Balance is a much undervalued word — and yet, balance is fundamental to a life in harmony with God, with others and with our world. In fact, God seems to have created our world and everything in it to function best in balance.
A few examples come to mind: sun and rain – all sun and our gardens burn; all rain and they rot. Work and rest – all work and we burn out; all rest and we are simply lazy. Tradition and innovation – all tradition becomes a rut; all innovation lacks the wisdom of experience. As someone who enjoys cooking and considers myself a bit of a “foodie”, it comes to mind that God has given us food to nourish and enjoy – but to eat either excessively or negligently will harm ourselves. Bananas may be a nutritious fruit – but if one ONLY eats bananas, sickness will result. Our bodies function best on a balance of fruits, vegetables, protein and (dare I say it?) carbohydrates. (Unless, of course, you have a medical condition that requires otherwise.)
This week I read a devotion by Brennan Manning regarding Jesus’ example of humble servanthood. He said, “When being is divorced from doing, pious thoughts become an adequate substitute for washing [others] feet.” I completely agree. But as a girl who grew up in an independent, fundamental, Bible believing (and often legalistic) Baptist church, I observed what it means to emphasize one biblical truth in excess to the detriment of the balancing side of that spiritual coin. So my first thought after reading that devotion was, “yes, but when doing is divorced from being, our works become an adequate substitute for sitting at the feet of Jesus.”
My husband authored a book entitled “Salvation and Sovereignty”. In it he discusses the importance of balancing the dual truths taught in Scripture – God’s sovereignty and human free will. To emphasize one truth to the exclusion of the other is a recipe for spiritual error. Is it just me, or does it appear that God created us to be at our most healthy in mind, body and spirit when we walk this life in balance?