Pastor Steve Brown
Greetings to the Saints of St. Mark!
2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. (3 John 1:2)
I don’t know if you’ve ever considered that the words “holy” and “wholly” sound alike. More than that, I think they are related in God’s desires for us. Holy means “set apart” or “dedicated.” It is the position of giving ourselves to God in every area of our lives. Wholly, better yet, ”wholeness,” speaks of a life that is being healed from its brokenness and is learning to integrate every aspect of life together.
During this fall we are intentionally seeking to look at our lives in terms of our health under the theme “Transformed.” We looked at our Spiritual Health, our Physical Health, and Mental Health last month. This month we will be seeking to examine our Emotional Health, Relational Health, Financial Health, and Vocational Health. We are doing this because every area of our life is important to God, and, with that, it is His desire that we walk in healthy ways in each of these areas.
Yet, there is a danger in doing this. It might reinforce a way at looking at our lives that can cause us problems and hinder God’s work of holiness and wholeness. Looking at each area of our life individually might create the impression or reinforce the erroneous idea that we can divide our life into various pieces. The usual word for this is compartmentalization (how’s that for a ten dollar word!). When we choose to live this way, we often talk and act one way with our family, another way with our co-workers, still another when introduced to a stranger. We separate things and group them for what we perceive as our benefit. Things look like my money and their money, God’s money and mine. There is me time, our time, work time, fun time, down time. People fit into categories as well as activities. There is sacred and secular, saints and ain’ts. There is a danger when we set up this system or lifestyle of marking, separating, and dividing. The compartmentalizing of our lives can reinforce greed, selfishness, control and/or pride. This can block our way to healing and wholeness.
God’s desire for us is an integrated life where our values, desires, possessions, relationships, world-view, emotions, and all of life are not broken apart nor change based on who we are with or what we are talking about. I believe wholeness comes as we become more holy. As we learn to let God into every area of our lives, letting God guide us through the complexities of life to wholeness. Surrendering and yielding our lives to God’s ways is the pathway to holiness. In turn, the holiness of a life given to God and lived with God brings healing from our jagged living and move us into wholeness. There are many choices but one guiding principle. There are lots of things going on but our lives are centered and we live with a heart, not divided, but whole. Everything flows from this. We live by Jesus’ words as one “who seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and everything else falls into place” (Matthew 6:33). We can become whole and live in wholeness when nothing has “keep out” or “off-limits” or “mine alone.”
Every day becomes holy because it is a gift from God. Every moment and activity is lived from a life that seeks God’s ways and to walk with Him. And the by-product of wholeness is always health, not necessarily as the absence of physical disease, but a soul that is healthy and is life-giving to oneself and others. This month we are seeking to learn about health in the complexity of life. This month we are seeking to be transformed by allowing God access into every area of our lives (holiness) that He might work into our lives health and wholeness. It may not make life easier but it will make it better.
I hope you’ll join us in the journey.