Falsehood and Balance
Falsehood and Balance
Have you ever heard of living a “balanced life?” Sure, you have! Our world has become so fast-paced that it’s nearly impossible to be in the workforce and not have heard of the concept. Proverbs 30:7-9 is, arguably, the most relevant passage in scripture concerning the idea of a balanced life. The wie man Agur writes:
Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God. (ESV)
The vision of balance emerges with the request to have neither poverty nor riches. However, don’t miss the importance of his plea for God to remove falsehood and lying first. Perhaps the biggest barriers to living a balanced life are the thought distortions we allow to take over our minds. We deceive ourselves in to thinking that we need immensely more of one thing or extremely less of another in order to find satisfaction. Such extremes almost always lead to the exact opposite of satisfaction, producing, instead, heartache and emptiness.
The lie that we need immense wealth often leads to a lack of true friendship, the hollowness of never having enough, or the loss of our familial treasures. The rich ruler (Luke 18:18-29) found that his riches blocked his path to eternal life and ability to follow Jesus. Paul’s warning in 2 Timothy 6:17-18 demonstrates how riches can deceive us into a false sense of importance compared to others.
Extreme self-denial is just as dangerous. On the one hand, it creates the false sense of self-righteousness. “I’m better than you because I’ve overcome such carnal cravings!” On the other, extreme self-denial can actually strengthen the craving for the very thing we are seeking to deny. Paul observes in Colossians 2:23, “These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.”
If you’re struggling with finding balance in life, maybe you need to ask God to purge you of lying and falsehood first. We will never find contentment as long as we keep deceiving ourselves into thinking extremes are necessary to find it. The only extreme that counts is going “all-in” on Jesus. If our cup is filled with HIM, then we won’t need to seek out the extremes of life to be satisfied.