Friends, I often wonder if we stress ourselves out. Stay with me here– is it possible, just a tiny, teeny bit possible, that our own life choices are the reason we have twitchy eyelids and blood pressure that’s somewhere near 250/134?
I think we’ve bought into the lie that we can have it all and should have it all and–in fact– are failing God if we don’t do it all.
Craziness. This is not a biblical idea, as Jocelyn Green points out in her new book, Free to Lean: Making Peace with Your Lopsided Life (affiliate link). She points out that Jesus lived a focused, passionate life. He had a ministry, it was intense, and it was short. It was a particular season of his life, then he died knowing he had completed his work.
He didn’t stretch out his ministry for fifty years, start five different ministries, then conquer five countries like we would try to do.
In fact, if you look at Jesus’s ministry by today’s standards, it really wasn’t that impressive. He brought a few people back from the dead, but not all the people. He healed a few people, but didn’t set up a miracle hospital to serve millions. He didn’t even get married or have any kids!
So why do we think we need to do it all?
If you’re tired of feeling stretched thin, if it feels like your life is a five miles wide but only an inch deep, this is the book you need. Green will help you find your God-given priorities, then will give you the permission to lean into your season of life without guilt.
There’s more to life than an overburdened schedule and a racing heart. And Green helps us hear from God to choose the priorities that require our focus and attention.
Let me close with a quote from the introduction of Free to Lean:
…The common refrain among time-starved, noise-saturated, overworked Americans is, “How can I achieve balance?”
We’ve been asking the wrong question. Nowhere in the Bible does God tell us to pursue balance. If you’re a believer, your purpose in life is far bigger than that. Jesus said that being His disciple requires us to deny ourselves, to lose own lives so we can find life in Him (Matthew 16:24-25). As we follow Jesus, with our crosses on our backs, we aren’t balanced–we’re leaning, hard, after our Savior, whatever that may look like in our own particular seasons of life (p. 17).