The Balanced Christian Life
For most people the summer is the busiest season of the year. Exams, holidays, harvests, and sales targets (delete as appropriate) can pile in upon us as quickly and silently as a spring tide. Before we know it we’re engulfed in the full swing of the season, which with its long and warm days, gives us a great opportunity.
These are legitimate and important claims upon our time, but if we are to retain a close christian walk, and play our full part in local assembly fellowship, we also have to have what is the most elusive ingredient to success in christian living – the balanced life.
Balance is vital. Most of us – in our more honest moments – would have to report that we don’t always get it right. Sometimes we over-emphasise our education, sometimes our job, sometimes our relaxation. Sometimes we are so sold out on spiritual things, that we fail to notice the regular issues of life that need our attention. Getting balance is tricky, and sometimes feels illusory.
In 1 Corinthians 3 the apostle Paul uses three informative metaphors to describe our function in the local assembly, and if we can get a grasp of these we will have a clearer understanding of what a balanced life looks like. We will consider two of these now.
For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building (1 Cor. 3:9)
The first point Paul makes about being in a local assembly is that there is that it is a laborious endeavour. It doesn’t matter whether it is putting up tents, or distributing invites, there is work to be done. Sometimes it is mundane and uninspiring. We should not be surprised by this, the field is a picture of the assembly, and Paul reminds us that it requires our labour.
Secondly, he reminds us that the assembly is a building, or more precisely a ‘building in progress,’ of which Christ is the foundation. Accordingly, we must take care how we build. Why? Because there is coming a day of reckoning when everything that has been laid upon the foundation will be tested by fire to see what sort it is. In the context Paul was warning them against the divisive thinking that had marred the testimony, and so it would seem that he is suggesting that motive is the/a determiner of reward. This is a sobering thought.
So a balanced life is one that is busy in the things of God, and also one that takes care as to the quality it produces. I think this is referred to in today’s world as effectiveness or productivity!
As the busy summer arrives, remember that it also presents an opportunity to be even more active in the things of God. If you are in an assembly, then it needs you. It needs your consistent attendance, participation, endeavour, and positive attitude.
Make the summer of 2016 a time to remember, not just by what exam grades were achieved, what holidays were enjoyed, how big a target you achieved, but also by what God achieved through us for His kingdom, through His earthen vessels.
Mervyn Hall is in fellowship with his wife in the assembly that meets in Hebron Gospel Hall in Bicester (UK) and is employed as a business consultant to the Healthcare industry.