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10

Balance and Moderation

June 8, 2019

THE BALANCING ACT

Imagine a girl on a balance beam. The balance beam is straight and narrow and placed several feet off the ground. Her goal is to maintain her balance while moving back and forth across the beam doing handstands, cartwheels, backflips, etc. She has to use every part of her body, often leaning a little to the left or a little to the right to keep perfect balance. She has to maintain her center of gravity at all times by focusing on the narrow beam.

Matthew 7:14 says, “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (NIV). Staying on God’s balance beam requires keeping Jesus as our center of gravity, or we cannot stay balanced on that small, narrow road. Proverbs 3:6 also reminds us to “in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (NIV). Once again, in order to stay on the straight beam, or path, I must keep the center of my focus always on Him.

Do you think this anonymous poem sums it up?

tightrope

without You, I walk a tightrope,
i extend my hands for balance, staring at my feet.
my body trembles with uncertainty of what’s to come;
my knees feel weak. will my steps be sure?
my nerves unstable, feelings insecure,
my body trembles at the prospect of a fall.
all the focus on me, my hands, my feet, my knees,
all the focus on me, my fear.
You, You have set my feet on a firm place.
You, You have stood me firm.
You, You have set my feet on a firm place,
And i will not fear, i will trust.
i have no cause for worry, no,
i have no need to look down at my feet
when i can focus on the one who made me,
healed my soul, and gave me everlasting peace.
with my eyes fixed on You, secure, assured, and free.
my hope is in You. there is harmony
and perfect rhythm in my soul today.

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Sabbath

FOR STUDY

Memory Text: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20).

Our Beliefs, no. 22, Christian Behavior: “We are called to be a godly people who think, feel, and act in harmony with biblical principles in all aspects of personal and social life. . . . It also means that because our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, we are to care for them intelligently.”

Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 141-143

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Sunday

RESPONDING

Read Colossians 1:10.

“If we ever attain unto holiness, it will be through the renunciation of self and the reception of the mind of Christ” (Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 143).

How seriously do you take each day, each choice? How will those little choices of balance affect who you are, who you become?

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Monday

BIBLE ANSWERS ON CHRISTIAN BEHAVIOR

Read Romans 12:1, 2; 2 Corinthians 10:5; 3 John 2.

God created us, and He knows what is best for our minds and bodies. In following God’s plan for us, we can live healthy and balanced lives.

List the things you are doing that will help you be healthy—mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

What are some things you can do to improve the areas you feel are weak?

Fill in the blanks. Texts are from the New King James Version. “For the of God that brings has appeared to all men, us that, ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should,, and in the present age” (Titus 2:11-13).

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Tuesday

REFLECTING

Read 1 Corinthians 10:31.

So, you’re young. Isn’t there enough time later to worry about what you eat, drink, how much you sleep, how positive your attitude is, and all that stuff? Isn’t that for old people who just want to live a little bit longer?

Well, the God who made you knows best how to help you maintain a healthful balance—in other words, an abundant life—at any age. He has the guidelines for a life you can celebrate and not regret. He offers guidance and power to help you make wise and balanced choices in every area of your lives.

In fact, think of CELEBRATIONS when you think of the abundant, balanced life God wants for you. C—Choices, E—Exercise, L—Liquids, E— Environment, B—Belief, R—Rest, A—Air, T—Temperance, I—Integrity, O—Optimism, N—Nutrition, S—Social Support.

Life and all its abundance and excess make it really difficult for us to keep our balance in these areas. And that is why we all need help. Jesus promises to give us His wisdom, courage, and strength to ensure that we are always able to strike a balance in our daily choices.

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Wednesday

BIBLE INSIGHTS

Match the verse with the text. All verses are taken from the New King James Version.

1 Proverbs 15:13
2 Matthew 11:28
3 Ecclesiastes 4:9
4 Colossians 3:9, 10
5 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
6 Luke 12:22-24
7 Colossians 3:23
8 1 Timothy 4:8
9 Romans 8:6
10 Colossians 1:10

A “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden . . .”
B “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance . . .”
C “. . . the new man who is renewed in knowledge . . .”
D “Two are better than one. . .”
E “. . . to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
F “. . . do not worry about your life . . .”
G “. . . this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
H “. . . godliness is profitable for all things . . .”
I “. . . do it heartily, as to the Lord . . .”
J “. . . being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

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Thursday

CONNECTING

Read Philippians 4:8.

Review the memory text.

God created you, but He has left the daily management choices up to you to be made through the guidance and power of His Holy Spirit. Think encouraging and positive thoughts. Learn what God’s plan is for your life to find true fulfillment, happiness, and a good life balance.

In order to be really effective at balancing your life, you must identify who you want your center of focus to be. And then ask for God’s wisdom to make each of your choices in balance.

The life you are managing is one that God has redeemed and given back to you to manage. The emotional life, the social life, the spiritual life, the physical life—all are entrusted to you, and you have the choice to seek balance or experience the consequences of a life out of balance. Jesus says in John 10:10 that He came to this earth so that we might have a more abundant life. That is an awesome gift! All you have to do is keep your focus on Him and move forward one step at a time on the balance beam.

“All the powers of the mind should be called into use and developed, in order for men and women to have well-balanced minds” (Ellen G. White, Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 37).

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Friday

APPLYING

Read Colossians 3:2.

When our imagined gymnast is learning to balance, the first thing they have to do is to climb up on that skinny little beam and keep their eye on it as they practice walking back and forth. Each time they fall off, their coach encourages them to get back up immediately and try again. The more they practice, the better their balance becomes, and they get to the place where they don’t even have to watch each step (each little choice), but can keep their primary focus on their center of gravity (Jesus).

Just how balanced are you? One step toward finding balance in life is to take a look at what might be out of balance. Decide where you are between the two statements in each set to the right. The top statement in each pair is 1 on a scale of 1 to 10, and the bottom statement is a 10. In the box beside each set of statements, write the number between those two numbers that best describes you. When you are finished, you can find out your overall balance by adding all your numbers together and dividing by 12. How close are you to 5? Choose one area and get started “practicing” balance. Don’t forget the first and most important step. Ask Jesus to become the center of gravity (your focus) and help you find more and more balance every day.

C Choices I don’t even think before making choices.
I worry about the choices I am making all the time.
E Exercise I don’t get any exercise.
I exercise 20 hours a week.
L Liquids I don’t drink any water.
I drink 100 glasses of water a week.
E Environment Littering is practically my hobby.
I can’t sleep for worrying whether I recycled enough.
B Belief in God I don’t spend any time with God.
I read my Bible 20 hours a week.
R Rest I sleep about an hour a night.
I sleep 20 hours a night.
A Air I never breathe fresh air.
I never come inside.
T Temptation I don’t have any control over myself.
I don’t do anything for fear I will do something wrong.
I Integrity I never keep a promise if it’s inconvenient.
I do everything everyone expects even if it’s unhealthful for them or me.
O Optimism I am depressed about everything.
Everything is a joke.
N Nutrition I eat anything I please, anytime.
I eat only broccoli and soybeans.
S Social Support I spend all my time taking care of others.
I don’t need or help anyone.
Total: ÷ 12 = Your overall balance score.