Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Living with Balance - Martin Wiles

Give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. Proverbs 30:8 NLT

Every time she mounted it, I cringed.

For four years, my daughter took gymnastics. One part of the sport made me cringe. I didn’t mind the floor exercise. She could only fall. The vault wasn’t too bad either. She ran down a mat, bounced off a trampoline, and vaulted over a small beam. The bars scared me more. The coach lifted her so she could reach them. My daughter could injure herself. Break a neck or limb. Suffer a concussion.

But the balance beam troubled me more than anything else. A long piece of wood so narrow that my daughter’s two narrow feet couldn’t fit side by side. If she only had to walk along it, I wouldn’t have minded, but she had to perform stunts on it. Cartwheels. Backflips. And then a running dismount. Mastering the balance beam required … well … balance.

Wise King Solomon, who had all the wealth a person could possibly want, asked God not to give him poverty or riches. He needed only enough to satisfy his needs. The apostle Paul later said something similar: For I have learned how to be content with whatever I have (Philippians 4:11).

Living with balance isn’t easy, especially when the world throws so much at us that can easily unbalance our lives. Listening to advertisements makes us think we need more than we actually have to live, causing us to mix up the definitions of wants and needs.

If we’re to live with balance, it takes planning. I have to know my income, along with a proper definition of a need. A need is something I must have to live and to accomplish God’s will for my life. Anything more is a want.

Living with balance relieves—or prevents—anxiety, something our world seems afflicted with. If I don’t overextend myself—with payments for unnecessary things or with my time—my anxiety level will stay low. I’ll be able to walk the balance beam successfully. When anxiety leaves, peace arrives.

Most of all, living with balance is God’s will. How do I know? Jesus did, and He perfectly accomplished God’s will. He lived modestly, but depended on the Father to supply His needs. And He did.

If your life is out of balance, tell God. He can give you the needed wisdom to live a balanced life.

Prayer: Father, teach us how to live a balanced life. One that demonstrates to others that You will indeed supply all of our needs.

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