Key to Happiness #14 – A Balanced Life
Family, work, health, ministry, leisure, God, civic duties, friends, etc. are all areas that fight for our time. Finding balance is not a simple process…it takes discipline.
There are certain times in our lives where one or two of the above areas seem to consume every minute of our time. I sure struggle with this sometimes. I remember when I was in my twenties and I was really into exercising. I literally worked out seven to eight hours per day. I’d run several miles, then swim for two hours, then do weights and leg lifts for another few hours. I was in great shape, however, other parts of my life where non existent or were seriously lacking.
Then, in my late twenties and early thirties, I was really focused on work. I could work sixty hours per week and still want to work more. I had to prove I was the best!
My next phase was when I was very involved in church…always busy doing something. Don’t get me wrong…there is nothing wrong with working hard and being involved in good causes. At the same time, if your family life is suffering and therefore it costs you your marriage or you lose your health over it – or even worse, if it costs you your soul, it is not worth it! I think we all know people that have had such outcomes. It’s always easier to see the imbalance in other peoples’ lives so it is helpful to examine our own every so often.
Prioritizing and balancing our activities is very helpful, however, in my opinion, the only way to find true balance is to have God in the center of all our activities. Only then will we find true balance and happiness.
God wants to be the center of our universe. We are made that way. “In His presence is fullness of joy.” Ps 16:11
Any time we replace him with something else from the outside, we are literally putting something in the way of true happiness and contentment.
Here are some scripture that talk about our priorities:
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; …
Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Philippians 3:7-8 “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ…”
Scheduling your time:
The only way we can get balanced is to schedule times for our activities. We start with the most important areas and work our way down to the least. Some should be daily activities like praying (preferably with your spouse) and spending time in the word. Other activities like exercise might be 3 times per week, etc. It is important to note that if you have never exercised or read the Bible, I suggest you start small and build up so you won’t get burned out. Start with just 5 minutes per day reading the Bible for example and add as you grow. The same with exercise – don’t commit to one hour of exercising if you have never done it. Just start with a few minutes once or twice per week and as you feel motivated add additional time.
In addition, don’t work 7 days per week. Take off a day and relax to re-charge your batteries.
Keys to happiness exercise:
- Ask God for help and direction (ask Jesus into your life if you have not done so already… He’s your guide, your helper and your key to happiness).
- Set some time aside to set your priorities
- Set a schedule that is workable.
May you find happiness by balancing your life! We hope these tips help you get started.
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