Spiritual Balance

Balance is very important in life.  If the tires on your car are out of balance, you will have a rough ride.  If your check book is not balanced, you may find yourself overdrawn on your bank account.  If you lose your balance on a ladder, you can fall and hurt yourself.  Balance is also very important in Christianity.

Elton Trueblood once wrote: “No vital Christianity is possible unless at least three aspects of it are developed.  These three are the inner life of devotion, the outer life of service, and the intellectual life of rationality.”

Intellectual Integrity

We must study to find the answers to hard questions that deal with morals and ethics.  Paul exhorts us to “give diligence” in our study (2 Tim. 2:15).  Peter implores that we be able to give an answer for our faith, a well-reasoned argument or defense (1 Pet 3:15). 

It is not good enough to believe something just because the preacher said it, or “the church teaches it.”  Our father’s faith will not meet the requirement of intellectual integrity.  It must be my faith.  My beliefs.  My convictions.  They must be objective not subjective.  Intellectual integrity is based on  truth, not tradition.  On facts, not feelings.  On Christ, not custom.

Inner Life of Devotion

 Public worship is important because of the presence of others. We encourage one another.  We spiritually stimulate one another.  We spur one another on to love and good works. We stir up greater zeal and a more fervent desire to remain faithful (Heb. 10:24-25).

 But private devotion cannot be neglected either.  Paul told Timothy to meditate (1 Tim 4:15).  In Psalm 119 David spoke of how meditation helped him direct his way toward God (15).  It caused him to stay the course in the face of criticism (23). And it helped him to make better decisions (59).

Outer Life of Service 

 Jesus’ life was characterized by ministry.  He “went about doing good” (Ac. 10:38).  Those who are Christians have been “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph 2:10).

The Christian life is not only about being, but about doing. It is discovering our gifts, developing our talents, and using our abilities to glorify God.

The Challenge

 It is easy to become imbalanced. Some people enjoy intellectual pursuits but forget the people.  Others enjoy ministry, yet neglect their own spiritual growth. And still others develop great devotion and spiritual piety, but never translate it into practical ways to serve.  Study without service may lead to arrogance.  An inner life of devotion apart from service may lead to selfishness.  Service separated from inner devotion may result in self-righteousness.

Balance.  That’s the key.  That’s my goal.  May God help me to achieve spiritual balance.

  —Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Spiritual Balance

  1. Aleta Samford

    Ken, I’m enjoying all your posts, but this one just really hit me where I am in my own spiritual growth right now. We NEVER stop growing and we never stop REALIZING that growing is something we must continue to do. Thank you for your writings.

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