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25 April - Keeping Balance

We all, I think, can be prone to dramatics. You know the days when you want to have a hissy fit or let out what you are feeling in a not so great way. Sometimes it would be nice to not care for a moment or two. PPP

However, we don’t really have that option if we want to keep our relationships healthy, and especially if we profess to have a relationship with Jesus. Primarily because one of the fruits of knowing him is self–control.

A good measure of how close we are walking with him and how much of God’s word is abiding in our hearts can be seen by how much control we choose to demonstrate in our everyday lives.

When I am under pressure, have had enough of people’s nonsense, or I’m not spending enough time with Jesus that my control drops and negative thoughts and emotions threaten to take over and overflow in an unproductive unbalanced way.

So here are six keys I’ve learned to keep my life and emotions on the level and balanced:

1. Recognise and understand that life is full of positives and negatives.

When something negative happens, look to balance it out with a positive. As God says, “He knows us far better than we know ourselves…. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” (Romans 8:28 The Message)

2. Get God’s word and put having a vital, connected relationship with Him front and centre in your life. If God’s words continually abide in you, they will cause the fruit of knowing him to be produced in your heart and mind. You don’t have to strive to produce and exhibit self–control, love, peace, patience, etc. They are a natural by-product of having Jesus in your life. Lean in and stay close to Jesus and let Him go to work in and through you.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

3. Deal with issues quickly. I’ve discovered that when I fail to deal with something bothering me, it will inevitably come out in my words or actions. Our words come from the overflow of our hearts and are quickly followed by our actions and behaviours.

When we spend time with Jesus and read His words, lining up our lives accordingly, it helps us deal with issues and keeps us on the level and running in the right direction.

As I often say, “we can’t run through life when we are carrying heavy suitcases full of stuff we don’t need and that are only weighing us down”. Offload issues and hurts, be quick to ask forgiveness for any mess, and keep moving forward.

“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)

4. Be in community – It’s so easy to get too much in our heads about things, going over and over our problems and concerns. Being in a relationship with others who love and support us is vital in helping to keep us on the level and balanced in our thoughts, beliefs and emotions. We don’t need to do life alone and weren’t created to, so pick up the phone, get on face-time/zoom etc. If you are able to go for a walk or coffee with someone or invite someone over who is a positive influence in your life.

” Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

5. Exercise and eat regular healthy meals – How we treat our physical bodies will affect our mood, thoughts and spiritual life. Too often, we want to compartmentalise our lives, but our thoughts, emotions and spirits are connected, and one affects the other. When we look after ourselves, it’s far easier to stay on the level and balanced.

6. Prosper your soul – Regularly do something that prospers your soul – that makes you happy on the inside and reminds you that it is good to be alive. If you don’t know what prospers your soul, then explore some hobbies, places or past times that make you glad you are here and benefit you and the person you are becoming.

“Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 1:2)

Today, determine to enjoy and be more balanced in your life. Seek to even out the negatives with positives, put Jesus and what He says front and centre, deal with issues in your life, exercise and eat well, prosper your soul and be in community so you can keep it on the level.

Prayer: Lord, please help me choose wisely how I will live my life. Today I’m choosing to seek to be more balanced and to stay on the level in all I do and say. Please help me to deal with anything that is weighing me down and causing me to be off-balance. In Jesus name Amen

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