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Awake!  |  January 2010

Live a Simple, Balanced Life

Live a Simple, Balanced Life

 Live a Simple, Balanced Life

LIVING a simple, balanced life is truly rewarding. But what does it involve? First, you may need to think about your priorities. How can you do this?

Ask yourself: ‘What have I achieved so far? What remains to be done?’ List your key goals below:

1. ․․․․․

2. ․․․․․

3. ․․․․․

Today many people have a short-term, materialistic view of life. In effect, they say: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die.” (1 Corinthians 15:32) They believe that today’s work-spend consumer lifestyle is as good as life gets. The Bible, however, challenges this view.

In one of his parables, Jesus told of a man who accumulated goods, only to die before he could enjoy them. “So it goes with the man that lays up treasure for himself but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-21) Was the man wrong to work hard to provide for himself? Not at all. The problem was his materialistic focus. He left God out of his plans. As a result, all his wealth​—all he had worked for—​would not really benefit him in the long run. How tragic!​—Ecclesiastes 2:17-21; Matthew 16:26.

In contrast, Jesus invites us to work for an eternal reward. “Work, not for the food that perishes,” he urged, “but for the food that remains for life everlasting.” (John 6:27) Earlier he had said: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) What a marvelous reward!

How Can You Conquer Anxiety?

Jesus acknowledged the human tendency to worry about material things. Hence, he urged his disciples: “Quit seeking what you might eat and what you might drink, and quit being in anxious suspense; for all these are the things the nations of the world are eagerly pursuing, but your Father knows you need  these things. Nevertheless, seek continually his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.”​—Luke 12:29-31.

Those reassuring words have moved countless Christians to simplify their lives. Juliet, who lives in Malaysia, relates: “My work left me exhausted and frustrated. So my husband and I prayed to Jehovah for help to simplify our lives. His answer was swift. Within a month, I was offered part-time work teaching disabled children.” Steve, a roofing contractor in Australia, adjusted his work to spend more time with his family in spiritual activities. His wife, Maureen, explains: “He is so much happier now, and so are we. The children love it! I love it! Keep it simple, and the whole family thrives.”

 However, if you have lost your job and are about to lose your home, it requires great faith to follow Jesus’ admonition. Still, by giving priority to spiritual things and trusting in God, you too can live a simple, balanced life. Doing so will help you to reach out for “the real life”​—eternal life in God’s new world of righteousness, where all work will be enjoyable and no effort will be in vain.​—1 Timothy 6:17-19; Isaiah 65:21-23.

Would you like to learn more about this “real life” that the Bible promises? If so, contact Jehovah’s Witnesses locally, or write to the appropriate address on page 5 of this magazine.

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In God’s new world, all work will be enjoyable and worthwhile

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CAN YOU CREATE WORK OUTSIDE THE HOME?

Here are some suggestions that might help in some parts of the world during an unemployment crisis:

● House-sitting (when people are away on business or on vacation and want their home to be looked after)

● Cleaning: stores; offices; homes and apartments after construction, after fires, after people move out; housework (in homes of others); windows (business and domestic)

● Repairs: bicycles; appliances of all kinds (libraries contain easy-to-follow “How to . . .” books on repairs)

● Handyman jobs: siding houses; building cabinets, doors, porches; painting; fencing; roofing

● Farmwork: planting crops, picking fruit, harvesting

● Interior landscaping and plant care at: offices, banks, lobbies, shopping plazas, and atriums

● Property management: janitor, superintendent (sometimes includes free living quarters)

● Carpet and laminate wood floor installation, cleaning

● Newspaper routes (adults and children) and other delivery services: ads, bills for municipalities

● Moving, storage

● Landscaping, tree trimming, lawn care, woodcutting

● School-bus driver

● Photography (portraits and public events)

● Selling bait to fishermen

● Swap work: barter car repairs for electrical work, sewing for plumbing

For more information see Awake! of March 8, 1996, pages 3-11.

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OPTIONS FOR CREATING WORK AT HOME

Study the needs in your neighborhood. Ask neighbors. Use initiative.

● Babysitting, child care

● Selling homegrown vegetables or flowers; juice drinks

● Sewing, altering, and repairing clothing

● Piecework for manufacturers

● Baking and food preparation

● Quilting, crocheting, knitting; making macramé, pottery; other crafts

● Upholstering

● Bookkeeping, typing, home computer services

● Telephone answering service

● Hairdressing

● Taking in boarders

● Addressing and filling envelopes for advertisers

● Washing and waxing cars (customer brings car to your home)

● Pet grooming and exercising

● Lock repair and key making (workshop at home)

Note: For much of the work mentioned above, ads can be placed free of charge or at low cost in weekend shopping flyers or on supermarket notice boards.