To help you manage the work-life balance debate, tune out the opinions of others and start checking in with what the Lord is saying to you. Ultimately it’s up to you to figure out what balance works best for your own situation, but if you need some help finding that equilibrium point, there are others who have gone before you who can help. Find an OPEN mentor or attend an OPEN Huddle to gain perspective. Understand that every person is different and just because some people are exhausted having to work 5 hours a week does not mean everybody is. The key is to find the Lord’s equilibrium for His will for you.
When you are first starting you’re your job overseas or your business, you may need to abandon any idea of balance. That’s a serious statement that warrants strong consideration before moving into the B4T world. You will need to get family, friends, loved ones and especially your leaders on board with your full-court push and be prepared for some backlash at the drive you’ll need to settle into your job or to get your business going.
In starting out, the work-life balance you achieve may be more like 90/10 than 50/50. Know your own contentment level. Strive to understand what that balance is for you personally and be prepared to make the commitment act upon your decision. As you settle into your job, that balance will change and you’ll be able to invest more time at things and with people away from the office. So recognize that the fulcrum of balance will be a sliding point on the bar of life.
Sometimes the decisions revolving around balancing the various areas of life and work will be easy, other times they’ll be more difficult. The important thing is that you know yourself. It’s essential to have in place ways to relieve some of the internal pressure you place on yourself. The B4T path is one of constantly assessing and reassessing what are the best long-term decisions you can make at each moment in time.
Regardless of how much your B4T life requires you to devote to your work, knowing your position in Christ and finding meaning in your days is what will ultimately contribute to the best work-life balance. This is why the advice to, “do what you have a passion for,” is so incredibly important.
When you are walking with God in His will, He will give you a love for your work and a passion for the people you work with—His joy for what you’re doing every day. To achieve balance, keep Jesus front and center in all areas of your life and work, then intertwine Him into your passions and your profession. Realize, everyone is different, so get comfortable with the balance point that works personally for you.
PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for other 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.