Balance

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Balance. Life is all about it. Being able to balance work, school, family, friends, hobbies etc all while maintaining a relationship with God is really inspiring. I see so many of my friends at my church able to do this, and I wonder, how do they do it?

I’ve always had a problem with balance. If I begin to give more attention to one thing, the rest of my life suffers. For instance. If I start eating healthier, I may not exercise. And if I exercise more, I may not eat healthy. Both are important for maintaining health, but they work the best if they’re in sync.

This holds especially true in my spiritual life. There was a time when I felt great spiritually, felt close to God and all, but I wasn’t taking care of my health. If it’s even possible, I was too focused on spirituality and eternity and I kind of let things go.

After that, I began to take care of myself more, but in the process, I slowly drifted from God. Then I became too focused on the temporal and less focused on eternity. Now don’t get me wrong, what we do here on earth matters. And our eternity matters even more. But there has to be a balance between the two.

Sometimes I think we have how something is supposed to work in our heads, but reality is far from it. An example would be that there was a time I thought all Christians were basically super heroes, unable to do wrong. That they were all really holy and never thought or said or did anything wrong. At least the true Christians didn’t, the others were just hypocrites. Boy was I shocked to discover that’s not true at all. Christians are NOT immune to making mistakes. It was that mentality that had me questioning myself all the time. “If I can’t  stop messing up I don’t even deserve to be a Christian.” “I don’t deserve God’s forgiveness or to spend eternity with Him.” Of course I would eventually work through it and receive His forgiveness, but it could take a while sometimes.

The church often goes to extremes as well. One church will teach, “Grace! Grace! Grace! You don’t have to do anything at all!” Another church will teach, “You have to abide by all of these rules and only then can God accept you”, and are just so religious, which can be the opposite of Grace.

Again, is there not a balance between the two? Grace covers our sins, but only if and when we repent. And God has given us guidelines in His word, but they do not save us, should we be able to boast about it. He offers His love freely to us, but we have to choose to accept it. We have to choose to serve Him. All of the guidelines and things He wants us to do and live by are so important, and are an outward sign that we have passed from death to life. But it is not what saves us. What saves us is the blessed assurance that because we simply Love Him with all of our heart, spirit, soul, and body, and we have faith in our Savior that the only way to the Father is through the Son, then we will have eternal life.

If we truly Love Him, then we will want to please Him. In loving Him, literally everything else in our lives falls into place. But we must choose to Love Him. Choose to serve Him. Choose to do what is right.

I want so much to find that balance. To be able to serve God wholeheartedly,  while loving people, and taking care of myself in the process. Never giving up, no matter how hard life gets, no matter what comes my way, all for that hope that one day, I will look back at these times of growth and know that God never gave up on me, and that I never gave up on myself. And maybe, somehow, that I would have inspired others to follow Him too. And to never give up. And to find their balance as well.

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What Do You Believe

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What do you believe? That question shapes our very lives. It is our beliefs that push us into the decisions that we make every day. If you believe it is going to rain you take an umbrella. If you believe something good will happen today, you may be watching for it, so if something good does happen you’ll notice.

But does believing in something make it true? No. Not really. Belief is simply a state of mind. Sometimes it’s nothing more than wishful thinking. But it does play a big part on our actions. Just like how we will take an umbrella if we believe it is going to rain, what we believe controls our lives. And helps make up who we are.

There are so many things today pulling us for our attention. Friends, politicians, the media, all wanting to present their views to us, hoping for our belief. Knowledge is power. So who controls the knowledge and the information we receive, they can control what we believe. With so many beliefs out there, it’s like a smorgasbord for the mind.

There’s more though, isn’t there? Yes there is. Not only is there this fight on the outside for our attention, there’s a fight within us as well. See, no one can decide what we believe. That is a decision we have to make for ourselves. If it wasn’t complicated enough, having to decide what we believe about the world around us, there’s something deeper.

What do I believe about myself? On one side, there’s the belief that I’m not enough. That I will never be good enough. That I should just take a step back and disappear from the big picture. On the other side, I am enough. Not because of who I am, but because of who God is. Because He says I’m enough. Because He is where my strength comes from. My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.

Sometimes I forget that. I forget how big God is, and how much he cares. When I start to forget, I replace His truths with the lies of the enemy. And from there things spiral out of control. The more I believe the lies, the more truthful they seem. And when they become truthful in my mind, I feel myself become distant from God. And it never stops.

The more lies you believe, the more lies you will come to believe. And the further you drift from God, the easier it becomes to drift. The more you distance yourself from God and others, the lonelier you feel.

You might feel alone, or actually be alone. But the Creator of the universe loves you, and if He is for you, who can be against you? He’s a Father to the Fatherless, He is the only hope for humanity, and He’s a friend to the lonely.