A lot of folks complain that the holidays are crazy busy, but my experience tells me that this time of year also provides valuable moments to settle down and contemplate what’s next in our lives. With that in mind, I encourage you to dream about three dimensions of life that our clients at the Halftime Institute consistently say they are craving more of: joy, impact, and balance.
Here are a few characteristics and habits I’ve seen in people who live with great joy, impact, and balance.
Joy – In my book, The Joy Model, I write about one of the most common denominators of Joy: Gratitude. I have never met a truly joyful person who didn’t ooze gratitude. As I pay attention to my own moods and posture of heart, I notice that gratitude is always high whenever I am joyful. And, when I am not, it’s often the case that I’ve let my heart slip into entitlement or some sort of self-pity. Simply said: if you ever want a jolt of joy, do a serious counting of your spiritual, material, and relational blessings.
Impact- The term “impact” begs a definition. The way I am using the word is to describe how we impact the Kingdom of God and the things Jesus cares about. Ultimately, every Christian aims to emulate Christ and scripture reveals a short list of things He is trying to impact: evangelism; discipleship; helping the widows, orphans, sick, hungry, thirsty, imprisoned, oppressed, disenfranchised, and refugees. (BTW – We can all impact one or more of these people groups – whether we’re pastors, businesswomen, dentists, students, stay-at-home moms, lawyers or bricklayers.) The trick is to find the specific good works God prepared in advance for you to do. This is your “Ephesians 2:10 Calling” and once you get in that zone, you’ll be amazed at how your impact — and joy, for that matter — skyrocket.
Balance – Don’t be misled by the old and misguided notion of “work-life balance.” Life is more complex than this two dimensional mindset. Real balance puts God at the center of our lives. Picture a plate being balanced flat and on one finger. God is that center point and your work, health, marriage, parenting, friendships, and finances all exist on the outer edges of the plate. Focus on balancing those outer elements, but even more importantly, focus on making the center point of faith bigger and stronger.
So let’s sum it all up: Joy, impact, and balance all begin by taking your faith to the next level. The joy of the Lord, the size of your impact, and the balance in your life will all increase when the strength of your faith grows, your familiarity with scripture increases and your thinking more and more aligns with God’s thinking.
We’ll be focusing on joy and having a great start to your year over the next few weeks. Stay tuned into this blog for more and please Contact Us if you’re interested in taking the conversation further.