Family and work can’t be balanced. The good news is that it’s not supposed to be. You heard me. It’s not in the Bible. Not one time in Scripture, are you and I encouraged to live “balanced” lives. You know why? For one reason, life CAN’T be balanced! If it could be balanced, Jesus would’ve at least gotten it done, right? However, does it surprise you to hear that Jesus didn’t balance family and work well? Jesus saw His priorities to family and work as equal “rhythms” that demanded ALL of His attention at a given point, rather than two competing loyalties that must be balanced at a given point. Here are some examples:
- When Jesus was 12 yrs old, He disappeared from his mom and dad and went to the Temple. When His mother found him and chastised Him, what did He say? “I must be about my Father’s business.” In other words, “Mom, right now, the most important thing I could be doing is learning to do what God has called me to do.”
- Jesus also didn’t have the typical mantra: “God first; family second; and work third.” I don’t know where we got that idea, but it wasn’t from the Bible. Jesus didn’t live this way. Jesus’ family was NOT ALWAYS more important than His ministry. Three Gospels record the true story that tells of a day in Jesus’ life when He is teaching great crowds; and his mother and brothers show up and ask him to come home and be with them: “As Jesus was speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers were outside, wanting to talk with him. Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, and they want to speak to you.” Matthew 12:46-47 (NLT). Upon hearing this request, Jesus refuses to even come to the door! Why? Because He was in the middle of His work!
- If Jesus would have valued family over work or ministry, He never would have died on the cross! Think about it.
Don’t get me wrong: Jesus highly valued relationships! Here are some examples:
- Jesus picked 12 friends to do His ministry WITH. He had three He was closer to than anyone else.
- While on the cross, Jesus was very concerned with the welfare of his mother and his best friend John: “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” John 19:26-27 (NIV).
- Jesus passionately loved people! So much so that He died for us!
Jesus wasn’t balanced. He lived life in rhythm. When He was supposed to be working, He gave it His all: His very life! When He was supposed to be doing life with God or people, He was fully present physically, emotionally, and mentally. NO one has ever been more passionate about people than Jesus. However, He didn’t just live at the whims of people, even his own family!
SO what do we learn from Jesus? Wherever you are, be there. When you’re at work, be at work. Don’t be on facebook; don’t be on the phone every hour with your family; Be a good steward of your job! That honors God.
When you’re at home; BE there! NOT on the phone; not on the laptop; not on facebook; BE with your family! Be fully present: physically, AND mentally! THAT honors God! THAT’S following the way of Jesus! Life in Rhythm!
Does that set you free?
We’ll be unpacking all of this even more beginning this Sunday in our new series: “Rhythm: Less Stress. More Peace.”