The Fallacy of Pursuing a Balanced Life
Our modern culture teaches that the antidote to a busy life is the pursuit of a balanced life. The implication is that if we can somehow equally weight each area of our life and achieve “balance,” we will experience less anxiety, have more energy, and live a relatively peaceful existence.
Personally desiring to achieve some type of equilibrium in my own life, I found it frustrating that balance either seemed impossibly out of reach or when it did happen, it only lasted for a short time.
Why is balance so elusive?
When searching scripture, we see why a balanced life is difficult to achieve: God doesn’t talk about living a balanced life. The word “balance” most often shows up in the Bible as a term for weights and measures. However, it is never associated as a personal attribute.
What the Bible DOES say is that there will be SEASONS in our life.
“For everything there is a season…” (Ecc. 3:1)
“Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap…” (Gal. 6:9)
“It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.” (Acts 1:7)
“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season…” (2 Tim. 4:2)
Time and again throughout scripture, God refers to our lives not in balance, but in and out of seasons. Armed with this knowledge, we can experience what we desire with a “balanced” life: less stress, more energy, and peace. Here’s how:
- As we hold to the truth that our lives are defined by seasons, we live less anxiously knowing that God desires to “refresh the weary and satisfy the faint” (Jer. 31:25) as He is “our ever-present help” in times of trouble. (Ps. 46:1)
- As we look at our life through the lens of seasons, we can live more energized by the knowledge that God is sufficient and will provide for us as he does the “birds of the air.” (Matt. 6:26)
- Finally, viewing our life as a series of seasons allows us to experience peace because we find righteousness in our faith not in our circumstances. “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard (our) hearts and (our) mind in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7)
Does all this mean that we should not try to better define our priorities? Not try to better align our time with our hearts? Absolutely not. Balance can be a useful measuring tool just not a means to an end.
Accepting that seasons – some good, some more difficult – define our lives gives us better perspective on the present and wisdom for our future. The key to each season is drawing closer to God and his word and resting in his promises.