Feeling Out of Balance?

If you are like me, because of the election, the world seems more unbalanced this past week than in a long long time.  Today I am headed out to speak to a group of teachers to talk about getting things into balance.  What we call “balance” has had a number of different expressions in scripture… Shalom, Eternal Life, Abundant Life, Garden of Eden, Kingdom of God, even Heaven.

There is an ecosystem throughout scripture that tells us what our priorities should be if we want this kind of divine balance in our lives.  Jesus once had a discussion with a lawyer (Luke 10) about this balance:

The lawyer wanted eternal life.  He asked Jesus if the way to get that was: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and neighbor (who Jesus later explains is no less than your enemy, stranger, friend, and family) as yourself.”

Jesus responded, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will have life!”

The lawyer may be thinking “how do I get a ticket to heaven when I die,” but Jesus is thinking “life!”  Eternal life is life with eternal purpose – a life that is balanced. Jesus was never focused on life after death.  He was always focused on how we live in the here and now.

So this ecosystem of Jesus sets the priorities like this:

  1. Love God
  2. Love the Other – your enemy, the stranger, your friends, and your family
  3. Love yourself (This may be last, but it is not to be neglected! You cannot love God and others appropriately if you do not love yourself!)

The following is a spiritual practice that is designed to help you achieve balance.  Practice it just one morning before the world takes hold of you that day and I can almost promise that you will be hooked!  It will set your entire being into balance!  (Note: You can right click on it and print it out.)

I have been doing this spiritual practice early each morning.  It is working.  I have been doing it again when I encounter hate and fear in myself and others.  It is working then too.

God bless each of you this day.  May you find eternal balance in your life!

balance

Check out April’s Books, the Disorderly Parable Bible Studies, for group and individual study.

4 thoughts on “Feeling Out of Balance?

  1. Thank you for your note!!!! Your church wouldn’t like my answer. I do not believe that the Kingdom of Heaven is not located historically or geographically. It is not defined by time or space. Jesus said it is both within us and among us. And to get myself in more hot water, I think the great commandment is to love God and others – not to go out an proselytize. Yet, we are to always welcome others into our community happy to share our blessing with them. Not so much to demand they follow a list of rules and believe our theology, but to join in our love for God and others.

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    1. Thank you! That answer codifies the ideas that were swirling in my brain. It’s so great when someone understand and give you the words you can’t find to speak. I think we focus way too much on the afterlife. Right now my very small church sends out mailings to new people in the neighborhood. One of the deacons wants to include a tract that focuses on being a sinner and being saved to avoid Hell and enter Heaven. This upsets me because it’s too close to threatening people in order to get them to commit to Christ. I have never known anyone who was persuaded by such a tract but he was so he feels it will be effective, I think it will be harmful.

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  2. Thank you for this. I am already resisting trying it, because right now, I don’t want to have to love those i consider enemies (caused by the devastating election). That shows how much I need it.
    I have a further question. In my church if I said, “Jesus was never focused on life after death. He was always focused on how we live in the here and now.”, people would react by saying he was always describing life after death, the Kingdom of Heaven, and that the great commandment to go and proselytize others shows this. How would you answer this? I agree more with you, and think that’s what “Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven means”. Just as a side note, we have always said the Lord’s Prayer pausing after “They will be done” because that’s where the line break is in the Bible verse. I think it makes more sense to read it the way I punctuated it with the comma after ‘earth’. I mention it because I think that way it emphasizes the life here on earth. Thank you for a very good and necessary article.

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