The Lure of the Fragmented Life

We all have a tendency to live fragmented lives, and a central part of this is because we do not look to the place where all true integration happens, and that is to the Lord Jesus. But part of the reason we don’t do this is because we foolishly believe that fragmentation makes us easier for us to hide things. One life, whole and entire, is just out there. But busted up into little pieces, it becomes possible for us to persuade ourselves that this little piece “belongs to me.” This is antithetical to true discipleship.

One of the great recoveries of the Protestant Reformation – and there were many – was the recovery of the idea of vocation or calling in all lawful professions. Whether you are a dentist, a lawyer, a dairyman, a soldier, a homemaker, or a contractor, God has called you to that place (Eph. 2:10). Now there are ways for sinful men to take this teaching and try to distort it, of course. But understood rightly, this is a glorious attempt to recognize the Lordship of Christ everywhere, on every day of the week, and not just in your personal devotions or in your church time. If you are only called to explicit discipleship when you are explicitly in church, this cedes the rest of your week to the realm of the devil. But why should we want him to have it?

Our tendency is to try to create “reservations for Jesus,” where He shows up in appointed places and at appointed times. But look closely at what that does. Even if you make large donations of time, or money, if it is less than 100 percent, you are not doing what the greatest commandment requires of us. We are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength. This requires that we be disciples of Jesus in our accounting, in our carpentry, in our work as a student. There is no neutrality anywhere.

The doctrine of vocation does not mean that you get to be a workaholic at the office instead of worshiping God, or visiting widow and orphans, or leading your family spiritually. It means that everything that God has given to you must be offered back to Him as an integrated whole. And it means that He delights to receive such offerings.