A few days ago I wrote a post about changing the conversation about balance. You can go back and read the post, but to sum it up, I really believe there is an important part of the balance conversation that’s missing.
What’s missing is the ability to recognize the most important things, and develop a practice of saying no the good but not best. Instead of trying so hard to balance everything in our life that’s demanding of our time and energy, we should only focus on the most important and say no to the rest. We can’t have balance if we aren’t wise about how we spend our time.
Balance happens when we know what’s best and we do those things.
But how do we discover what is best for our lives? How do we discern what things God wants us to invest our time in?
I don’t know about you, but the thought of saying no to something can be terrifying. What if I make a wrong decision, what if I disappoint someone, what if I miss out on a cool opportunity. The “what ifs” can be paralyzing.
But the thing about Jesus is, He gives us freedom from the “what ifs”. He knows what’s best for our lives, and He longs for us to experience those things.
Making decisions about how to spend our time can be so challenging, but here are a few things that I think will help lighten the burden.
1. Find a mentor. Think about the people in your life that you trust and respect. Most likely they already serve as a mentor-like figure. Simply ask them to be a sounding board when you’re making balance related decisions and provide wisdom as they see fit. They will offer a completely new perspective and will help you discern where you fit best.
2. Make quiet a discipline. It’s very hard to hear from the Lord if we’re never quiet long enough to let Him speak. It’s like any other relationship, if I never stop talking the other person never gets a chance to say a word. So, be intentional about introducing quiet into your life. Tell God about your balance dilemma, ask Him where you should spend your time, and then shut up. Simply be still and listen. Maybe even journal as things cross your mind during that time. That’s often a way God speaks to us.
3. Have the courage to say no. This is such a big one for me. God can only do so much. He can speak to us, help us understand, set us up to make impactful decisions, but at some point it’s up to us to act. Let go of the “what if” fears and move confidently forward – which often involves saying no to some things.
4. Relax a little. Even if you do mess up and say yes or no to the wrong things, God will still use you. Nothing is beyond repair, or outside of His authority and ability to use. Rest is the truth of who Christ is and who we are in Him. Perfection isn’t the goal. The goal is to be intentional about our life so that we can be used in the most significant way possible.
Do you have any tips for discovering the most important things to invest your time in, or any tips for balancing life well? I’d love to hear what works for you.