“Be Transformed” – Holistic and not Compartmental
We are looking at six aspects of transformation as part of the Christian walk with Christ. Our first consideration is the breadth of the work that God seeks to do in us. The transformation we are seeking requires our total and complete being or it is not transformation. It is a process that requires heart, soul, strength and mind. If the Holy Spirit is the transforming agent, then there will not be one miniscule particle of our being that will be unaffected by this work in us.
This transforming work attacks the most fundamental of the tenets of postmodernism, namely the compartmentalization of our lives. Modern worldviews teach us that life not only can, but should be lived in an eclectic fashion. That is, we are encouraged to portion out our values, ethics and personae into the segments that naturally divide our lives. We are assured that it is perfectly acceptable to be one person at home, another at work, still another at play. Taken into the church, it gives us permission to segregate our lives between the secular and he sacred; Sunday and Monday need never meet. Give God Sunday and keep the rest for yourself. So goes the privatization of our faith and the sequestering of our witness. This, the postmoderns say, is healthy and leads to less stress than the impossible task of living consistently across all spheres of life.
In sharp contrast, Scripture calls us to die to the old nature, to the bifurcated structure of our lives and to the lies we have been told and believed about our vocation. Transformation involves nothing less than the complete abandonment of our thrones and the dismantling of our earthly kingdoms. Instead of divided loyalties, we are called to reject this temptation to conform to the values of our culture. It calls us to one, unequivocal and all encompassing allegiance. It is a transformation from the struggle of this divided-kingdom living to the joy of one-kingdom service.
This requires a real losing of our life and a real finding (Matthew 10:39). And the life we find is the new life in Christ – the life of the steward in the one kingdom of the triune God of grace. The transforming work of the Holy Spirit has this life as its purpose and goal. Stewards are transformed people, and stewardship, rightly understood, is the life of the disciple of Christ who has been and continues to be transformed into the image of the Son of God. This life rejects the temptations of compatibility, compartmentalization and compromise.
This blog is excerpted from the upcoming book, The Calling to Christian Leadership: Foundations and Practices, Edited by John S. (Jack) Burns, John R. Shoup, and Donald C. Simmons, Jr. Submitted for publication in 2014.