The Balance

'Two things I asked of You, do not refuse me before I die: keep deception and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, that I may not be full and deny You and say, 'Who is the Lord?' Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God." Proverbs 30:7-9

My wife, Dana, is the most even-keeled person I have ever known. Her favorite word is...BALANCE. The sole exception to her passion for balance is her love for shoes. However, in her defense, she would point out to you that her workout shoes are made by New Balance. The siren call of a shoe store is hard for her to resist, but in her eyes her passion for shoes is not an inconsistency to her philosophy of life. She reminds me that she always maintains her balance by buying two shoes at a time, one for each foot. How can you argue with logic like that?

Proverbs records the ancient writer's prayer for balance in his life. His call to God was for a blessing to be relieved from the tug of war between his need and his greed. Reading his request to God, reveals to us that he has known the chaos and confusion of trying to discern the difference between the two. He has determined that he wisest thing for him to do is to ask
God for help in pointing out what is best for his life.

Lies and deception have always been a part of the contest of wills that takes place between seller and buyer. Proverbs reveals the struggle in the heart of a person that comes under that influence of a consumer culture. Truth in advertising is a moving target in any generation. To be aware is to beware of the pitfalls of believing everything a salesman tells you to close a deal. There has rarely ever been better advice than, "Let the buyer beware."

The balanced life begins at the point of prayer. Prayer is the means by which we can ask God for help in revealing the difference between our need and our greed. A person who becomes satiated with everything he needs is often the very first to resent God's delayed response in granting what they want and when they want it. People who feel entitled to what they want and take it rather than wait for God to give it to them are no better than common thieves.

Prayer purifies our motives and clarifies the difference between our wants and our needs. God's delay does not necessarily mean God's denial, but the process of praying does remind us God is the source of all provision. Prayer places our need and our greed before God, and lets Him make a judgment call on what is best for us. God is not a divine delivery boy for petulant children who pout when they hear the word "No."

In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus taught the fundamental lesson of "The School of Prayer." Facing the crisis of the crucifixion, He prayed, "Father, not as I will, but Thy will be done." Grasping for what looks good to us is a poor substitute for waiting on God to provide His best for us. When the lines get blurred between your need and your greed. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!