The concept of balance has never been particularly appealing to me in my natural self. In many ways I’m an all-or-nothing guy. It’s not that I’m bipolar (or even “bi-winning”), but I’ve often suffered from the conviction that if some is good, a lot must be great.
If I were to make a simplistic argument to support my natural tendency, I could point out that the Scriptures do not use the term “balance” with regard to moderation (nor do they use the term “moderation”). Having presented that iron-clad case, I suppose I could proceed to eat an entire pizza and wash it down with a 2-liter bottle of pop.
Skeptical? Good. While the Bible doesn’t use the term “balance” as we mean it in this context, it does speak of the goodness of self-control (Proverbs 25:28; Galatians 5:23; 2 Timothy 3:3; 2 Peter 1:6) and the sinfulness of certain behaviors that involve lack of moderation, such as drunkenness (Ephesians 5:18; 1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7) and gluttony (Proverbs 28:7; Titus 1:12–13).
Imbalance in our lives often stems from idolatry; that is, putting something—even something good—in God’s rightful place. We can make an idol out of sports, exercise, food, gadgets, and countless other things. When we make something into a god, we will pursue it diligently and forget about balance.
If we are called to live at one extreme, it is extreme godliness. Beyond that, we must seek balance and moderation.
I’m not holding my breath for Billy Joel to change the title of his song to “I Go to Extreme Godliness,” though.
(EDITOR’S NOTE—Photo source: Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Thinkstock)