Balance. It’s kind of become a dirty word in sooooooo many ways. We hear phrases like,
“… balance the budget.”
And instead of being the logical and practical thing that it is, we cringe. It usually means cutting our spending (whether we’re talking about government spending or personal, it’s all the same in the end) and not living in the style we’d like to become accustomed.
I find it strange, however, that when I was a child, balance was a good thing. We heard sermons about balancing work and family, church and home, and similar things. We all liked it even. What happened?
I remember the first time I ever heard balance spoken of as though it was a bad thing. Jonathan Lindvall was here in Ridgecrest doing his Bold Parenting Seminars and he spoke about “balance” and the connotation was anything but good. I don’t remember all he said but the one thing that stuck firmly in my mind was that balance is a word that isn’t “good” and he illustrated it with the following example:
If you have a pair of scales and you put good on one side, what do you have to put on the other to be “balanced”? Evil.
I had serious problems with this. Anyone who knows me knows that I can see lots of sides to a coin and the layers in between! I immediately wondered why one couldn’t balance one good with another. Why must good be on the scale at all?
The context was in that of sheltering our children and in what influences we allow etc. I didn’t actually disagree with most of his points but I did disagree heartily with what I consider to be a flawed illustration. While I wholeheartedly agreed with his comments about how being for Jesus is a radical thing, I disagree (as anyone who knows me knows) that everything is a good vs. evil equation. Yes, if we are not for Jesus we are against Him; however, that doesn’t mean that if we are for chocolate, we are against carob.
What happened to the idea that we kept life on a more even keel rather than constantly fighting the ups and downs of life? Rather than riding waves of extremes, it’s about time that we embrace the concept of balancing our “goods” and simply rejecting the evils from the options from which we choose our “goods” in the first place.
It’s time to see balance as a reasonable expression of wisdom rather than a seven letter word squished into four.