How hard we sometimes try to compartmentalize our lives, at least in thought. It is much easier to rationalize poor decisions, put off nagging convictions and ignore the obvious that way. But the simple truth remains that we are created to be “whole” people, not “tackle box souls,” so to speak.
In fact, when it comes down to it, the most fulfilled and effective people are those who not only consider the spirit’s effect on other parts of life, they welcome it. If only we would realize that God, as Creator, knows best, we would find a myriad of ways in which He is trying to help us mesh His influence into a fluid and beautiful life, free of barriers and closed doors. In our efforts to keep Him out of our various “quarantined,” “non-spiritual” areas of life, we are missing the best of mental, emotional, social and physical health.
God longs to give us good minds. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” The Bible does not say that this wisdom only applies to Bible knowledge, although that is very important. God wants to give His people wisdom for living in all areas. Some of the wisest people I know may never have obtained a formal education, but they have allowed God to use what they did have, and multiply it many times over. Complying with His will and displaying a teachable spirit have done more for them than decades in a classroom ever could. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). Our thought life can only benefit from the inclusion of a Holy and all-knowing God.
It is God’s will for us to be emotionally healthy. Lives full of the fruit of the spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” leave little room for emotional instability. The Prince of Peace desires that we “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Why would we try to keep our emotions bottled up and corked tightly away with when the Spirit is so obviously here to help?
Even our social lives stand to benefit by the inclusion of the Spirit into them. One of the greatest challenges we can have socially is simply knowing which relationships we should pursue and which ones we should avoid. The Bible says that “a discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth” (Proverbs 17:28). How many people do you know that live this way, always looking for approval and companionship in the wrong places, usually ending up bitterly disappointed? Even God’s people make this error, refusing to heed the warning that “Bad company ruins good morals” (I Corinthians 5:33). God has so much better in mind. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). We can build relationships that will actually better us if we will only allow God to govern us socially. Truly, friendships built on the foundation of shared faith are those most lasting and strong. “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). Yes, we may have to forgo some relationships, and we may have to allow some people to walk out of our lives, but in the end, it will be worth it.
Finally, even our physical bodies can find the most wholeness and health by living in the Spirit! 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” If we truly think of and treat our bodies with this level of respect, we will obviously live healthier lives, giving our bodies the nutrition necessary and avoiding substances that abuse them. Not only that, but the previously mentioned emotional benefits also affect our physical bodies. Everyone knows that stress has negative effects on the body, but “a merry heart does good, like a medicine” (Proverbs 17:22NKJV).
So, if you have been trying to live a divided life, keeping “spiritual things” only for Sundays, what unnecessary frustration and pain you are carrying. If we will ask God to open up our spiritual eyes, we can begin to see the spiritual in the everyday business of living. God has the top view of our tackle boxes anyway – He already sees it all! “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open” (Luke 8:17). Wouldn’t it be easier to willingly give each little compartment to Him now? Think about it.