Continuing his 7/22 "All of the Above" series, http://www.722.org/, Jarrett Stevens reviews last week. He is covering how we tend to compartmentalized our lives externally, but we also have challenges internally: disparities between who we want to be and who we are. Jarrett wants to be honest and courageous in his life, but he has internal conflicts with this. He was at the airport one time and a friend couldn't pick him up, but sent someone else named Jeff. When Jeff came to pick him up, he was enthusiastic and conversational. Jarrett was taken back by how much this guy knew about him and he was even repulsed because this guy was getting very personal. He knew Jarrett's wife, son, history, car model etc. Finally, after some shallow questions back to Jeff, Jarrett realized that he ligitimately knew this guy because Jeff had stayed with his family for a week a few years back!! Jarrett was so disappointed with himself and "felt like an idiot". If he had just been honest with him up front, it would have been Honest. But we all do this, don't we? Jarrett talks about the how guys can be conversational with people, but mentally check out in the middle of the talk. Women, when "that special day" of Valentine's rolls around, sometimes say "don't worry about it" or "let's just hang out on that day". But when V-Day rolls around, and nothing happens, they are very disappointed. We do things like tell people we'll call them back or stay in touch and never do. Some people get hammered on the weekends with no thought of moderation, but show up on Sunday mornings professing to be Christians. This is a conflict when it comes to pre-marital sex as well. So, what we tend to do is then compartmentalize in order to hold our values despite the circumstances. We might not like how we look or what our finances are, but yet we continue to act in direct conflict to our concerns here. We act in conflict to the Truth in our hearts. This affects us dramatically! How did we get this way? This is not what God intended for us. He desires for us to be whole. In Mark 12, there's sort of a "Bible lesson for Dummies". The bottom line is, the greatest commandments to us as Christians is to love God and to love others. This was back in a time when there were believed, in many places, to be many gods. Jesus says here that our God is One. The Father, Son & Holy Spirit make up one in perfect unity. Therefore, Jesus says take your heart, your soul, your mind and your actions (strength) and love God with all of this in unity. Jarrett illustrates this by attaching legs to a stool. Jesus says to love Him with all of who we are. Taking one of the stool legs away, Jarrett says "what we try to do is to take these things away on our own and say we can handle it...But it doesn't work." We like to live separated in our minds, but it is not what God wants for us. It is broken and disjointed. We kid ourselves thinking it won't catch up with us. Addictions are good examples. Pornography is the example Jarrett pulls. It is a physical action that we take, which we think is compartmentalized. But it leaves pictures in our head that affect our minds and it affects our souls because sex is also a spiritual act as well. It erodes what we believe about God. It affects us! Think about anger. Why do we get angry so quickly? Anger is a protection from pain. It might mean we think we are a failure and unable to do things. We get angry to protect. It's all connected. They are not isolated incidents. Looking on the flip side of this, what happens when we engage with God by reading the Bible? The Holy Spirit can connect to our soul and it begins to affect our thoughts. This is like what happens to Jarrett's soul when he serves people. It softens his heart and changes the way he thinks. But we have to choose. It is a choice of investment for our lives and who we will live our lives out as.
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