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Healthy Christian Men Think and Live Holistically

Many different boxes? or One big cooking pot?

To be healthy Christian men we need to think and live holistically. This means every area of our thinking and living flows out of the center of our life and each area of life affects the other.

The opposite of a holistic life is a segmented life — a life where each compartment is distinct.

For example, compartmentalized thinking and living is seeing your life as a number of independent boxes each with a unique purpose: your workplace is where you earn money; Sunday fellowships is where you do spiritual rituals; home is where you relax and enjoy comforts; banking websites are where you plan your finances; friends are those you do fun things with.

But a holistic Christ-centered life is much more like a large cooking pot full of chicken soup and many ingredients and spices. The flavor and presence of the meat of one’s spiritual life flows into all the other areas with a dynamic and beautiful effect — there is no separation between them.

If the chef presented you with a platter of all the parts of the soup, like Cross the Bridge Noodles过桥米线you would not each all the small dishes independently! No, you would immediately put each of the ingredients into the bowel and the flavor of the meat and spices would permeate all the vegetables. The end result of a holistic bowl of soup is something that is delicious!

But why do not Christians live like that? So often we simply take those individual ingredients and take small bites of them and then we complain that life has no flavor. Indeed! This is because we have not learned the secrete of the holistic Chinese chef! Put everything together in one pot!

The big idea is this — God is sovereign over all areas of life and our life should be a total holistic response of love to Him. So our home, work, hobbies, friends, and church all become the places where our faith and values are the center of all that we do.

In this way our entire life may become a response of worship to God. This happens when we realize that our Creator is the Lord of all of life and it all belongs to Him.

A real man who is a man who honors his maker and makes everything he does a worshipful response to God — his work, his home, his free time, when spending money, surfing the internet or when hanging out with friends at home or in town.

A new freedom in life comes to a Christian when he fully realizes we are living on God’s planet and it all belongs to Him.

This is the mindset of a holistically healthy Christian man. We do not divide our lives into small compartments and think “this is spiritual” but that thing over there is “not spiritual.” This kind of thinking divides life into two big categories — the spiritual and the secular.

Such kind of thinking enslaves many believers and churches and often creates a vicious legalistic righteousness and separation from the world. You may hear of churches who frown on men taking part in sports, or fishing. Or the church culture may think only prayer or worship times are where men can grow to be more holy.

This kind of thinking was never in the mind of our Lord Jesus Christ. He never told a person to stop doing unspiritual things. If they were sinning, he told them to stop sinning, of course. But he was not telling people to divide the world into two categories and only do spiritual stuff! Instead, we see him living life abundantly in all areas — even eating and drinking with “unapproved” people.

A holistic thinking man values what the Creator values and pursues what the Creator pursues.

  • Does the Lord value high quality work?
  • Does He value friendship?
  • Does He care about our physical bodies?
  • Does He encourage enjoyment of material blessings?
  • Does He encourage us to rest?
  • Does He want us to have an intimate marriage?
  • Does He want us to spend time loving one another?
  • Does He care about injustice?
  • Does He protect the widow and orphans?
  • Does He want us to enjoy good food?
  • Does He give us freedom to enjoy life?

To all of these questions and more of them the answer is an obvious, “yes!”

Let us renew our thinking and realize that in every square inch of the universe Jesus has already said, “This also belongs to me!”

Let us believe it and live it out in the new freedom of Jesus. And don’t let anyone take away your freedom because your righteousness is not based on works but on the grace of Jesus. This is how we give praise to the Lord in a holistic way.

Brent Hoover

Trailhead Fellowship

The Chinese Christian men’s ministry of LeaderSource

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