Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wholeness if First Priority: How to Set Priorities


I have taught classes in time management and I recently had to prepare to teach it again. In the process, I refined my time management process. I ended up with a better understanding of what time management is as a whole and what is its benefit. I also ended up understanding the parts of the process of time management.

First, time management is an attempt to control our use of time, rather than allow other things to control time's use. Second, the reason we manage our time is that we want to live well or fully.

For years I recognized the process of time management as: 1)Leverage, 2)Aim and 3)Drive. I got this idea from a time management workshop I went to many years ago. I now have added the idea of 4) Define. I can also define these four, using another set of words: 1)Focus,
2)Direction, 3)Motion and 4)Classification.

Leverage for me means knowing what the one big thing is that must get done and what follows it in size. Then aim is direction that means the big things come first and then the smaller things follow. Drive means motion that takes the leverage and direction and puts that into action, rather than procrastination or some other action that leads to hyperactivity. Finally, define means classifying what reality we are trying to tackle or what need we are aiming to address. We want to avoid irrelevancy in the end.

Holiness or wholeness in general is a basic attempt to say who we are as a person. It is important, because like in speaking of kittens, you cannot replace a kitten with just its tail. The whole is greater than any one part.

I think wholeness is that one big thing we need. Too often, the church makes a part take the place of its whole. It is too often that righteousness or other virtues replace holiness and wholeness. This is replacing the largest with something less than that. Next our direction says to put something first and too often wholeness does not end up being that thing that is first. Next, our motion leads us astray too frequently from sanctifying activity, because our action is not the process of making things whole. Finally, our definition too frequently misses the mark, because we are not taking aim at healing what is less than whole. We are irrelevant, if we cannot define what is our need.

This is why, based on sound time management principles and Scripture, I believe we must address wholeness. Otherwise, we end up with a life that is less than fulfilling.

In Christ,

Pastor Jon

Wholeness is First Priority: According to Holy, Holy, Holy


When Charles Spurgeon was just 28 years old he preached on what he called "Threefold Sanctification" pointing toward 3 distinct meanings for holy. But in that sermon, he put people on notice how important holiness is in Scripture.

He first said: "Holiness is the architectural plan upon which God builds up His living temple. We read in Scripture of the `beauties of holiness.' Nothing is beautiful before God but that which is holy."

He next says with regard to its importance: "`Holy, Holy, Holy' - the continual cry of the cherubim - is the loftiest song that a creature can offer, and the noblest that the Divine Being can accept. See then, he counts holiness to be His choice treasure."

Notice holy has nothing as its equal in Spurgeon's mind. It is God's highest attribute. Since I see its meaning as essentially that of wholeness, I regard wholeness as my first priority. I hope we all will consider the same.

In Christ,

Pastor Jon

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wholeness is First Priority: I am More Convinced

Recently, I preached on the heart, soul, strength and mind that make up who we are as a whole. I am convinced after preaching this sermon more than ever that wholeness is our first priority.

My arguments for this come from more than one angle, but the heart, soul, strength and mind are the most easily communicated example of why wholeness is so important. We tend to focus on one at the expense of the other, while all of them as a whole is the most important thing.

I like the way one man put it: he pulls together what people tend to pull apart. I believe that God's Word does this through numerous examples. It is not just the arrangement of holy as the umbrella over justice, truth, love and good. It is also the arrangement of sin as an umbrella over iniquity, trespass, transgression and offense. It is also the arrangement of kindness (usually translated as lovingkindness) as an umbrella over mercy, grace, compassion and longsuffering (sometimes translated as slow to anger). It is also the arrangement of responsibility (usually translated as charges) as an umbrella over judgments, laws, commandments and statutes.

It is overwhelming how the wholes pull together the parts and how central this is to Scripture, when you do the frequency counts on these words. The whole wins out over any one part in that regard, when it comes to holy. Holy is far more frequent than love, because it is more important, while still supporting love as a major part of what makes it whole.

I want you to pull out your concordance and consider. Being whole just might be the most frequent and most important character trait as to who God is. May God bless your day.

In Christ,

Pastor Jon