I have been thinking about the phrase "embracing wholeness" ever since I read it in Marva Dawn's book on living the Sabbath. Embracing wholeness means to embracing life with an openness to be made complete, or whole.
I am convinced today that nothing impedes the life and the ministry of Christian's today more than unwholesome living. That is, living that does not seek spiritual, physical, emotional, and social health. Its interesting that we often accept the paradigm that each of these aspects of our lives are capable of being healthy, while the others are neglected. I know pastors who are seen as spiritually mature, while at the same time they neglect their bodies and are emotionally a mess. We see people seeking emotional peace while at the same time their spiritual lives are in rebellion against God. Jesus continues to see people as one. He is the original holistic healer. He seeks to heal the whole man. This is what is means to be whole.
Peter Scazzaro, in his excellent book "The emotionally Health Church", is accurate in stating that people can not grow spiritually unless they are emotionally healthy. When we work, minister, or worship through the lense of our emotional scars, they become unhealthy. For instance, someone with low self esteem may tie their ministry work with their self-image. When they feel poorly, they must work more. This leads to physical fatigue and further emotional pain. Their prayers become shame based instead of God- focused, because their self-worth is not based upon God, but upon the work that they do in God's name. These people will have lives that get more and more out of control until they are numb with exhaustion.
What about those of us who are so in need for attention and validation, that we are slaves to the approval of others. Our esteem is directly related to what others feel and say about us. We become slaves to the local opinion polls. We tend to compromise our convictions in order to be validated.
These examples, and thousands like this demonstrate a need to return to holistic view of ourselves and a God centered life. In Christian theology, our fallen nature affects our spirits, our emotions, our minds, our bodies, our society, and our relationships. We need to commit every aspect of ourselves for healing. It is this reason that the Apostle Paul proclaimed to the Roman Christians that they "present themselves as living sacrifices, pleasing and Holy to God". It is not the spiritual stuff, our bodies, our minds, but all of us, because the allness of ourselves needs healing.
Will you take time today to commit yourself, the whole self to God. Will you consider being in relationship with another Godly person who can speak truth to you when you become physically, emotionally, or intellectually unhealthy?
Lets celebrate our ability to "Embrace Wholeness" today.
May God bless you,
Pastor M Traylor