Here’s a comment we received on a recent post about part-time Christians . . .
“Can you also enlighten [us] how to balance all of our responsibilities? It would be amazing to [be able to] go full time ministry for me and still be able to take care of my family.”
The word “balance” comes up a lot in mentoring groups. These young guys’ jobs are on fire, their kids are a mess, their wives are struggling and they’re supposed to be loving, serving, giving, reading, praying, working, saving, leading, living ‘in community’ with other guys and growing in their faith . . . all at the same time. How do you balance all that?
I don’t think you should. In fact, I hate the word “balance.” Religious people live balanced lives. They don’t let their faith get too invasive into their priorities, their lives or their finances. I’ll never forget a former Chick-Fil-A executive standing in front of a group saying: “God is not a priority in my life.” He repeated it a couple times, to everyone’s chagrin. Then he paused and said, “God is my life!” That’s not balance, that’s passion!
Totally surrendered, all-in Jesus-followers recognize that God is responsible for all outcomes. It was Jesus Himself who said, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). His kingdom exists first in our hearts and minds. It’s peace, love and contentment (among other things). We can’t have peace and worry at the same time. Contentment and ambition are like oil and water. Love and fear can’t coexist. Jesus was saying, “Choose me. Put me first. Let me lead. You can trust me.” We still can.
Instead of pursuing balance, pursue obedience. “Lord, what would you have me do regarding this business proposal?” “Lord, what would you have know about my wife’s heart right now?” “Father, how do you see my little boy’s heart right now? How would you have me move closer to him?” All these prayers are right now prayers. They’re “in the moment” conversations with our Heavenly Father. They’re collaborative with God, issue by issue, person by person, decision by decision. This is “walking with God.” This is “abiding in Christ.” If we live our lives daily with this kind of interaction with the Father, balance will take care of itself. A lot of the time . . . maybe most of the time, we know what He’d have us do. We simply need to slow down enough to “seek His righteousness” (living within us) and obey it.
I don’t want to be in “balance” . . . I want to be available and obedient. There are three priorities and they’re always in the same order: God, people, everything else. The God and people categories almost totally overlap because we show our love for God by our love for people. The “everything else” category takes us back to people as well . . . your job involves a boss, your car is serviced by someone . . . even your trash is carried off by a person who matters to God.
Involve God in every decision and obey His voice. Love and serve people. Be public about your faith. Live your life wildly out of balance.
P.S. If you’re an authentic Jesus-follower, you’re already in “full-time” ministry. It doesn’t matter who authors your paycheck.
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