Many business leaders I work with commonly struggle with what they refer to as work-life balance. They typically talk about the constant struggle to “find the right balance” of time spent on work, family, ministry, hobbies, health and self. The world is ready to offer all kinds of suggestions. A quick Google search on work-life balance results in 153,000,000 results!
The problem with the worldly perspective is that it assumes there is a perfect number of hours we should spend on each part of our lives and if we discover that number, we will be perfectly happy. This model of a balanced life, trading off time on one activity for another is not necessarily the lens in which we should view this dilemma. Instead, scripture tells us that we should view time as something to be cherished and used effectively to honor God. We are to “redeem” the precious time God gives us (that’s 168 hours a week for everyone as one of my favorite blog writers mentions regularly)!
Rather than looking for a balanced life, we should be focused on a “centered” life – that is centered on Jesus. A life centered on Jesus doesn’t just happen; it requires intentional planning and choices. But before we explore how to achieve it, let’s first define what it is.
What is a Centered Life?
It is a life that is Christ-centered and encompasses the whole of who we are — spirit, soul and body. A centered life enables us to recognize, acknowledge and live fully in God’s plan and purpose for us in each season of life. Sometimes this involves stretching, yet understanding the limits of our physical, spiritual, mental and emotional capacities and limits.
Living a Centered Life
The key to all of this is of course a personal, intimate relationship with God that is growing daily. By knowing Him better each day, then we should be better able to discern the ways in which we redeem the hours He gives us. A few things I have learned (sometimes the hard way) over the years:
Find the time (preferably first thing each day) to spend with the Lord, reading His word, praying and listening.
Honor the Sabbath. I found it easy to work seven days a week when I was in start-up mode. Luckily, the Lord (via my wise wife) reminded me of this commandment (not suggestion).
Be a part of a community of believers – don’t try to go it alone (perhaps even a peer group).
If you take the time to grow in your relationship with the Lord, He will help you make the most of the rest of the hours in your day.
Honoring God at Work
As I work with Christian business leaders, I have seen first hand how many truly live out their faith and incorporate it in all aspects of their days, including how they run their businesses. Several common themes I see in these leaders:
Sincerely being a servant leader in attitude and action
Focus on building a strong team of leaders within the company
Learning to delegate (and trust) their team
Learning to say no to things that distract from the core purpose of their business
Finding ways to honor the Lord personally and through the business they lead
I have come to learn that there is no perfect number of hours to be spent on specific daily activities, but rather we can trust in the perfect God to help us redeem the time for Him who has redeemed us.
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
Jim is a seasoned business executive with 30+ years of experience in Sales, Marketing, Operations, Leadership Development and Strategy. He has helped numerous companies address revenue growth challenges in emerging, SMB and enterprise B-to-B entities in the technology arena.
Jim is launching a Convene Peer Advisory Group in Portland, OR. To get in touch with Jim about opportunities to join, just click here.