The Balanced Life & The Christian Life

alex-borras.jpgAlex was the August presenter at our monthly businessmen’s luncheon. He is usually clear and thought provoking and this was not exception. Questions: “What is the Christian Life?” and “What is a balanced life?” and “What factors should we keep in balance?” My thinking was challenged by Alex to try to answer these questions backwards. He proposed that we keep seven factors in balance: (1) Financial, (2) Family, (3) Mental, (4) Work, (5) Social, (6) Physical and (7) Spiritual. I thought of how round the rim of my wheel would be if these seven factors were the spokes. There are clearly times in my life when my wheel would have given me a pretty bumpy ride. I tend to let the social facet of my life get short changed. Lately, I’ve been trying to pump up the physical. You know how it goes. Alex challenged us to think of three goals in each category that would, if achieved, even things out.

That discussion led me to another question: “What is the difference between a balanced Christian life and a balanced non-Christian life?” So I put myself under the microscope to examine what makes each one of these seven categories uniquely Christian? I guess I’m talking about my world view of my inner world. So here are my thoughts. I’d be interested in yours.

balance-wheel.png

balance-financial.jpg(1) Financial: The Christian view of money is that all money is God’s money (I Chronicles 29:10-18 & Deuteronomy 8:17-18) and God gives us the responsibility to manage this money as a steward. I’m glad I went through the Crown Ministries course on personal financial management at my church several years ago. They have a wealth of resources and articles to develop this Christian view of money and wealth.

balance-family.jpg(2) Family: The Christian sees children as having the basic characteristics of the Kingdom of Heaven and as a unique gift or heritage from God. Psalm 78 speaks of our duty to our children is to preserve the continuance of God’s glory for generations by training them to put their confidence in God. How different this view is from those who see children as a burden. How tragic is the way we take abortions in stride giving very little consideration to God’s view of children. The family unit is so important to God that a man’s management of it qualifies or disqualifies him to exercise leadership in the church.

balance-mental.jpg(3) Mental: On the high end, our minds have the capacity to understand the things of God. On the low end, our mind can be so depraved that it disqualifies us from the faith. Wherever we are on this continuum, our minds are in continual need of renewal, away from the natural way of thinking and toward a supernatural way of thinking.

balance-work.jpg(4) Work: God intended us to work and for our work to be productive. It is God who makes the work of our hands effective because it is God who works in and through us for His good pleasure. In our church service a few weeks ago, Pastor Patrick Lafferty defined “good works” as “human expressions of God’s character and purpose that display the worth of God to those who do them and to those who receive them.” I like that.

(5) Social: I think the Christian view of people is that some are followers of Christ and others are not. Jesus is the historical watershed that separates everyone into two camps. To be balance-social.jpgcounted as a follower of Christ our goodness must surpass the levels that our own efforts can manage. As individual followers of Christ live out His character, their families become uniquely Christian, then their communities, and their countries. This is how entire societies can be blessed — or not. My job is to love and encourage people, not to judge them. God does the judging. He doesn’t need any more help with that. Jesus is no longer the incarnation of God walking the earth loving people. He does need help with that. So my role, as I see it, is to be an incarnation of God’s character of love and reconciliation.

balance-physical.jpg(6) Physical: My Christian view of my body follows the metaphor of a “temple of the Holy Spirit”. Therefore, I should take good care of it and not abuse it in any way. Wow, can I think of a lot of ways I can neglect or abuse my body (too much sugar, not enough exercise, etc.) Although our bodies are decaying, those who are “in Christ” will at the resurrection from the dead be given a new imperishable body. That’s something to look forward to.

(7) Spiritual: This is probably the most important piece of all, because unlike a “piece” or a “slice of the pie” it the ingredient that makes all the facets of this model unique. The spiritual dibalance-spiritual.jpgmension of life is not something I strive to develop and improve. It results from entrusting myself to God’s care by responding to His provision of forgiveness on the cross. I am born-again by His power. I am made alive spiritually by His grace. I have a resulting relationship with God that the Bible refers to as “abiding.” And so what I do, I do as a result of what He does in and through me, like the sap of a vine producing fruit. That’s my incentive to live my life consistently with His example. So the spiritual life is not striving to be like Jesus, not trying to win God’s favor, not trying to be good, but rather abiding in a relationship with God, getting to know Him more intimately, and as a result, coming to be like Him for his glory and my blessing.

So I challenge myself to live my life in light of these “spokes of the wheel” in a way that is consistently Christian and over the course of my life, with all its twists and contortions, to end up with a balanced benefit of each. But my concern is not so much balance as much as surrender to Him, yieldedness and abiding. I’d be interested in your thoughts on these issues.

About these ads

19 Responses to The Balanced Life & The Christian Life

  1. [...] The Balanced Life & The Christian Life « J. Lee Jagers, PhD, ThM, LPC [...]

  2. bjmmckee says:

    Lots to ponder here! I really liked your thoughts on #7- Spiritual and your ‘self challenge’ – something we all need to do!

    God Bless!
    Bonnie

  3. The Balanced Life & The Christian Life…

    Talking about a speaker at a recent businessman’s meeting, J. Lee Jagers writes:
    “He proposed that we keep seven factors in balance: (1) Financial, (2) Family, (3) Mental, (4) Work, (5) Social, (6) Physical and (7) Spiritual. I thought of…

  4. Pastor Haggai says:

    It is with great pleasure to say that the above article has been very helpful since that I was tasked by my home-cell to come and teach about living a balance life as a christian. Please if possible could you sent me more articles or a detailed information regarding this matter.

    Thank you

    Haggai

  5. Nowelle says:

    Hi, I hope you don’t mind but I used your wheel picture on my blog entry for a weight loss website. I ammended it though b/c the wheel I’ve seen has Christ in the middle. God is our direction and His word is a lamp unto our feet therefore I think He should be in the middle. (I read a book that put Him there so that’s how I learned it).

    • leejagers says:

      You can’t go wrong with God at the center, Nowelle. After thinking about this further, I now have problems with the “Spiritual” aspect of life representing only a slice of the pie . . . it ought to be one of the ingredients that permeates EVERY slice.

  6. lily says:

    what do you think about christian driving a benz, bmw? having a big house? He gives tithe, serve in the church and give above his tithe. Can a christian be like that and be a christian still? is he not supposed to live low profile and use the money to help the poor, support missionaries, save sex slaves? when he spend money on himself, it is not honoring to God, isn’t it because he is being self centered and causing others to covet?

    • Lee Jagers says:

      Hi Lily, I don’t judge a person one way or the other if he drives an expensive car or lives in a big house because I don’t know anything about his heart behind it all. If God has chosen to bless the person with wealth as He did with Abraham and so many other people in the Bible, I wouldn’t want to call that wrong or ungodly. That said, I think there are many special dangers in having money that can be extremely problematic . . . particularly if the amassing of money is the person’s central focus in life. A quick Google search on “Wealth Riches Christian” will turn up a large number of good articles about these dangers. On the other hand, I have seen many individuals use large proportions of their wealth for the Lord’s work . . . so much so that they get audited regularly by the IRS for their contributions. I haven’t been so blessed, but I do know several people who have managed to keep their lives in balance while keeping their focus on the things of the Lord above all else. Thanks for your comment. It’s a topic worthy of much interaction and discussion. Regards, Dr. Lee Jagers

  7. Beulah says:

    Thank you. I agree that the Spiritual, which represents God in us, should be at the center for the constant supply of life to everything else.

    Also, the mental, the mind, should be in direct link to the spiritual to ensure the proper and constant renewal for a better functioning in the other departments.

    God bless you,

  8. David says:

    Lee at first I thought Christ was not a large enough part of the illustration. Until I thought of the Navigator wheel model with Christ in the center.

    Putting Christ in the hub at the center does give each spoke a focus of his strength in our lives in the areas we are trying to ballance.

    Thank you for sharring and God Bless!

  9. christian says:

    hello,
    why money is important?

    • fran says:

      because the scriptures speak so much about it. He wants us to be good steward. Remember work was his design in Genesis and management was the job he gave Adam. We made money but the riches are the actual things he supplied. Rule over the, livestock, the animals in the sea and birds of the air. Take care of the land. It’s our duty to manage them. Whether you call it financial or economics. It is systematic and he guides us how to rule.

  10. Rob J says:

    nice analysis and graphics

  11. Abednego says:

    It is a good website for all christian life.

  12. leejagers says:

    It serves my needs well. I haven’t read much, but after my son set me up with WordPress several years ago, I haven’t felt the need to look elsewhere.

  13. […] For some balance on this topic, read an article by fellow blogger PhD Lee Jagers (this is where I found the wheel you see above) …  http://leejagers.wordpress.com/2007/08/31/the-balanced-life-the-christian-life/ […]

  14. […] For some balance on this topic, read an article by fellow blogger PhD Lee Jagers (this is where I found the wheel you see above) …  http://leejagers.wordpress.com/2007/08/31/the-balanced-life-the-christian-life/ […]

  15. […] For some balance on this topic, read an article by fellow blogger PhD Lee Jagers (this is where I found the wheel you see above) …  http://leejagers.wordpress.com/2007/08/31/the-balanced-life-the-christian-life/ […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 303 other followers

%d bloggers like this: