John Alan Turner

Writer, Theologian, Consultant, Speaker, Teacher

Out of Balance the Wrong Way

In my opinion, the greatest danger that comes from our misguided idea of balance (when it's mixed with the equally bad idea of compartmentalizing life) is that we think spiritual maturity means having to make the wedge labeled "Spiritual Life" bigger than all the other wedges. Churches are especially bad at selling this idea. We often give people the impression that there are spiritual activities and there are secular activities. There are things like prayer, Bible study, worship and volunteering at church to serve others. These all go in the "Spiritual Life" wedge. Then there are things like work, exercise, shopping, watching television, playing with your kids, volunteering at the fall festival, going to the movies, etc. These do not go in the "Spiritual Life" wedge.

If you're really serious about becoming spiritually mature, you'll do more things that fit into the "spiritual" category and fewer things that fit in the other categories. If you have to do something that doesn't fit in the "spiritual" category (we all have to earn a living, right?), at least do something "spiritual" while you're there -- like lead a Bible study, or leave evangelistic tracts at other people's workstations.

In other words, work itself is not a spiritual activity, so you have to import something spiritual into your work to make it worthwhile.

Then, if someone asks you how your spiritual life is going, you can rattle off a list of all the spiritual things you've done that week. It makes it easier to measure your spirituality that way.

Anyone see why this might not be such a great idea?