I just finished writing valentines for all eight of my grandchildren. I sit here marveling at God’s goodness as I stuff envelopes! Yet, the longer I live the more I see how life is a balance. It is not all work—there must be rest. It is not all laughter—sometimes there is sorrow. The wise man said it perfectly in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8…to everything there is a season.
As I ponder a “time to love,” I realize there is a “loving” balance in the faithful Christian life. Proper love compels us to recognize balance in at least these areas:
Humility and Personal Value—We are all “unprofitable” servants (Luke 17:10). None of us gives God the perfect obedience we owe Him. All that we have and are come from Him (Psa. 24:1; Deut. 8:18; James 1:17). We wonder why God is “mindful” of us (Psa. 8:4). This should create great humility in us, but on the other hand, we should understand how valuable we are to God. Our value is so great that He gave His Son to bring us back to Him (Rom. 5:6-8). Our self esteem is based on God’s infinite love for us. We are special to Him—His children—worth more than all the world (Matt. 16:26)! If we have a proper view of this, we will not think too highly of ourselves, nor will we suffer from low self esteem, but rather have an appreciation for our own talents and personal value. God’s love balances us!
Self and Others—We all know people who are extreme personalities in this area—they either are narcissistic, only thinking of themselves, or they give so much to others that they have nothing left and end up hurting themselves. Again, God’s love brings us balance. Serving others by love (Gal. 5:13) is a command. We must live as servants like our Savior (Matt. 20:25-28). But there is a time to care for yourself. Even Jesus knew when it was time to leave the crowds who needed Him and go away up into the mountain for solitude and prayer (Mark 1:35). Loving our neighbor as ourselves requires both—a proper love for ourselves and for others.
Dependence on God or Self—The righteous live by faith (Hab. 2:4). That means we trust God. We trust Him for our forgiveness and for direction. Our commitment must be preceded by surrender to His will. However, He also tells me I must work out my own salvation (Phil. 2:12) and I must be bold as a lion (Prov. 28:1). There are things I must do, that God will not do for me—I must believe and obey—I must worship—I must serve—I must give—I must fight—I must love. We cannot sit back and say, Okay Lord (or someone else), do it for me.
Balance in our lives comes when God is at the center. We build around Him, aligning ourselves with His truth and finding harmony—what Jesus calls the abundant life (John 10:10)! We are no longer the center of the universe, but rather we worship the One Who made the universe! Our personalities may still have our own quirks and individuality but love, compassion, and empathy still rule. Humility, service, and obedience are lived out in our actions.
In this season of love, may we find balance that pleases the One Who is love.