DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a post about Football... If you don't care about Football please don't let the picture below keep you from experiencing the thoughts offered here, please hang in there through the first paragraph. -Neil
A couple weekends ago was opening day for the NFL, and for another year there was as much talk about the players who weren't on the field as there was about the one's who were. Over 30 active players and even a team owner are currently serving league issued suspensions. All but one of these suspensions stemming from issues having nothing to do with Football. For instance, that suspended team owner I mentioned just a moment ago, he is serving a 6 week suspension for driving under the influence of prescription pain meds. Or take Ray Rice (pictured above) who was suspended indefinitely (the latest rumors indicating permanently) when 8 month old video footage came to light showing a physical altercation between he and his then-fiance.
So what does this have to do with Christian living? I'm continually amazed that it surprises people when they discover that events in one part of their life cause serious ramifications in other, seemingly unrelated arena's of their life. The NFL just offers up further evidence that it is impossible to insulate the various aspects of your life from others. You may be able to keep it bottled up for a little while, but eventually what is going on in one corner of your life ripples across and impacts other aspects of your life. I didn't think that would be such a surprise to people, but I guess it is.
Too often we talk about "this part of my life" and "that part of my life". We discuss things like "my work life", "my social life" and "my family life" like we have multiple lives taking place simultaneously, but we don't.
But this isn't anything new, when we look at the bible we see people trying to do the same thing. For instance, Sampson, even before his run in with Delilah he was acting as though he could create a separation between the sacred and the profane, his role as God's champion and his companionship choices. Sampson was deceived into thinking that his romantic decisions wouldn't impact his ability to honor God and eventually that deception caught up with him. Or look at Ananias and Sapphira who thought they could separate their business dealings from their commitment to God, that didn't go so well for them.
When we stop and think it should be clear that we have a singular/unified life in which a multitude of interrelated events are unfolding. Are there different arenas in our life where expectations are going to vary. Absolutely. It probably isn't the best idea to treat our office environment the same way we treat our living room (which is probably the only reason why my shoes are on and my feet aren't up on the desk while I write this post at the office), but do the wins and losses, stresses and celebrations of the time spent in the office have an impact on me when I finally make it to the living room? You bet. And if I'm being incredibly foolish or rebellious in one area of my life is it likely that eventually that creeps into or unsettles an area of my life that I don't want it to? Absolutely. Even if we are mindful of all that, is it still incredibly tough to resist the temptation to claim small pockets of life for "doing what I want to do"? Absolutely.
I've been thinking a lot about the many ways that we are deceived into thinking about life as though it is made up of these smaller, distinct compartments. Places where we can indulge sin and quarantine it. This was the topic of my message last week as we continued our "Under Attack" series by talking about the danger of compartmentalization. If you missed it you can check out the video from Sunday here. Hopefully, you were with us over the weekend to be challenged to consider the idea that we are holistic beings whose spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, financial, vocational, social, and personal selves are all wrapped up together to make up this thing we call "life". Hopefully you were challenged to examine how easily we are deceived by this scheme of the enemy. And hopefully you were encouraged to examine your life and to give God authority in every aspect and arena of your life.
It would be awesome to hear your thoughts about the attack of compartmentalization and how you have experienced it and responded to it in your life. Please take a moment and share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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