Why You Should Not Strive for Balance

It’s crazy how we wake up everyday with a to-do list the length of our arm, but we say we want balance.

How can you possibly balance 20 things? That’s impossible, yet we keep striving for it each day.

So why do we do it?

Because we were told that we should live a balanced life, which sounds good in theory, but when we leave out a key element in our pursuit of balance, it become perfectionism and control.

Does this sound like your life?

  • ‘Try’ to wake up early—but often have to hit the snooze button a couple of times
  • ‘Try’ to make time for prayer—which is usually rushed
  • Make a to-do list—most of which will not get done
  • ‘Try’ to eat a healthy meal—sometimes it’s perfect, other times there’s no time to eat
  • ‘Try’ to connect with some friends and family
  • ‘Try’ to get through your list of errands
  • ‘Try’ to organize your kids schedules, or manage your day around the grandchildren
  • ‘Try’ to take care of some paperwork that’s piling up
  • ‘Try’ to get in bed on time to get some decent sleep
  • ‘Try’ to spend some quality time with your hubby
  • Squeeze in a workout—some weeks are great and some weeks nothing
  • Tidy the house—it’s usually a surface clean; one day you’ll organize those drawers and do some deep cleaning
  • Take care of your church commitments
  • Get in some me time—hair, nails, maybe even some shopping, but this is more of an exception than the rule
  • Down time, which ‘should’ be quality time, but you’re too tired to plan anything so you plop in front of the television or surf the net for more time than you want
  • Most of the time you feel like you’re being pulled in a dozen different directions

The problem with balance

  1. We’re trying to balance too many things at once. Contrary to popular belief, multi-tasking is very inefficient. It pulls us in too many directions.
  2. We try to balance our lives without being clear on our priorities, so instead of being productive, we end up becoming overwhelmed with unimportant tasks and our main purpose continually gets neglected.

The solution

1.  Get clear on what God has called YOU to do

To often, our definition of a balanced life is based on impossible standards of what it means to be a woman, or Christian, or mother.

Before we try to balance 101 things, get clear on what God has called YOU to do.

Remember, it won’t (and shouldn’t) look like your friends’, your neighbors’, or your sister, Clara’s life. It should be unique to your gifting, unique personality, values, and calling.

Getting to truly know ourselves and our ‘real’ nature comes only when we spend time with our Father. Since He is our Creator, only He can give us true insights into ourselves and truly direct our paths.

2.  Get clear on your motive ~ Gal. 1:10

Striving for balance can give us peace of mind, but at the core of our striving, is often a need to feel like we’re in control. We want to get it all done; It gives us a sense of accomplishment; It makes us feel like we’re in control; It makes us and others around us feel good. But we must continually ask ourselves if it pleases God.

Pleasing God should be our motive for everything we do.

Check your motives? Are you striving for perfection? Are you striving to maintain control? Are you striving to win the approval of others?

Review all the things you’re trying to balance and ask yourself, ‘why’. If you cannot say that the items on your to-do list are to glorify God, consider how to eliminate them from your life.

3.  Get clear on your season ~  Eccles. 3:1-8

It may be possible to ‘have it all’, but you’ll be fighting a losing battle if you think you can have it all at the same time. God has called us to operate our lives in seasons.

Understand the season that you’re currently in and work hard during that season.

What has God called you to do in this season of your life?

If you’re a mom or grandmother, do it to the best of your ability. You may need to step back from volunteering on 10 committees during this time, or hanging out with your BFFs and focus on what you’ve been called to do during this season.

If you’ve been called to write, sing, or minister to others, or get your body in shape, do it with all your might. Don’t worry about the ladies you see who are baking pies, whose homes are always immaculate, or the ones who’s hair always looks perfect. They’re in their lane and you should stay in yours.

If this is your season to focus on your health, then stop putting it off. Move some other things out of the way so you can focus on your health.

Frustration sets in because you want to get healthy, but you still have too many other commitments which make it impossible to try to squeeze it all in.

God’s Word on balance (and priorities)

The book of Haggai gives us a sobering picture of the consequences of working out of season; working on the wrong priorities and for our own motives.

The Message Bible says:

“Take a good, hard look at your life.
    Think it over.
You have spent a lot of money,
    but you haven’t much to show for it.
You keep filling your plates,
    but you never get filled up.
You keep drinking and drinking and drinking,
    but you’re always thirsty.
You put on layer after layer of clothes,
    but you can’t get warm.
And the people who work for you,
    what are they getting out of it?
Not much—
    a leaky, rusted-out bucket, that’s what.

 That’s why God-of-the-Angel-Armies said:

“Take a good, hard look at your life.
    Think it over.”

 Then God said:

“Here’s what I want you to do:
    Climb into the hills and cut some timber.
Bring it down and rebuild the Temple.
    Do it just for me. Honor me.
You’ve had great ambitions for yourselves,
    but nothing has come of it.
The little you have brought to my Temple
    I’ve blown away—there was nothing to it.

 “And why?” (This is a Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, remember.) “Because while you’ve run around, caught up with taking care of your own houses, my Home is in ruins. That’s why.” ~ Haggai 1:9-10

To summarize

My dear friends, I feel like I’m continually wasting too much time running in circles. I long for peace and order.

If you’re anything like me, and you find yourself striving to find balance—stop it. We’re fighting a losing battle.

1.  It’s time to get clear and get busy doing what God has called us to do.

2.  If you’re clear that this is your season to improve your health, stop striving to find balance and start moving some things out of your way, so you can make space in your life to do what it takes.

3.  Give God the glory! Thank God for the ability to exercise, eat healthy foods, and reflect His glory by taking care of His temple. If He has called you to it, He will equip you to do it. So give Him thanks and praise. ~ (1 Thess. 5:24)

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