Keep Your Christian Balance
WHO has not seen others fall or has not experienced a fall himself? Due to lack of experience and muscle coordination, small children tumble. Elderly persons may be too feeble to maintain their balance on slippery surfaces or steep inclines. Falls may result from failing to exercise proper caution or from underestimating dangerous conditions. Yes, physical balance can be lost suddenly and unexpectedly. Similarly, Christians may lose their spiritual balance.
Among the factors that can undermine spiritual equilibrium are apathy, immorality, excessive recreation and undue involvement in secular work. Could any of these be jeopardizing your Christian balance or that of your family?
Apathy is very common today. Husbands may be indifferent to the emotional and spiritual needs of their wives and children. Wives may show little concern when husbands turn to them for understanding, support and meaningful love. Employers are plagued with workers who care little about reasonable production goals and the company’s welfare and interests. Faced with widespread indifference toward responsibilities and duties, the Christian needs to guard against being infected with such an apathetic spirit.
To avoid yielding to apathy, we do well to keep in mind the following inspired counsel: “Whatever you are doing, work at it whole-souled as to Jehovah, and not to men, for you know that it is from Jehovah you will receive the due reward of the inheritance.” (Colossians 3:23, 24) When we are genuinely concerned about pleasing our Creator and his Son, this will be reflected in our doing quality work and not wasting time.
Fortify Yourself Against Immorality
Widespread disregard for the Bible’s moral standards may also pose a real threat to a Christian’s maintaining his spiritual balance. The apostle Paul counseled fellow believers at Corinth: “Neither let us practice fornication, as some of [the Israelites] committed fornication, only to fall, twenty-three thousand of them in one day.” (1 Corinthians 10:8) The apostle referred to the incident that occurred when the Israelites were encamped on the plains of Moab shortly before entering the Promised Land. They then were lured into temptation by accepting invitations to enjoy themselves in feasting with beautiful idol-worshiping women. (Numbers 25:1-9) How forcefully the tragic consequences emphasize the danger of socializing with persons who have no regard for the divine will!
Hence, to maintain a clean moral standing, we wisely “pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, along with those who call upon the Lord out of a clean heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22) Our shunning bad associations would include avoiding sex-oriented literature, movies and television programs that could incite wrong desires. Additionally, we do well to fortify our minds by filling them with wholesome thoughts from God’s Word.—Philippians 4:8.
God’s own Son indicated that “pleasures of this life” could choke appreciation for spiritual things. (Luke 8:14) That is why true Christians strive to be alert that recreation does not become too important in their life. It should not be allowed to infringe unduly on time spent in reading and meditating on God’s Word, proclaiming the “good news,” responding to the needs of others and assembling with persons of like precious faith.
Even when in harmony with righteous principles, pleasurable activities will not bring genuine satisfaction if indulged in excessively. Pleasures that appeal to the senses are much like seasoning in food. In controlled amounts, diversion, relaxation or pleasure can be delightful. But in large doses it may be sickening, for it leaves a person with a feeling of emptiness over not having accomplished anything truly worthwhile.
Moreover, in recreation a Christian does well to keep in mind that he is, first and foremost, a servant of God. This can help him to avoid displaying a competitive spirit and taking games too seriously, perhaps even to the point of injuring himself or others.—Galatians 5:26.
Balance in Secular Work
In secular work, too, there is a need for balance. It is essential for God’s servants to work in order to support themselves and their loved ones, to “make honest provision, not only in the sight of Jehovah, but also in the sight of men.” (2 Corinthians 8:21) By doing honest work, the Christian can support his efforts to help others spiritually and materially. When secular work places so many demands on him that he has little time and energy left for providing others with spiritual comfort, he wisely adjusts his affairs.
It is indeed encouraging to see individuals limit their secular work to have more time for vital spiritual activities. For example, in one family, the two daughters split a full-time job in an office, each working two and a half days a week instead of five. This enabled each of them to devote about 100 hours a month in efforts to help people in their community to gain Bible knowledge.
Just as physical falls can be prevented, loss of spiritual balance can be avoided by building ourselves up spiritually through study of God’s Word and association with fellow believers. Also, as we give of ourselves in sharing Bible truth with others, we experience the superior happiness that comes from giving and are assisted in keeping our eyes on the truly important things in life. (Acts 20:35) By thus maintaining spiritual balance, we can look with confidence to the future, “for God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and the love you showed for his name.”—Hebrews 6:10.