I recently read a devotional from WorkLife.org that reminded me of the value of an integrated lifestyle instead of just creating more margin in our lives. Have a look below, and listen for what God has to say to you personally.
“Jesus Christ…is lord of all.” (Acts 10:36)
Whether we’re in the marketplace or not, many of us are desperately seeking to balance our lives. We’re conflicted between the different obligations and priorities in our lives, and there never seems to be enough time to get it all done. The often less demanding compartments characterized by love (family life, spiritual life) compete with the more demanding work life compartment. Trying to keep all the balls in the air, we’re in a constant state of fatigue. We’re running in overdrive.
Sensing that our work is infringing too heavily on our personal and spiritual obligations, we’re looking for ways to free up more time to “do more important stuff.” I think all of us in the marketplace have felt at one point or another that our jobs have gotten in the way of things we really value, from attending Johnny’s soccer game to serving in a church ministry to deepening relationships with friends and neighbors.
Indeed, many of us would do well to find a different allocation of our limited time. We need to make sure our lives are balanced—that we’re committing the proper amount of time to each aspect of our lives in which God has called us to serve. But balance alone isn’t enough. A balanced life can still be very compartmentalized.
We also need to make sure our lives are integrated—that we’re thinking of and practicing each aspect of our lives, whether at home, church, or work, as a ministry of serving others to the glory of God. In fact, the key to redeeming more of our time is to integrate, so that all spheres of our life move in the same direction, glorify the same God, and operate under the same values.
Of course, there’s no trade-off between balance and integration. Balance without integration leaves us compartmentalized, while integration without balance leaves us without a sense of priority. We need both.