Today’s message from Charles Stanley is called A Balanced Schedule. In it, he stresses the need for a balance between slothfulness and workaholism. His main thesis is that maintaining balanced schedule is necessary for one to reach his or her full potential or “to become the person that God wants you to be and to achieve the things that God wants you to achieve in life.” Our time is our life, says Stanley and we can choose to use it wisely or waste it foolishly. His scripture reference is Ephesians 5:15-17.
Stanley answers the question, “What does a balanced schedule look like?” by saying that a balanced life involves the following, using the life Jesus led as an example:
Starting the day with the Lord every morning either in prayer or Bible study
Stanley points out that Jesus spent time alone with God and if he felt he needed to do that, how much more do we need it?
Spending time with our family and friends
If we choose to have a family, spending time with them is a responsibility and a joy. Also, friends are more important than they may see, especially as we get older. They comfort and provide spiritual guidance and accountability.
Doing the best job we possibly can where we are working.
Spending time every week in corporate worship at church
This is for our benefit, but not solely for our benefit. This is also so that we can be available to bless others.
Spending time in rest and relaxation
Your body needs this, but so does your mind. Your mind is at its most creative when it is rested. Our fitness and health is also tied into this. Our bodies belong to God, not us and we do not have the right to do whatever we want with it. It is a temple of God.
Stanley goes on to give a list of things and attitudes which will prevent us from having a balanced life and from reaching our potential.
A divided mind
You have to be focused.
Laziness is distinct from resting with a purpose and it is a sin against God to waste your life.
The influence of man
God’s will and plan is supreme. Keep in contact with him and take the advice of man with a grain of salt.
Neglecting private time with God
This is a very important element that relates to several other points in the sermon.
A lack of commitment
Stanley wants us to finish this sentence:
Today at this point in my life, I am committed to _________ above everything else.
We need to be committed to obedience to God. Everything else falls into place when we are.
Unbridled ambition is an inner need to work ourselves to death in order to meet the word’s standards. We should pursue a higher priority.
Now, Stanley answers the question, “I have made a commitment to have a balanced life, but how do I maintain it?”
1. He says we maintain it with accountability with another Christian who can look at us from the outside to encourage us, love us and challenge us to do those things that are Godly.
2. Make an ongoing review every night of what we want to accomplish the next day. He suggests writing them on a note card. I would suggest that this is good as long as you make a list of what you want to accomplish the next day, not a list if things that you are worried about.
3. Develop discipline by making yourself do things that you don’t want to do. This can be sticking to a sleep schedule, forcing yourself to read the Bible, etc.
This was a good sermon. It was reasonably short and I’m surprised by the length of my notes on it. As a teacher with his summers free and no family in my house, it has made me think about my priorities and what I’m doing with my time. I tend to be bipolar with my time, focusing a great deal of time on work when I’m working and then being pretty lazy when I am not. At both extremes, God gets shoved out and this is unacceptable.
Note: I listened to the Early Light Devotional, but as the content was very different from this sermon, I’m not going to do sermon notes on it.