Have you ever tried to juggle? Perhaps you have tried to toss around a few tennis balls or beanbags in the air at once. Those who are extremely talented in this area are able to keep many items in the air as they juggle; bowling balls, knives, and flaming torches are some of the most thrilling to watch! However, many people are likely intimidated by the thought of trying to manage multiple flying objects at once.
Have you ever considered your daily life a “juggling act?” It can be hard to find the perfect balance of work, family life, quiet time with Jesus, exercise, and hobbies. Perhaps you find yourself just trying not to let any of the items you are “juggling” drop to the ground; or, perhaps you consider yourself a “juggling pro” – able to keep all facets of your life in perfect balance.
For many of us, balancing our spiritual lives and religion with our daily lives can be a struggle. In a recent survey of over 26,000 Seventh-day Adventists worldwide, church members were asked to respond to the statement, “Although I am religious, I don’t let it affect my daily life.” One-third of respondents (33%) indicated that they strongly disagreed. Those in the middle (answering “I tend to disagree” and “I’m not sure”) made up another 27% of respondents. However, most concerning is the fact that two out of ten (40%) respondents indicated that they “tend to agree” or “strongly agree” with this statement (Office of Archives, Statistics, and Records, 2015).
How can it be that people can consider themselves to be religious without incorporating spirituality into their daily lives? That’s like saying, “I like to juggle, but I don’t use my hands!”
The Bible has a lot to say about living out our walk with Christ.
- Living love. John 13:35 says, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” One of the simplest ways that we can incorporate our religious beliefs and relationship with Jesus into our daily lives is by sharing His love with everyone we come in contact with. This doesn’t just mean your immediate family or close friends. This means the grumpy neighbor who always glares at you, the rude boss who never offers an encouraging word, or the needy friend who seems to take advantage of your kindness.
- Bearing fruit. Matthew 7:20 reads, “Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” Galatians 5:22-23 spells it out for us even further, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Consider your own life; are you living out these fruits? If not, how can you incorporate these personal attributes and characteristics into your daily life?
- Keeping His commandments. In 1 John 2:3-6, John writes, “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” Following the commandments of God is one of the biggest outward testimonies we can accomplish; it may also be one of the hardest. The values of the world rarely align with the values of the Lord.
If you find that your juggling routine isn’t working, perhaps its time to reconsider your priorities. Careful prayer, time spent in the Word, and communing with others who share the same Heavenly values as yourself are a great place to begin your journey.
To learn more, check out:
Reaching the World – Briefing for 2015 Annual Council
Seventh-day Adventist Global Data Picture
Created in collaboration with the Institute of Church Ministry.