“. . . he was a man of power in words and deeds.” Acts 7:22
Life is in the balance. Yet, we continue to be pulled out into the extreme edges. Our quest for specialization has gone to the extreme. The trouble with life in the extreme is while we succeed in one area, another area suffers. We develop in a career, while neglecting family, while claiming that private life doesn’t impact public life.
It’s possible, and dangerous, to do good things in the church but be a poor spouse with an uncontrollable temper, impatient, and irritable towards family. It’s possible to teach the word of God faithfully, without receiving the personal ministry of the word. Often in life, business and the church, charisma outstrips character. We tend to look at the impact of talent and influence, while at the same time overlooking other areas of life.
Stephen’s life shows us it’s essential for the Christian’s life to be balanced. Leaders must be patient at home, and faithful in the small things. Balance refers to total obedience, which serves to help us avoid unhealthy extremes. We must be diligent in applying faith to both private and public life. We must outthink and outlive the pressure of the culture.
Balance can be achieved in five ways: (1) We must know the scriptures to have a sense of the sweep of the story of scripture and our place in God’s story. (2) We must know the people we’ve been called to reach and how they think. (3) We must let God’s word penetrate the choices and demands we face. This can only be achieved through careful reflection as we look for ways to connect God’s word to our world. (4) We must keep our life clean and open to the work of God’s spirit through our life. To live as usable vessels, purified, prepared for every good work. Finally, (5) we must stay in-step with the Spirit.
When tempted to live in the extreme, and thus, become imbalanced, we must heed the call to return to righteousness, to relationship and to living lives relevant to the gospel, without compromising its content with careless living.
Where is there an imbalance in your life?