Blessed are the balanced; they shall outlast everyone. In chapter thirty nine of The Purpose Driven Life Rick Warren describes a life of balance – a life that is equally devoted to each of our five purposes. He provides five pointers for keeping on track with a balanced life.
- Talk it through with a spiritual partner or group. We learn best through community, so we should be sure to share our journey with other people.
- Give myself a regular spiritual check-up. I need to evaluate myself periodically to be sure I am devoting sufficient attention to each of my five purposes.
- Write down your progress in a journal. The best way to reinforce my progress is by keeping a spiritual journal. I need to write to help clarify what God is doing in my life. I need to write down both pleasant and unpleasant experiences and realizations.
- Pass on what I know to others. The best way to grow is to pass on what I have already learned.
The reason I need to pass on what I have learned is that it glorifies God. God calls us to do the work of fulfilling our five purposes and help others to do the same.
Warren quotes the Bible seventeen times using seven translations and paraphrases. Generally he quotes good translations within the proper context. I did find that perhaps he stretched the meaning of John 17:4 to suit his model of our five purposes. It seems that when one looks at the Bible looking for a specific theme, one can find it anywhere.
Point to Ponder
Today’s point to ponder is “blessed are the balanced.” A life of balance is important. I have seen many churches and individuals that so attune themselves to purpose that they lose site of the others. Some churches devote themselves only to building up the members while others devote themselves only to evangelism. Obviously if God has called us to five purposes it is important to devote attention to all of them. I would not say that we need to devote equal attention to each, as some of us are gifted in a particular area more than another, but I do think all of us need to maintain some degree of balance.
I found this chapter to be very repetitive as everything Warren said had been said before at least two or three times. At this point it seems that perhaps he was struggling to find forty days’ worth of material. Though what he says is good, it has all been said better in the past.
Tomorrow’s topic is Living With Purpose