By doing everything unto the Lord, work-life balance becomes not just an ideal but an achievable goal.
By Foo Cechao
Conventional wisdom dictates that work-life balance is a matter of effectively dividing up our time pie to the various commitments we juggle. In God’s economy, however, work-life balance is not a matter of how much time we dedicate to each chore or assignment, which results in spreading ourselves thin during our waking hours, but doing everything with all our might, as unto the Lord (Colossians 3: 15-17).
This means that we are to love God with 100 percent of our hearts, love our families and others with 100 percent as well, while devoting the same 100 percent commitment to our careers, our ministries, our own health and other commitments.
But how do we do all these without burning out? How do we apply this 100 percent commitment to everything in a practical way? On the morning of July 8 during Sunday service at Singapore Expo, Sonderegger shared the following foundations for the Christian’s approach to work-life balance.
Isaiah 40:31 says that those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Stop, strengthen, soar.
When we have good quality rest, it not only renews our strength, but also promotes creativity and memory by encoding what we learn during the day and lock it into our long-term memory.
2) Action plan
A good night’s rest sets us off on the right foot to tackle the challenges of the next day. When we are well-rested, we are also in the mood and frame of mind to handle our emotions and build better relationships. “Anything that damages our relationships is the antithesis of God’s kingdom,” said Sonderegger.
For this, we need to be prepared with an action plan—for example, in relation to getting quality sleep, it means making sleeping arrangements to ensure we go to bed on time, which is all the more pertinent for those with young children.
3) Be still
Ponder and mediate on the things that are good, pure, right and praiseworthy. Chew on the Word of God and how He has worked in your life by counting your blessings.
It is when we are still that our brains start to change, going into the dominant alpha electrical activity state, the most creative brain wave state.
4) Build relationships
Invest wherever possible into our relationships, the most important one of which is with our spouses.
5) Be agenda-free
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
When we pursue our own agendas, we take on the full responsibility for our own successes and achievements. But when we seek to do what God wants us to do, we can trust in Him to bring His calling on our lives to pass. Pursue vision rather than ambition.
6) Take time
Take the time to love, experience joy, hang out with one another, have fun and praise God.
7) Pursue holiness
Set oneself apart to spend quality time with God.
The above points are aptly condensed into the term “S.A.B.B.A.T.H.”
Sonderegger’s wisdom illuminated the concept of work-life balance for the congregation. “I learned about the importance of relationships when I am pursuing my dreams. I used to worry too much, and I need to take time out for more rest in my life,” said Linda Lee, 35, an operations manager.
“We have many priorities in lives. I learned that we must apply S.A.B.B.A.T.H, that we need to be there for the family and build relationships with them, as well as take time to be with God, ” said Dennis Loo, 25, a financial planner.
Read our reports on Dr Robi Sonderegger’s other seminars: