As someone who has a mood disorder, my emotions often swing from one extreme to another. Thankfully these changes typically happen over weeks not instantaneously. Thankfully through medications, life style changes and Gods healing grace my mood swings are much more manageable and within a healthier range. My struggle with a mood disorder has made me very aware of the need for balance in my life. As a gymnast one of my favorite and best events was the balance beam. Doing flips, jumps and turn on a four inch wide beam takes much skill, training and balance. It takes years to learn and years of practice.
In my walk with Christ I have often struggled with balance. I have often felt like things were a little like my mood disorder. Walking in the way of Christ has felt like learning how to balance on a four inch wide beam. As a Christian I attempt to live by God’s greatest commandment. To love the Lord my God and love my neighbor as myself. In doing so I can easily become overburdened by trying to help others. Once you start trying to love your neighbor you soon find out that this is sometimes not an easy task. When feeling overburdened, overwhelmed or not at my best I then will retreat back into doing things to rest in Christ. To work on my own repentance and faith
So on one side of the balancing act is working on my relationship with Christ. It is practicing repentance, prayer, worship, etc. It is through this relationship and loving the Lord my God that he molds me teaching me how to better reflect Christ, he equips me and he leads me. Through having this time with Christ it should move me and equips me to acts of faith that lead to loving my neighbor as myself.
Many people do great acts of kindness and charity. These things are wonderful but our outward actions do not save us from our own sin. But similarly faith in Jesus Christ and a relationship with Jesus that does not lead to people actually reflecting Christ to others is not real. Walking in Christ ways means we are molded into the people we were created to be. This often happens through discipleship, spiritual disciplines, continual repentance and faith. But this is just the start. It is just one side of the balancing act. The other side is action to love others and reflect Christ to others.
I have learned to be better at listening to my own body, listening to others who I am connected and listening to the Holy Spirit to know when I need to retreat back to spend more time loving the Lord my God and working on my own inner self. I still often have to work on this. For we all need to rest in Christ when we are weary and heavy laden. This time of refreshing is what is needed to keep balance and be able to do the works and acts of faith. Otherwise we will end up falling off the balance beam. Ouch. That hurts!
“Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:15-20