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Living an Integrated Life

By Keith Ferrin - Founder and President, True Success Coaching - Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. Colossians 3: 23-24

It seems you can’t pick up a business book or magazine these days without reading something about “work-life balance.” Everything I read about a balanced life sounds really good. The problem is, I have a hard time actually doing it.

In fact, whenever I bring up the concept with someone, I can almost predict the eye roll followed by the heavy sigh. I have come to believe the reason for this is because God doesn’t call us to a “balanced” life but rather an “integrated” life.

The primary metric for measuring a balanced life is time. If I spend this much time at work versus spending this much with my family, serving my community or worshiping at church, my life will be balanced.

Alternatively, the primary metric for measuring an integrated life is lordship. So, instead of determining how much time I am spending here or there, the real question becomes, Is Jesus Christ the Lord of every aspect of my life?

It is wholly possible to live a balanced life yet not give Christ lordship over a certain area or areas of our life. Jesus wants to be Lord of everything—our work, family, friendships, leisure time and worship. The bottom line is that a balanced life can still be compartmentalized, but an integrated life cannot.

Paul begins the second half of his letter to the Ephesians with these words: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1). Here are just some of the areas of life he then goes on to discuss:

• Relationships
• Attitudes
• Reconciliation
• Our calling
• Service to the church
• Maturity
• Our minds
• Sexuality
• Honesty
• Work
• Our attitude toward money
• Our willingness to forgive others
• Our relationships with nonbelievers
• Wisdom
• Purity
• Marriage
• Our duties as parents
• Our relationships with bosses and employees
• Prayer
• Unity
• Our encouragement of one another in our calling

Now that’s an integrated life!

Quite honestly, integration is harder than balance. But it’s what we’re called to do, and it leads to a sense of purpose and fulfillment that only comes from placing ourselves daily—in the center of God’s will. Integration requires examining our lives to see where we need to give Jesus His rightful place as Lord, discovering what we need to do in order to be obedient to His calling and executing those action steps, and conducting a regular evaluation that covers all areas of our lives.

Living an integrated life is a journey, not a task. There is no deadline. There is no chart or graph, just a constant prayer running through our minds: “Jesus, this day and every day, I give You Your rightful place as Lord of everything I am and do. When this day ends, may You be smiling. Amen.”

Point to Ponder

God calls us to live an integrated life in which Jesus is Lord of every part.

Questions to Consider

1. What is one area of your life that you need to bring under the lordship of Jesus?

2. How do you see your life: an integrated journey or a balancing act? How does this affect your perspective of spirituality and God?

3. When today ends, will God be smiling on you?

From Devotional Ventures, © 2007 by Corey CleekPublished by Regal Books. Used by permission. Allrights reserved.

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posted by Justin Forman | 7.01.2009 - 7:46 AM

1 Comments:

Hi Keith;

Thank you for sharing one of my favourite Scriptures in your header. I agree that work-life balance is a stress-inducing impossibility. Your call to integration makes sense to me.

I coach my clients that what we need to seek is work-life harmony by satisficing more of what we do ...saving Jesus command to pursue excellence to the important rather than the urgent.

Might we Followers of Jesus demonstrate more excellence to the world by obeying Colossians 3:23-24 in this way?

Blessings in Christ all!

@GaryFPatton in TO
commented by Blogger GaryFPatton, 1:01 PM  

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