A pale moon hangs casually above the tree line tonight—like it’s in no hurry and has nothing to prove. I watch its slow ascent toward the heights of inky blackness, and I feel remarkably out of balance. The kids have been sick, and every ounce of energy has gone into caring for their needs. I’m tired, and I need the Lord to speak into this daily grind. I pull out my Bible in search of encouraging Scriptures on balance as I aim to align myself with God’s perspective.
Perhaps you can relate. Your life feels out of balance, and you’re not sure what to do about it.
Let’s have an honest discussion about this idea of a balanced life.
The Balance Scale of Your Life
Imagine your life is represented by a balance scale holding numerous plates. The plates represent the different areas of your life: friendships, family, church, community service, your job, hobbies, and other commitments. In your mind, a balanced life is achieved by keeping all the plates equally filled.
Much to your frustration, you can’t seem to keep the plates equally filled. Your plates might lose their balance for a variety of reasons. Maybe a family member is diagnosed with a serious illness. Maybe you face a recurring mental health struggle or you have a baby. Perhaps your boss enforces mandatory overtime or your husband is deployed overseas. Your inability to balance your plates makes you feel like you’re failing God and failing the people who are getting the smaller portions of your attention.
I spent decades feeling frustrated because I could never seem to find balance. One “big thing” often demanded the majority of my energy. Just when I felt like my plates were equally full, we had another baby, God called me into a new ministry, or I faced a major shift in my career.
God’s Idea of Balance
Finally, God showed me that his idea of balance is far different from my idea. God never promised us lives of equally proportioned commitments. He often fills one plate for a season and asks us to give tremendous energy to that one area of life.
You might feel like you’re failing God because you spend every waking moment caring for another person and fall asleep every time you try to pray or open your Bible. Maybe you spend your days tending to your health, raising your children, or taking care of your spouse, and you feel like your life lacks purpose and outward kingdom-focus.
There is a time to assess our priorities and ask God about making changes. He might lead you into a career change or help you radically remake your schedule. However, if he has given you an assignment you can’t opt out of, this assignment is a God-ordained “full plate” in your life. Aim to do your best to steward the assignment. Balance isn’t a life of equally filled plates; it’s a life committed to seeking first God’s kingdom and his righteousness.
5 Scriptures on Balance in Life
Let’s look at what the Bible says about balance in life. Here are 5 insightful Scriptures on balance according to God’s perspective.
1. God provides appropriate times and seasons for various activities.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
2. Different parts of our journeys require different kinds of efforts.
When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually? Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil? (Isaiah 28:24).
3. Our love for God is supposed to tip the balanced scales in our lives.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind(Luke 10:27).
4. Jesus modeled a lifestyle of extreme obedience—not balance.
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God (Luke 6:12).
5. God calls us to put our whole hearts into the specific assignments he places before us.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might (Ecclesiastes 9:10)
Let’s reflect on these Scriptures on balance together:
Which “plate” is the fullest in your life today? What is God showing you about the pursuit of balance?
God is not angry with you when you cannot find the energy to invest equal energy into every realm of your life. How does this perspective offer you freedom from guilt and shame?
After quieting yourself with the Lord, spend a few minutes naming every “plate” God has placed in your life. You might write or illustrate these plates in a journal to help you focus. Include every commitment that takes up at least a few hours of your week: housework, your job, volunteer work, friendships, your relationship with God, family, and more.
Which plates seem full, and which plates seem to be lacking in this season? Does your life feel out of balance? Ask God what he wants to show you about the plates. Is he calling you to make adjustments, or is he leading you to embrace the arrangement he has placed before you? Let him speak into these commitments and fill you with peace that comes from knowing you are honoring him with your time and energy.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Stacey Pardoe