Maintaining Balance

Bible Book: Proverbs  1 : 1-7
Subject: Life Balance; Living for God; Strength; Renewal; Happiness; Meaning

Proverbs 1:1-7

Complete the following:

I'm at the end of my________. (rope)

I'm coming_________. (unglued)

My life is falling_________.(apart)

I'm really stressed________. (out)

I'm ready to throw in the_________. (towel)

Is there balance in your life?

Are you a workaholic?

Are you always in a hurry?

Is your "to do" list always unrealistically long?

Do you use your days off to catch up on unfinished work?

Do you feel guilty when you relax?

Do you have to get sick to take time off?

You know you are a workaholic when:

All your Christmas cards come from work associates.

You head out for "back to school" night and you have no idea which one your kids go to. Your family refers to you as occupant.

You take business related reading material into the bathroom.

Americans are not, as a whole, doing a good job of balancing their lives.

CNN discovered that 69% of Americans said, "I would like to slow down. I would like to relax."

A Harris poll reveals Americans are spending 8 1/2 hours less per week relaxing than a decade ago.

An unbalanced life will collapse. The bible teaches balance, as we see in Proverbs 1: 1-7. These verses speak of instruction and wisdom.

Today we will look at principles that will help bring balance to your life.

I. Make Jesus the Center of Your Life

The only perfectly balanced person who ever lived was Jesus. When He is at the center of my life, I can better live a balanced life. He will teach me, if I allow Him. Think of your life as a wheel. At the center is the hub. The spokes represent every aspect of your life. You will build your life around something. Something will be at the center. What is your life centered around? How do you know? What do you think about most?

If you have a solid center you will have a solid life. If you have a weak center you will have a very weak life. The hub is the source of power. Anything but God at the center means a power shortage. Jesus at the center will give power to handle life. Talking about balance: Jesus gave us two commands.

Love the Lord God with all our hearts. Love people.

II. Admit Your Limitations

Your are a human being; you are not Superman. One of the causes of a lack of balance is the desire to please. We allow the expectations of others to manipulate us. God can't even please everybody.

Some want it to be warm. Others want it to be cold. You cannot please everyone, and you cannot meet everyone's expectations. Everyone deals with this.

A guy came up to a pastor and said, "I tried to call you on Monday and I couldn't get in touch with you." The pastor said, "I was taking a day off." The man replied, "The devil don't take a day off." The pastor said, "Yes, and if I didn't I'd be just like the devil."

Satan is not your model. God is your model. Set aside time for other things besides work. God taught this in the 10 commandments. He said, "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy." Sabbath means a day of rest. Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made to benefit man."

God says there are three things we should do on the Sabbath.

A. Rest Your Body

We were not designed to go without rest. If we don't take time out, our bodies eventually will. During the French Revolution the Sabbath was outlawed in France. The people were told to work seven days a week. Within a couple years the day was reinstated because the health of the nation collapsed.

B. Recharge Your Emotions

An emotional break from the normal daily routine refreshes. The development of relationships will rejuvenate you as well.

C. Refresh Your Spirit

When we worship we are focusing on God rather than all our problems. This refreshes us. Have you ever battled coming to church, but were so glad you did once you got here?

D. Trace Your Values

What is really important to you? We get out of balance when our values get out of balance.

Ecclesiastes 4:4 "I've learned why people work so hard to succeed; it is because they envy the things their neighbors have."

One of the things that cause us to over work is materialism. We have two choices in life. Live life in a way that says, "I have to keep up with everyone else," or live life by values that God says is right for you.

It is difficult in America to relax when we confuse our work with our worth. Too many people think their value is wrapped up in their careers and their net worth. If I achieve a lot, I am worth a lot. This concept is especially difficult for those who grew up in an environment where they were constantly told they were not worth anything. The person develops the attitude, "I'll show them." The problem is that no matter what you accomplish, it is not enough.

E. Empower Your Inner Life

When we allow Him to, God places a passion for life within us. We say, "I am fired up." That simply means we are passionate about something. Any fire must be tended.

I remember camping out when I was a kid. We were scared to death, so we kept a fire going during the night. (There were some pretty vicious animals where I grew up. Animals such as squirrels, rabbits and opossums.) We would eventually drift off to sleep and the fire would go out.

For some the passion for life has gone out. Our society encourages us to empower the outer life. We are encouraged to live from the outside in. God encourages us to live from the inside out. What does it matter if everything on the outside looks flawless but the inside is in turmoil? What are you neglecting because you are too busy? We need hearts of passion once again.

1. Passion for God.
2. Passion for people.
3. Passion for touching lives.

III. Relish the Moment

Too many people live by the following statements. "I am going to enjoy life when..."

"I can't wait until the day..." "I live for..."

God intended for us to relish the moment.

God has two goals for us in life:

1. Know God and enjoy a relationship with Him.
2. Use the talents and gifts He has given us to serve others.

When these are our goals we can relish the moment because god makes them possible.


Proverbs 14:30 "A relaxed attitude lengthens a man's life."

There are three types of fatigue.

1. Physical fatigue

2. Emotional fatigue

3. Spiritual fatigue

Your heart dries up and you just don't feel close to God. Rest can cure physical fatigue but plugging back into the power source can only cure spiritual and emotional fatigue.