Don’t Shy Away from the Word Balance

Over the years, I’ve heard differing opinions on the use of the word balance. I’ve learned there are many who actually hate the use of the word. For example, some say the life of a Christian is never balanced because God wants all of our lives. I couldn’t agree more. Others say it’s impossible to balance between work and home because one of them deserves our greatest energy (our home), and yet the two extremes will always compete for our best time and energy. I completely agree. In those contexts, I agree balance should not be our goal. We should prioritize our life around the extremes of life, ensuring that those things we value most receive our greatest attention.

Balance, however, doesn’t always mean things are equal. I prefer to use the term balance to describe how a person responds to the extremes of life. Balance to me means a person learns to stand up…keep their equilibrium, even when things in life are not equal…out of balance. When life is crazy, which it often is, the person of balance learns to juggle each area where over time none of them has to suffer. A balanced person prioritizes his or her life around what is most important, for me, that means first my relationship with God, then my family, then my work and my service to others, and then organizes life in a way where each area receives adequate attention for success.

I realize much of this discussion is semantics, but i believe it has importance in principle also. People who want to achieve success in all areas of their life must find ways to give adequate attention to each area, without neglecting those things/people of greatest importance in life. That requires balance. (The Proverbs 31 woman had balance.) I met with a new father recently and he’s having to learn how to balance marriage, parenting, and his work life, while attempting to be successful in each part of his life. He’s learning balance.

The leaders and people I respect most in life are those I see learning to balance success in all areas of their life…at home…at work…and in the world.

Don’t shy away from the word balance. Just learn to use it well. Gaining a sense of balance is a process that often takes years and even a few stumbling moments to accomplish, but it’s worth the challenge.

What does the term balance mean to you? In what area of your life are you most out of balance?

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18 thoughts on “Don’t Shy Away from the Word Balance

  1. Thanks, Ron – great perspective on the word "balance". I often teach that we give our all to God in all we do and look to Him to provide the balance, but this is using the meaning of balance of prioritizing and parceling out time to different responsibilities. I like your perspective on looking at the meaning of balance in the sense of "keeping one's balance", or staying upright when things change around us. This gives me some things to think about for myself and in helping others to stay focused on the Lord while dealing with all of the responsibilities and changes in life.

  2. Coming in late on this one, but I love the "getting up, standing" visual of balance. Though sometimes it reminds me more of American Gladiator when they're balancing on the huge pedestal being smacked by huge padded sticks! I guess the difference there is that when I'm feeling like that "Gladiator" contestant, God is always there holding me up so I don't fall completely. Often times I start to feel like Peter on the water, slipping off my pedestal under the barrage of life (losing my balance), if I can just take the 5 seconds necessary to cry out "Lord, SAVE ME!" He doesn't always stop the barrage, but He always takes care of me!

  3. Balance & Boundaries are the 2 areas I STRUGGLE the most in. I used to think flipping between 100% to 0% averaged out to 50% in all areas, thus balance. It's the engineer in me.

    I keep a diary a now know the warning signs from when I start to slip out of balance and start saying no to stuff. I also schedule my down time. I don't let anyone interfere with this. It's a benefit a being single with no kids.

  4. These are some great thoughts. I was listening to a podcast not long ago covering a similar take on “balance.” I use the term “reaction” because life seems to throw those knuckle and curve balls and I must adjust or react in order to succeed.

    No part of life stays equal and we are constantly reacting to issues brought up in each area. My goal here isn’t to be a fireman putting out fires but to forsee the problem ahead of time and prevent the fire. I’d rather be the fire marshall than the fireman.

  5. "Balance, however, doesn’t always mean things are equal." ~~~~> totally agree – it's not about making things equal, its about keeping from tilting over as things are piled up.

  6. I am trying to remove balance from my descriptions of life. The word I use now is Tension. most folks don't like to talk about tension, nor do they want tension. But finding balance causes tension. Being a follower of Jesus gives me much more tension than balance.

    • Thanks Rusty! I like the word tension too. I still like balance, but I'm okay with tension too. The main thing is that a person wrestle through these issues, regardless of how they label it.

      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  7. Hi Ron!

    I guess since I am still a new mom (daughter is only 2 years old), I am just learning to balance between being a wife and a mother. Not to mention, I also have a business and a part time job then from time to time I also minister to some people. I believe balance is essential in this life and I pray that God will help me. Major changes will also happen in the next few months so I am just holding on to God's promise that He will be with us always.

    • That's a major life change and it does take time to learn to balance in that season. Saying a prayer for you now.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson