Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Living the Imbalanced Life

Life, for Jesus, was not a balancing act. He wasn't trying to balance a career with his prayer time. He wasn't trying to fit in doing things for the Father while accomplishing his to-do list. The whole idea of "living a balanced life" was foreign to Jesus. As it should be for his followers. 

All of life, not part of it, is about following Jesus. Life is not a pie graph cut into pieces, the purpose of which is to ensure that every piece gets equal attention: God, church, prayer, work, kids, play, exercise, paying bills, the golf game, etc. etc. Life is not a long check-list of "to do" items. Jesus's "to do" list had one item only: God. If we do that One Thing, all other things shall be added unto us.

Jesus did not come to show us how to "balance our lives." Jesus wants the whole pie, 100% of it. Life is to be lived from that perspective. "All" is to be given in love and worship and service to God. If your heart was a pie, then love the Lord your God with the whole thing, not just a slice. Don't save any of it for yourself.

Hebrew culture didn't think in terms of pie graphs. People of that time thought hierarchically, not by set theory. In set theory there may be partial overlap. In a kingdom there is overlap in entirety. It's all about the king.
Set theory - Sets A, B, and C partially overlap

Kings deserve 100% worship and allegiance; women, children, and beggars deserve nothing. Jesus, in what is called the "upside-down kingdom" or the "Great Reversal," upends the hierarchy, shockingly so. The Real King is born as "expendable." The Real King is a non-person dying on a cross. All kingdom Jesus-activity is to be understood, not from the perspective of an equally sliced pie or partially overlapping sets. Jesus didn't compartmentalize his life and, in addition, find time to give a sacrificial slice for us. Jesus's entire lifestyle was an act of revolt against the powers of darkness, done in love, for us. (See, e.g., Greg Boyd, "The Ground-Level Deliverance Model," in James Beilby and Paul Rhodes Eddy, Understanding Spiritual Warfare: Four Views)

Expend life on The Important Thing. Be pruned of the unimportant. The King has come to you. Give all your heart, soul, mind, strength, life, time, money, talents, in sacrifice to him and the cause of his Kingdom. Live life out of balance.


My book Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God is available HERE and as a Kindle book HERE