Do you lead a balanced life? It’s a popular expression these days because so many of us try to do it all. We balance our work with leisure, our family time with “me” time, our carbs with our protein. Unfortunately, the idea of balance can simply be an excuse for a lack of commitment to any one philosophy or course of action. We just don’t have the energy to be wholehearted, so we are balanced instead.
Apparently, King David wasn’t big on balance. I came to that conclusion when I was reading Psalm 5. In one sense you might say that it is a balanced psalm because the stanzas (every two or three verses) flip-flop back and forth between a description of the righteous and an indictment of the wicked. The righteous speak with David’s voice, crying out to God, rejoicing in His presence, exulting in His protection. The wicked are condemned by their rebellion against a holy God who hates wrongdoing. Their actions are vividly described as bloodthirsty, their words like an open grave. The contrast of a beloved child clinging to the Lord and an unrepentant criminal slashing her way toward a guilty verdict couldn’t be clearer.
If both these pictures represented one person, we might say he was balanced — you might also say he was insane! God doesn’t call us to be all things in every moment, but He does call us to be wholehearted wherever we are. David is described as “a man after God’s own heart.” David’s heart was like God’s heart: it wasn’t divided. Even David’s sin was passionate — as was his repentance. God, in His great love for His children, is passionate, and our hearts should look a little more like His. Whatever your need, whatever your mood, God wants passionate worshipers, not balanced, lukewarm lip service.
The divided, balanced life of modern men and women does not lend itself to passion. Do you approach God in the morning with hope and desire? Do you wait expectantly on His pleasure all day long? Does the horror of a self-satisfied, deceitful and violent world impel you toward holiness and move you to cry out for justice? Or are you much more balanced in your worship, giving God a few quiet moments like I do before moving on to the next pressing matter? Consider the righteous character of God. Consider the spiritual opposition that wants you dead. Consider the refuge which you have in Christ, the favor which surrounds you like a shield. What will you offer God in return? Will it be “balanced?”