And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. ~Luke
As a child, Jesus had a balanced life. He grew in his mind and in his body; he had favor with God and with us. He did not neglect one aspect of life in order to achieve another. He grew physically which requires exercise and healthy eating. He grew in wisdom, which requires time to learn, reflect and apply that knowledge. He grew in favor with God which means learning of God, gathering with people where God promises to meet us, in his church (Matthew 18:19-21-“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”). He grew in favor with man, so Jesus was around people and in community with them.
There are many good things in life that are gifts from our Heavenly Father. Our jobs, our families, our church family, physical activity, sports programs, gaining knowledge and wisdom. All of these things can lead one into a ditch and throw us off balance. When one gift is overemphasized at the expense of other gifts, we have lost balance. Have you known someone who is a workaholic? The gift of employment has been misused at the expense of family. Do you know someone who chooses sports activities at the expense ofmorning worship? How about someone who cannot exercise enough? They also abandon other gifts from God to attain endorphins.
Often these good gifts that can be mishandled try to lure us in with unsure promises. With exercise comes the promise of youth and beauty never leaving you. Employment holds the allure of earthly treasures and praises of men. Sports activities, for families offers an often unfulfilled scholarship. But we, the children of our Heavenly Father, have a sure promise from God that He will meet us where and when He says He will, in the gathering together of believersmornings. His Word never returns to Him without doing what He intends. Sometimes the hard decisions look as if we are choosing the weakest and least wise, but being with God and his family is the wisest choice.
In our families, it is very challenging to find balance. There are many good gifts that call us. Some gifts beckon us away from other gifts when they are in conflict. “Welcome to the Lord’s Table” is for all of us. My prayer for you and your family is for balance in your lives, and an ability to enjoy all the good things our heavenly Father has blessed us with: growth in wisdom and stature, and favor with God and man.