save souls as of necessity, as though He would rather do something else if He might, but His very heart is in it, He rejoices to do it, and therefore He does it thoroughly and He communicates His joy to us in the doing of it.”
Our lives consist of many parts: faith, family, friends, job/career, our health and well-being, personal development and our finances, to name a few. The balancing act is knowing your core values and priorities and recognizing when some areas need more attention from you than do the others. Talk with and listen to God, seeking his path for you.
I believe that a balanced life is one in which you use your talents and gifts to glorify God; you focus on learning and growing in the Spirit; you intentionally give back through his church; you practice sound stewardship with your time and resources; you know your core values and priorities and use them with discernment. And remember this: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:23).
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 Whitepaper, Making God the Center of your Universe for Better Life Balance.
About the Author
In addition to being a Convene Chair in Orlando, Florida, Bob is well-known nationally as a Senior Human Resources Professional, speaker, coach, trainer, and leader. As a mentor and coach, Bob helps business leaders clarify their purpose and fulfill their God-given potential.