All Christians are called to minister. Ministry is when, in the Name of Jesus, we reach out to impact and touch someone’s life with the love of God found only in Jesus. We are all a part of the “priesthood of all believers” and thus called to worship and serve God – and in the process, serve one another. This, of course, can be time consuming and can often throw our daily schedule out of balance. This is especially true because ministry is so totally unpredictable. Opportunities to touch a life can pop up at any time and often do so at inconvenient times.
Because of this things in our personal and family lives will often “suffer.” They will be neglected, postponed, cancelled, or done with less care and attention than we would really want to give to the situation. Our lives will, at times, seem out of balance.
One of the most common questions people ask me about is how I balance my life, family, and ministry. My response is simple, “I don’t live a balanced life.”
In my opinion, the balanced life is unachievable and unbiblical. Jesus didn’t call us to live a balanced life. He called us to follow Him.
While following Jesus, our life will often be out-of-balance. He may lead us on long stretches of ministry followed by a substantial season of rest when others will minister. Ministry will rarely be predictable and much cannot be scheduled. So living a “balanced life” is seldom really possible. Yet, we have been told over and over again to live a balanced life and put God first, family second, work third and then ministry…There are a variety of versions of this saying out there. Some even place “self” time in after God and before family – after all, we are called to love our neighbors as we love ourselves and thus we need “me” time to stay connected to self. It simply is never that simple.
Here is what Jesus said: “Follow Me.” Now, that is what we must do. And, as we follow Him He will give us His guidance and wisdom as we go through the day focused on Him and His purposes. Really, if we will “seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness all these other things will be added…” and if we are following Jesus they will be added in the right order and already prioritized. That is the way we are to live life.
Some people are pursuing the illusive goal of the balanced life only to fail again and again. Their marriages struggle. Their ministries limp along. They are spiritually exhausted. Jesus said: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with Me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won;t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 The Message Version).
That is what we must do then – and He will take care of all of the details – even the number of hairs on your head.