BETA

Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Dear Colleagues,

BALANCING THE COMPETING DEMANDS IN LIFE

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In this chaotic, frantic world, three pressures that Satan may use to derail your walk with God are intensity, velocity, and complexity. Here are three principles you can use to countermand his tactics:

Focus:

Do I have a clear picture of where I am going and how I plan to get there? Does my focus mesh with Biblical values? Or is it the ole pinball principle of bouncing off the pressure points of least resistance? You know, "aim at nothing and youre sure to hit it." If you are out of focus, you can be sure that others are more than willing to play billiards with your life.

"So be careful how you act; these are difficult days. Don’t be fools; be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to find out and do whatever the Lord wants you to."

(Eph. 5:14-17 – Living) (See Isa. 50:7; Lk. 9:62; 2 Cor. 11:3; Phil. 3:12-14)

Balance:

Am I balancing the legitimate but competing demands in my life? One key to maintaining balance is making peace with my human limitations. Perhaps I should practice standing in front of the mirror and saying, "No!" True balance is when I am fulfilling my responsibilities in each Biblically based, God-ordained area of life (God, family, work, ministry, church, etc.). Satan majors on getting me off balance by pushing one or more of these responsibilities to the extreme. As I sincerely seek to balance these competing demands, I may not be a gold medallist in each arena, but God sees my faithfulness and is pleased.

As Dr. Luke records, Jesus obviously knew how to live a well-orbed, balanced life: He"grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." (Lk. 2:52) It has been suggested that these areas involve the intellectual, physical, social and spiritual aspects of his life.

By way of contrast, Solomon warns us against extremes: "Be not morbidly exacting and externally righteous overmuch, neither strive to make yourself pretentiously appear over wise why should you get puffed up and destroy yourself with presumptuous self-sufficiency?" (Ecc. 7:16 Amp.)

And St. Paul urges self-restraint: " Let your moderation be known unto all men…" (Phil. 4:5a KJV)

Margin:

Am I intentionally building space into my schedule? Or am I overwhelmed by intensity, velocity, and complexity? A person without margin will be hard pressed to nurture godly character. If I am chronically short on time, I may want to ask myself whether I am I "driven" or "called?" Just what is it that motivates me: The fear of failure? The quest for acceptance? The need to prove something? Mature, well-balanced followers of Christ build breathing room into their daily lives. After all, how long can any of us survive by chronically pushing "the pedal to the metal"? At some point the unreasonable pace will manifest itself in strained relationships with God, my spouse, my children, and with myself.

"Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it."

(Heb. 4:1) (See Ex. 23:12; 34:21; Mk. 6:31,32)

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