So, as I type this I am sitting in Panera Bread in Orlando, FL trying to get some studying done, doing some research online, enjoying a Hazelnut coffee and one of their egg/sausage soufflé things, when I am totally overwhelmed by the smell of perfume. Not a little perfume, I mean it is like one of those mall kiosks is planted right behind me and suddenly I’m having trouble breathing and concentrating and it is looking hopeless. What do I do? Say something… No… get up and leave… what about my egg/sausage soufflé thingy? I can’t leave that. Then I stop. What possesses a person to put on that much perfume? I love cologne, personally. But I am always fearful that I put on too much or not enough. So I ask Julie what she thinks… she’s very honest about that sort thing, which I appreciate… so why does this woman feel the need to clear the area with her chosen scent?
It got me thinking about too much of a good thing, and the old beer commercial adage to “know when to say when”… to what does that apply and are there situations where we can just throw that out? Obviously you can have on too much perfume or cologne, you can drink too much, you can stay up too late, eat too much, spend too much time exercising or conversely spend too much time relaxing. The funny thing about the “too much” principle is that usually when you go over the limit with those things the opposite effect of the desired result occurs. Let’s take this poor woman sitting behind me as an example. Perfume is used to make a person smell better and to be somewhat more attractive to people. However, the opposite has happened. It’s not pleasant… in fact… it hurts.
From a spiritual standpoint we can get into a bit of trouble. Because a lot of people will say, “You can never volunteer too much, you can never give too much, you can never work too hard for the Lord…” It’s true we are called to give, we are called to work, we are called to sacrifice, but can there be too much. The Bible also makes it clear that husbands are to be devoted to their wives, and parents to their children (Ephesians 5-6). In that case can we work too hard or give too much? Absolutely. We are called to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17) but does that mean we need to shut ourselves off from the world and sit in silence and prayer? Some monks practice that very thing. Should we? Of course not, and that is not even what it means to pray continually. The point is that God calls to live a life that is wholly devoted to Him, which means that in all areas we must balance our actions to glorify Him. When your service to a ministry hinders your ability to be a good parent or spouse then you’re not glorifying God, you’re just working too hard. When your prayer life is prayer alone and doesn’t prompt you to service then you’re not acting in a godly way. When you fail to study the Scriptures because you are so devoted to working with kids you’re not truly fulfilling what God has called you to be. Now don’t get me wrong… we should give, and serve, pray, we should do all those things but in proper proportion… not all at once, and not to the neglect of the other things.
The key is balance… right, Daniel San?