Should We Aim for a Balanced Life or a Peaceful Heart?

Feel obligated to balance church, work, family, friends, hobbies…everything? And feel like it’s impossible? That something suffers no matter how you juggle the pieces?

You’re not alone. Most of us, at one time or another, buy into the false idea of a “balanced life.” It’s the tempting lie that we have to do everything — and believing that, somehow, we can do it all!

But genuine joy and contentment don’t come from achieving perfect balance. They come from knowing how to make expectations fit circumstances.

The difference between balance and peace

The world we live in is far from ideal. Yes, God made it good in the beginning. But that original goodness was stained when sin entered the picture. Man made a mess of things when he chose to go his own way.

From that point on, life has been a hodgepodge of darkness and light, pain and pleasure, the expected and the unexpected. To a certain extent, this mix is the only kind of “balance” we can hope to reach on this earth. Thankfully, that’s not the final word.

While Jesus doesn’t promise us a trouble-free life of perfect balance, He does offer us peace. His peace is the peace of knowing that whatever we face, His love for us will never change (see Habakkuk 3:17-19 and Philippians 4:7).

Those who trust in Christ for their salvation share in this peace because they belong to the kingdom of God. Even better, the Bible tells us that the kingdom isn’t just a future expectation; it’s a present reality. This means that we can have peace here and now.

How to have peace

We can’t do everything. But God can help us create a healthy rhythm of work, rest, and restoration. He is the God of peace, not confusion. Because of this, we can have peace by:

The issue of priorities is especially important. Decide what matters most to you. As you identify your priorities, you’ll find a sense of focus and purpose — and you’ll be able to cut out or scale back non-essentials. Once you’ve done that, you’re less likely to feel that you are letting something suffer.

Don’t take on the burden of expectations from family, friends, or anyone else. Instead, listen to the Holy Spirit and concentrate on the work He has given you. And remember that seasons ebb and flow; saying no to an activity now doesn’t necessarily mean you’re saying no forever.

Life isn’t about being Supermom, Superdad, or Super-Christian. It’s about learning to channel your time, energy, and God-given talents into fulfilling your unique calling.

Want to dig deeper? Read The Best Yes and Know Your Why, and listen to Focus on the Family’s broadcast “What’s Really True About You.