The spiritual slice of the Whole-Person Pie© is all-encompassing. It is interwoven into the fabric of everything we say, do, own, and allow to exist in the tapestry of our lives. So, even though it feels like we are moving forward from that slice, as we work our way around the pie in a clockwise direction, we are actually using the spiritual slice as a springboard. Each upcoming post about the physical, mental, emotional, relational, financial, occupational, and obligational categories will spring from the perspective that every sector of life stems from a spiritual root.
"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23
(Incidentally, as I was working on this post, after I wrote the part above, imagine my surprise to find that the word "springs" actually replaces the word "issues" in Proverbs 4:23 in other versions of the Bible! The English Standard Version reads "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." The New Heart English Bible reads, "Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it is the wellspring of life.")
Whole-Person Biblical Minimalism causes us to look at all aspects of life through the lens of God's Word and Jesus' mindset.
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
The true thoughts and intents of the heart come to light as we peel back the multiple layers and minimize our lives through a Biblical lens. We begin to ask ourselves questions like "why am I still holding on to this grudge?", "why am I still nursing this emotional wound?", "do I love this more than I love Jesus?", "is He pleased with this relationship?", "should I buy this if it requires me to go into debt?", "what is my motive for doing this?", "has this become an idol to me?", "what is my motivation for having more than I need and use?", and a plethora of other soul-searching questions.
"Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God." Deuteronomy 5:8,9
Though we now live in the dispensation of grace, God's conditions for wholehearted service remain the same. He still deserves single-minded devotion and absolute ownership of every part of our lives, and He does not want to be in competition for our affections.
It is not enough to give Him full right-of-way on Sunday and hold Him at arms' length every other day of the week. It is unfair to relinquish control in matters that are spiritual, yet tell Him our physical possessions, relationship choices, career paths, and financial decisions are off-limits.
"I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:1,2
Presenting our bodies a living sacrifice to God means giving Him our whole person. Everything. All that we are, all that we own, all that we do, and all that we allow to be a part of our lives. It is all His. What He asks of us is not unreasonable considering He laid down His life for us. Should we not lay ours down for Him, in return? Isn't this our reasonable service?
Too often, we futilely attempt to live a post-redeemed life while still clinging to a pre-transformed mindset. This is where the conflict comes in. We are made for more than to try to conform and fit into the manmade molds of the unregenerated world around us. Biblical Minimalism necessitates a renewing of the mind as we filter not only the spiritual part of us but all of the other seven categories through Scripture.
"Conversation" means conduct. "All manner of conversation" includes every area of our lives.
In the next post, Lord willing, we will move forward and dive into the physical slice of the pie. I hope you will follow along!