Faith

Striking the Proper Balance

One of the most difficult, stressful challenges we face each day is striking the proper balance: Balance in relationships, balance between work and play, balance between savings and spending, etc. If we are too attentive in relationships, we’re smothering. If we aren’t attentive enough, we’re aloof. If we work too hard, we’re workaholics. If we don’t work hard enough, we’re lazy. If we save too much, we’re misers. If we spend too much, we’re spendthrifts. It seems we can’t win.

The truth is, we will never be able to make everybody happy. What we need to do is prioritize our attempts at balance. We need to ask ourselves the hard questions.

For Relationships – How do I want to be treated in this relationship? How does the other person want to be treated? Are there areas of growth and compromise that will bring us closer without changing who we are as individuals? Is this a healthy relationship? Is my relationship interfering with other important areas of my life? Which area should take priority?

For Work – What am I trying to achieve? What is necessary to achieve my goal? Am I working at the right pace to meet my goal? Is it worth it? Are my career goals interfering with other important areas of my life? Which area should take priority?

For Finance – How much money is enough? What are my goals, and are they realistic? Do I really need all of the things I want? Could I live smaller now, so I could enjoy the present? Are my financial goals interfering with other areas of my life? Which area should take priority?

These questions are not easy, but they are necessary. In answering one, you may find the key to true balance. Sure, saving money is difficult, but you may find it necessary to put off the immediate to attain the long-term. Likewise, you may find out that you can loosen up to enjoy the present.

Now it’s time for a reality check. Ask yourself this: How important are any of these critical questions after I’m dead? What is the one thing I can do now that will have eternal consequences?

What is the proper balance when considering eternity? The Bible is clear regarding the singular path to Heaven through faith in Jesus alone. However, even with that simple truth, it is difficult to find balance, because there are two very divergent schools of thought regarding our conduct here on Earth while we await eternity.

Pure Calvinism holds to the belief that God preselects those destined for Heaven, and the chosen cannot resist God’s grace. Eventually, the chosen will respond and become faithful followers of Jesus Christ. And, once they make that decision, their eternal destiny is secure.

Pure Armenianism holds to the belief that man is able to resist God’s grace, even after initial acceptance, meaning that eternity is never fully secure. Everyone has a chance to respond, but they need to walk circumspectly because they could inadvertently walk away.

Unfortunately, the truth is balanced between the two.

The Bible says many are called, but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14). It also says God predestined those He foreknew (Romans 8:29).

The Bible says that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:31-19). However, it also says that only those who are faithful, obedient, victorious overcomers until the end receive eternal life (Matthew 24:13, Revelation 2:7, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21).

When it comes to eternity, the proper balance is a condition of the heart.

Picture the grace of God like an umbrella. As long as the true intent of your heart is to faithfully lead a life that pleases God through obedience to His Word, holding firmly to your faith in Jesus alone for your salvation, knowing that you cannot earn it (Ephesians 2:8-9), the umbrella of God’s grace covers you, and you can have assurance that the promise of eternal life is secure (Romans 8:1-2; 1 John 5:13). Be careful, however, because that does not give you license to live carelessly (Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 2:16). We are clearly told to be holy (1 Peter 1:15-16).

The reality is those whose decision to follow is insincere do not share the same security (Matthew 7:21-23). There are many warnings in scripture regarding the need to persevere until the end, striving each day to lead a life that pleases God. Those who give up and walk away do not receive the gift of eternal life. It is that simple. Will the diligent fail? Of course. That is why 1 John 2:1-2 tells us that Jesus is our advocate when we sin. However, that does not mean we stop striving for holiness every day of our lives. If we fail, we need to ask for forgiveness and keep on trying.

In everything you do, seek the proper balance, so you can lead a life of abundant peace. Think about what is truly important today and in the light of eternity. Life is short. Eternity is not.

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