Practical Steps for Balancing Work and the Rest of Life

by | May 25, 2016

Work is an important part of a fulfilling and healthy life, just as family, church, health and other pursuits are. That’s how God originally designed it to be. The problem you may experience is that work has overtaken the rest of life, and the joy that work can bring is frequently elusive.

What can we do to experience the joy-filled life God meant us to have, including work – and is that even possible today?

Brad Respess said it well in this video about work/life balance“Balance is bringing everything into a tension that is manageable and sustainable.”

I like to think in terms of an equalizer. As Brad said, the various areas of life are never equal. We need to adjust based on what’s needed for each particular musical piece, or what’s needed for each season life requires.

Here are some tips to help you identify the appropriate adjustments so you can experience the fullness of joy God meant for your life.

  1. Seek God first: This can be one of the most powerful and yet one of the most difficult things to do. We’re so accustomed to just doing what we know to do. Try starting each day, and even each transition in the day, with some quiet time with God. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you. Then decide what to do next. Scriptures to encourage you are Matthew 6:33-34 and Proverbs 3:5-6.
  2. Focus on pleasing God in all you do: Many of us are motivated by pleasing a boss, a spouse, friends – you name it. Conflicting demands can make us feel like we have to be like Elastigirl. What if you simply focused on pleasing God? That would certainly mean loving others and doing all you do with excellence. Scriptures to encourage you are Proverbs 16:2-3 and Colossians 3:17, 23-24.
  3. Lean on God for strength: God did not create us to do any part of life alone. Doing your work without God can leave you worn out and pretty empty. That’s not what God wants for you. Psalm 46:1 says God is our strength and ever-present help. Scriptures to encourage you are Ephesians 2:10, Philippians 1:6 and Isaiah 40:31.

As Brad mentioned, there is and always will be tension as we juggle the responsibilities of all the different aspects of life that compete for our attention. When you lean on God for direction and strength, you’ll not only experience greater joy in your work, you’ll shine light on the path for others to see the truth about how work fits into life.

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Catherine Gates

Catherine Gates is Executive Director of Women in the Marketplace, a nonprofit marketplace ministry that equips working women to confidently pursue their faith and career for the glory of God. She is also the author of The Confidence Cornerstone: A Woman’s Guide to Fearless Leadership. Learn more at womeninmarketplace.net.