Sun | Apr 23, 2017

BALANCING LIFE AND WORK

Published:Saturday | June 13, 2015 | 6:00 AM

MANY OF us today merely exist instead of really living. This is because we don't know how to balance our lives. God wants you to be fully alive and to enjoy life, but learning to find that balance is key. Today, we are going to look at making room for the four most important elements in life.

1 Make room for work.

Genesis 1:1 NIV shows that God is working: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." But not only does God work, He created us to work as well - "The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it ... ." Genesis 2:15 NIV. Immediately after God created humans, He put them to work, but He also created us to enjoy this work. Ecclesiastes 3:22 NIV says "there is nothing better for people than to be happy in their work ...". The Bible says that we are happiest when we use the gift that God has given us to work. Unfortunately, instead of enjoying our work, most times we end up resenting it and this robs us of real life. Hard work is good, but it can't bring satisfaction on its own.

2 Make room for rest.

"On the seventh day, God had finished his work of creation, so he rested ... ." Genesis 2:2-3 NLT. God shows that resting from work is so important that He himself set aside one day during the week, the Sabbath. Now, Christ is our Sabbath rest; so while the Sabbath doesn't make us better or worse from a religious perspective, the principle of rest is critical to our lives. Consider Jesus' words "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." Mark 2:27 NIV. The 'Sabbath' principle of rest is God-ordained for man's benefit. To be successful and healthy, you have to make room for rest.

3 Make room for relationships.

When God created the world, He said that everything was perfect except one thing. Genesis 2:18 GNT says, "And the Lord God said, it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him." God created you and me with connection needs. We should have people in our lives who we can connect to and develop good relationships with. "Two are better than one ... . If one falls down, his friend can help him up." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. We are not meant to live this life alone.

4 Make room for God.

Genesis 1:27: "For God created people in His own image." One of the main reasons that God created us in His image, was so that we could have a relationship with Him. That is the number-one reason why you were created and the number-one need that you have in your life. The Bible says that we need to set aside time every day to spend with God in prayer and to read God's Word. Making room for God is different because our relationship with God cannot be compartmentalised. God should be present in every area of our lives. "God ... invited you into this wonderful friendship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." 1 Corinthians 1:9 NLT.

Balancing your life is hard work and you can't do it alone, but if you stay committed and ask God for help in all of these areas in your life, He will allow you to be successful. "Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you." Psalm 37:5 NLT.

n Dwight Fletcher is pastor of Transformed Life Church. Send feedback to familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com.