When we live a balanced life, we are aligned with our very design and purpose.
God’s highest and best is achieved and accomplished in us when we choose to live a balanced life with healthy priorities. The question is: how do we achieve that in the current era of chronic busyness when our time is filled with good and necessary things?
The answer isn’t multi-tasking or bullet journaling.
There are a couple of key elements in our lives that act as both measuring sticks for our health and also protective boundaries when approached with the right perspective. We’ll dive into those later.
First, we’ll explore how to assess whether or not your priorities need readjusting.
To quickly jump to the red flags that you need adjusting, along with the two elements that are key to enjoying a balanced life, use the links below.
- Warning Signs:
- Key #1: Time
- Key #2: Money
A BALANCED LIFE IN EVERY STAGE
I once spent 26 hours in a room with a handful of very successful, wealthy men. We were all evaluating our lives, dreaming about how we should spend the so-called “second half” of our years on earth.
Most of us would agree these men possess the qualities that people want. They seem to have it all figured out, with the houses, vehicles, money, and businesses. And some had experienced significant pain, too.
But all of these men were followers of Christ and were seeking God’s direction. Some had more money and resources than most of us will gain in a lifetime, and they were asking how to use it to further God’s kingdom. Others were wondering how to use their gifts for the body rather than getting caught up in the rat race. Still, others had already achieved a great balance but wanted to deepen their spiritual transformation and live fruitfully by serving and giving even more.
In every stage of life, there are adjustments to be made. You don’t prioritize once and move on. Achieving balance is a life-long, worthwhile process that will have a powerful influence on every single aspect of your life.
Living a prioritized life requires frequent checkups and changes, and the short list below is a great place to start.You don’t prioritize life one time and move on. Achieving balance is a life-long, worthwhile process that will have a powerful influence on every single aspect of your life. Click To Tweet
6 Warning Signs You are Not Living a Balanced Life
Are you caught in the activity trap?
Sometimes we get extremely busy. Not the typical pre-holiday packed schedule, but a lifestyle of busyness. I actually believe it’s the clearest form of worldliness: we become prideful about our packed calendar and deep inside feel important because of that list of to-dos.
2. Undue Stress and Pressure
Do you find yourself anxious and uptight? Is it hard to sit still and just BE?
We’re all busy, but you might be operating at that level too often. A high-speed existence leads to burnout for many; others collapse, explode, or rage. Not surprisingly, when you’re experiencing emotional stress and anxiety, it’s common to notice a lack of intimacy and connection with your family, particularly in your marriage.
Feeling anxious? How Confidently To Pray For Peace When Anxiety Is Creeping In
Do you live with a side of low-grade guilt? People with this warning side often just feel bad about themselves. There’s a list of things you know you should be doing, but you aren’t doing them. As a result, you feel like a bit of a fraud, which naturally produces guilt.
4. Financial Debt
It’s no surprise that debt is a red flag for living a balanced life. But the reason it’s dangerous isn’t as obvious.
God uses money as a tool to speak to us, and when we don’t have a healthy relationship with this resource, we are pushing mute on His voice. He uses it to get our attention, to keep us out of trouble, and to build our muscles of faith and contentment. In fact, Jesus talks about money more than He talks about heaven and hell combined!God uses money to speak to us: to get our attention, to keep us out of trouble, and to build our muscles of faith and contentment. In fact, Jesus talks about money more than He talks about heaven and hell combined! Click To Tweet
I call this “leakage” in your devotional life with God. Are you at a point where you’re only praying in the car? And you’ve ceased to take time to quiet your heart before the Creator? A balanced life finds life and sustenance in those moments of communion.
Get back on track: 5 Power Faith-Building Exercises That Work Every Time
6. Excessive Behavior
The allure of excessiveness is its numbing abilities. Is your life filled with TOO MUCH? Maybe it’s too much TV or sports, too much food or exercise, or even too much time scrolling through Instagram and reading the news. Even “good” things can be unhealthy when our motivation is out-of-whack.
Does any of that describe you? I suspect most of us know in our souls when priorities are misplaced. Seriously consider the warning signs listed above and then shift your focus to the two keys God has provided to help us stay balanced.
A Balanced Life Starts With Time and Money
Countless articles and books have been written on the subject of work-life balance and priorities, but the Scriptures boil it down to two elements: time and money. These are the two elements that hold the keys to enjoying the peace and power of a prioritized life.
1. Give God Your Time
“The length of our days is seventy years – or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. Who knows the power of your anger? For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you. Teach us to number our days outright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:10-12)
The first step in prioritizing your time is OWNING the responsibility of your time.
Whether it’s your spouse, parents, children, friend, or relationship with God, you own your time. Living a prioritized life starts with getting really clear on who you are, what God wants you to do, and then getting a sense of holy urgency and realizing life is passing.
Ask yourself what you need in every relationship so the Spirit of God can allow the love that you possess in your relationship with Jesus to come out of you and into that relationship.YOU own the responsibility of your time. Get clear about who you are, what God wants you to do, and then tune into a sense of holy urgency and realize that life is passing. Click To Tweet
Ask yourself what you need in every relationship so the Spirit of God can allow the love that you possess in your relationship with Jesus to come out of you and into that relationship.
Do you need to send your kids to the playroom after dinner so you can chat privately with your spouse? That’s a worthwhile investment. Or do you need to hire a local teen to care for the lawn so you can spend quality time with the kids over summer break?
Take time for the important and avoid the tyranny of the urgent.
Dwight Eisenhower once said:
“The urgent is rarely important, and the important is rarely urgent.”
Think about your long game — where do you want to invest your time?
In my series called “Balancing Life’s Demands” I share my memorable, practical method for spending quality time every day with God. Check it out on YouTube.Dwight Eisenhower once said: The urgent is rarely important, and the important is rarely urgent. Think about your long game — where do you want to invest your time? Click To Tweet
2. Give God Your Money
“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)
I think Jesus couldn’t care less about your money. It’s all His! He certainly doesn’t NEED it.
But your money reflects your values and your heart. It paints a very accurate picture of who you are and where you’re at in your life. Wherever your money goes, so too goes your heart. With every transaction, you’re communicating your values, heart, and life priorities.
- What does it say about God as your Provider when you purchase a car outside of your means? Who knows what He had in store for you!
- When you go before Him and complete a transaction without careful prayer and consideration, what does it communicate about harnessing His strength for contentment?
- If you have plenty and you overlook your brother in need, what does that say about trusting God that you can live with less?
Actually, God loves you so much that He wants you to learn to give so that He can give abundantly to you!
God wants you to learn to budget and say to Him, “This is Yours — I want to be a good steward,” so that you can richly enjoy the good things He wants to give you! Instead of feeling guilty about the night out with your spouse or the great dinner you prepared for your family, you can celebrate in gratitude because you know the blessings came straight from God’s hands.
Isn’t that a beautiful way to live?
You can experience a balanced life when you see these elements of time and money as gifts and protection and guides. The process of becoming balanced takes time, but with these tools — one for each hand — you will begin to see the peace and power and blessings of a balanced life.
Explore more Scriptures that teach us how to prioritize and learn an effective method for making the most of your time with God in my YouTube sermon series entitled Balancing Life’s Demands.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip