Day 39: Balancing Your Life – 40 Days of Purpose-Driven Life

Purpose #5: You Were Made for a Mission

Point to Ponder: Blessed are the balanced.

Verse to Remember: “Life life with a due sense of responsibility, not as those who do not know the meaning of life, but as those who do.” — Ephesians 5:15 (Ph)

Question to Consider: Which of the four activities will I begin in order to stay on track and balance God’s five purpose for my life?

[Read More] thoughts on Day 39 of Rick Warren‘s Purpose-Driven Life* including what it means to be radically balanced.

We’re heading into the home stretch now, so Rick starts off today’s lesson by reviewing our five purposes in the context of a “great commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.”

1. “Love God with all your heart”: You were planned for God’s pleasure, so your purpose is to love God through worship.
2. “Love your neighbor as yourself“: You were shaped for serving, so your purpose is to show love for others through ministry.
3. “Go and make disciples”: You were made for a mission, so your purpose is to share God’s message through evangelism.
4. “baptize them into…”: You were formed for God’s family, so your purpose is to identify with his church through fellowship.
5. “teach them to do all things…”: You were created to become like Christ, so your purpose is to grow to maturity through discipleship.

He emphasizes that it is not just important to do these things individually, but to balance them as a reinforcing whole — so that we don’t fall prey to emphasizing the parts we like, and avoiding those we don’t. Ouch! I know I tend to emphasize the internal/intellectual aspects of my purpose, and up suffering for it emotionally, which ultimately undermines my whole purpose. In other words, balance in this context is not about making compromises, but being securely “rooted” (as in ‘radical’) to the foundation. Lord, have mercy.

Fortunately, Rick suggests four practical ways to promote balance:

a. Talk it through with a spiritual partner or small group
b. Give yourself a regular spiritual check-up
c. Write down your progress in a journal
d. Pass on what you know to others

Obviously if anyone is reading this, then I’m accomplishing (c) and (d). 🙂 For (a), I am also blessed with several prayer partners and close friends, not to mention a small group (which is meeting this afternoon). However, though I do have regular visits with mentors, I haven’t really done (b) a spiritual ‘check-up’ in a long time. To be honest, I have a hard time finding tools that, well, are properly balanced. To be sure, I know I have my own biases, which is why I need an external, objective measurement. However, the tools I’ve found in the past were either too aligned with my biases (and thus not helpful as a check ;-), or based on such different biases I found them annoying.

I’ll have to try out Saddleback’s Purpose-Driven Life Health Assessment (and perhaps others tools), and see how well those work. I’ll try to report my findings here, if appropriate.

Prayer: God, I don’t want to just be filling out check-boxes, or striving to live up to the legalistic letter of the law. On the other hand, neither do I want to just drift on the sea of my emotions and biases. Father, I want to be radically centered on you, living out the whole gospel with my whole heart, experiencing and fulfilling all your purposes to me. Remind me of my commitments to you, and help me to take full advantage of all the resources you have given to help me live up to them. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.