If I am going to have balance, it is clear to me that I must make Christ the focal point of my life. Far, far too often, I see myself looking all around me….looking inside myself….looking up and down and all around trying to make sense of everything. Far too often, I feel myself worrying…working….DOING, trying to create the life I want. I look all around me and think, “THAT is what I need to be doing,” or, “THAT is what I need,” or, “THAT is what my life is missing.”
I found this passage when I was doing research on the idea of living a more balanced life for my recent sermon. It didn’t fit into my message smoothly, but it has stuck with me enough that I’ve written it on my chalkboard in my kitchen to meditate on all month. It seems all too pertinent to what we’re discussing here:
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. (1 John 2:15-17)
On first glance, it seems that the writer is warning simply against a worldliness in our character: doing things like the world, wanting things we see in the world, acting like we belong in the world more than in the Kingdom of heaven.
“Don’t strive for physical pleasure,” he seems to say. “That won’t last, and will lead you astray.”
“Don’t lust after everything you see that other people have. Those things won’t last, and they aren’t what you’re really seeking, anyway.”
“Don’t boast or become prideful about your life and what you’ve accomplished. That feeling doesn’t last, and what does it really accomplish, anyway?”
When I really look at it, though, it appears that he cautions against these things not just because they are futile (which they are). He cautions against them because they take your eyes off God, and consequently set you off balance.
If you’re concerned with pleasing yourself, you’re not looking at God, and you are no longer concerned with the things that concern Him.
If you’re lusting after stuff – gazing enviously at other people’s lives and wanting what they have – you’ve taken your eyes off God and are not existing in the life you have right now.
If you’re boasting in yourself and your own abilities and accomplishments, you’ve taken your eyes off God and have forgotten where all of those abilities came from.
If we are looking at any of those things, friends, we are going to be off balance. If we even for one second take our eyes off our focal point in Christ – off the only thing in life that will never move – we will begin to rock and sway and our lives will show imbalance.
Where are you focusing today? Could the cause of your imbalance come from a focus on the wrong things? What might you be able to do TODAY to shift your thinking from the things of the world to the things of God?
We’ll look at that more tomorrow, practically addressing some things you can do to center your thoughts on God, keeping Him your focal point. I look forward to seeing you then.
Blessings for today’s journey,
This is the fifth post in a month-long series on balanced living. To read more of the posts from this series, click here.