If you read Part I, then you've been sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for me to get around to posting the sequel. I'm sorry it's taken until now.
I'm going to introduce - or, most likely, reintroduce - you to a woman who lived out the Greatest Command, and by doing so, balanced life like a champ. Readers, meet the Proverbs 31 Woman.
I know, I know, no one likes her, we'll never live up to her, she did it all but we can't - give this friendship a chance here. Learn from her.
She loved God with all her heart (passions). Her marriage, her family, and her career, constantly drove her as motivation to be and give her best. (vs. 11, 12, 18, 24, 27)
She loved God with all her soul. She was building her eternal legacy. (vs. 28 - 30)
She loved God with all her mind. In verse 16, she "considers" (weighs pros and cons, thinks it through). Verse 21, she displays forward thinking and preparedness. Verse 26 uses the word wisdom!
She loved God with all her strength. I'm just guessing, she probably could have taken me if we went toe to toe. (vs. 17, 25)
She loved her neighbors. In verse 15, it mentions her taking care of her servant girls. I would like to point out here, that even the Proverbs 31 woman had help!! She cared for the poor. Her husband was well respected in the community because she was no gossip. She loved her neighbors in immeasurable ways. She didn't know any other way.
Here's what I need for you to take away from this:
1. Love the Lord your God. Stop applying God's word to your life. (WHAT did I just say?!) Yes. Stop. Instead, start aligning your life to God's word. Don't look to see if what's important to you can be justified by scripture. Take scripture, and make it important to you.
2. With all your heart. Quit making to-do lists. Make lists of your goals that align with your God-given passions, then work toward those. Instead of those to-do lists, document how you spend your time. Identify where you can, or need to, make changes.
3. With all your soul. Make use of the "ME" in "TIME". Recharge and refresh your soul. It is the core of who you are. Feed it.
4. With all your mind. Don't let your obligations overrule your priorities. Use wisdom and discernment with your "yesses". Consider the benefits and consequences of the activities you have the opportunity to participate in.
5. With all your strength. Take your health seriously. Your body is a gift, and His dwelling place. What can you do to care for it? Implement incremental changes. Don't try to start every new habit all at once.
6. Love your neighbor as yourself. Be accountable in your relationships. Your spouse, kids, friends, family, colleagues, everyone! Be authentic and genuine and allow your relationships with others to mirror your relationship with God. Transparent. Honest. Committed. Invested.
The overall gist is this: In order to achieve and maintain balance, love God, then live out that love.