A balanced life can be a trap

Balance is a buzz word today isn’t it? Balance is good. But it can be a trap!

“The problem with the goal of balance is that it doesn’t allow much room for people in desperate situations—those in crisis or the poor or the oppressed. What does it mean to tell someone with a terminal disease or a street person or a single mother with a physically challenged child that she needs “more balance”?”


“The quest for balance lacks the notion that life is to be given to something bigger than ourselves. It lacks the call to sacrifice and self-denial—the wild, risky, costly, adventurous abandon of following Jesus.” 

“Jesus never said, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves, take up their cross and lead a balanced life.” He said to follow him.’”

“Imagine a conversation between the apostle Paul and a (modern day) time management consultant (TMC). It starts something like this:  

TMC: Paul, if you look at this pie chart, I think you’ll agree with me that your spiritual life is going pretty well. But vocationally, your tent-making has seriously fallen off. This has led to some downsizing in your financial portfolio. Let’s take a look at the time log I asked you to keep since our last meeting.

PAUL: “Five times I have received…the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked; for a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from bandits, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers and sisters; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, hungry and thirsty, often without food, cold and naked.”

Ortberg, John – The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People 

Chuck Smith’s journey on earth ended yesterday. He’s a hero who chose to pursue something significantly higher than balance.

God changed his heart and Chuck chose something more than balance. He chose to live a life of sacrifice and self-denial – the wild, risky, costly, adventurous abandon of following Jesus.