Learning to live the balanced life
The Luke 2:52 concept of ministry simply acknowledges that we are whole people, that God is interest in us as whole people and our relationship with our Heavenly Father affects all other areas of our lives. Think of our lives as a circle with the spiritual aspect of our lives in the core of the circle and physical, mental and social surrounding the spiritual. All aspects of our lives touch and interact with each of the other aspects. It is impossible to separate the spiritual, physical, mental and social aspects of our lives from one another. It is as Paul the apostle said in
I Cor. 12:12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.
The Balanced Life
The Balanced Life Concept works both for us as individuals and for the church. There is no issue or activity that is not spiritual everything we do whether individually or corporately has spiritual implications.
The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John share clear historical accounts of Jesus' life and ministry. As we study the Gospels and consider Jesus' teachings, miracles, actions, and associations it is clear to see that His ministry was multifaceted and holistic:
- Through His teachings He helped people to grow in wisdom and to understand what God values, how He wants us to behave and what we should be investing our time and energy into as we live on this earth.
- Through His miracles we see His concern for people’s physical, emotional and mental struggles; moreover, we see His spiritual power and authority as He casts out demons and delivers people from the power and influence of unclean spirits.
- Through His actions we see Jesus treating the poor and disenfranchised with dignity. We also see Him standing against what is wrong, defending what is right and speaking the truth no matter what the consequences. Finally we see Him lay down His life even for those who would reject and destroy Him. We see Him being obedient to do the will of God!
- Through His associations we see who joined themselves to Jesus and who Jesus chose to work with and entrust with the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Throughout we see that Jesus’ ministry was relational: He gathered 12 disciples (Mark 3:13-19) and there were others who followed as well (Mark 4:10); there were also women who followed His ministry and ministered to Him and with Him (Mark 15:41). Most of all we see His relationship with God the Father and the Holy Spirit – the love, respect, and honor that is shared and reciprocated while His mission is being accomplished.
The Balanced Life is Holistic
The Balanced life concept addresses all areas of our lives. The issues related to these areas have answers in scripture. God cares about every area of our lives; His values, His ways, and His principles transcend time and culture. The Bible gives a clear historical framework beginning with the creation of the world and mankind through to end of time and the ushering in of the new heavens and the new earth where righteousness dwell. In the meantime, we live in these bodies and relate to one another so we have issues:
- Mental/Wisdom issues - shame, anger, pride, ect.
- Physical/Stature issues - health, sickness, injuries, etc.
- Spiritual/Favor with God issues - faith, prayer, obedience, etc.
- Social/Favor with Man issues - financial, marriage, relationships, etc.
If we live balanced and healthy lives we will prosper in this world and lay up treasure in heaven. That does not mean that life will be easy or smooth. It does mean that we will be living in a manner that brings life and blessing rather than pain and suffering. The world we live in is broken. We as human beings living in physical bodies have an inclination toward inflicting pain and suffering on ourselves and others. Jesus forgives us of our sin and through His Word and His Spirit helps, leads, comforts, an directs us toward the path that leads to life.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is Relational! God relates to us. We relate to God. We relate to each other.