March 1: Spiritual Integrity

    Whole numbers are called integers. 

    When I teach my kids math concepts like decimals, fractions, and rounding, we have to establish the difference between whole numbers and parts of numbers.

Fractions are fun when they are edible.

    A whole number is complete in itself. A fraction or decimal is just a part of a number. The kids all enjoy learning about fractions because they are best taught using food- cookies, watermelon, pizza, pies- and everyone knows that half a cookie is better than one sixteenth of a cookie. 

    When you put all the parts together, say sixteen sixteenths, then you have made one whole. Sixteen parts of one cookie add up to one whole cookie. 

    When Jesus taught the greatest commandment, He used the word “all” a lot: “You shall love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind and with ALL your strength.” 

    However, when Jesus used this word, “all,” He was saying whole and complete, making a total which is greater than the mere sum of the parts.

    You can’t just add up all the fractured parts of your heart and make it an ALL to love the Lord with. You can’t find all the splintered pieces of your soul, shuffle them all into an envelope, and hand it over to Him. No. Your all isn’t just the mere sum of parts of you. Actually, there isn’t enough of you (or me) to make a whole anything.

    The truth is we are broken beyond repair. If that’s the truth, then how can we obey the greatest commandment? How can we ever have Spiritual Integrity, wholeness?

    First, we must look at the crumbled pieces that we have and acknowledge the reasons for brokenness. 

    Second, we call for help. We have to see what God can do with what is broken.

    Third, we watch the ‘resurrection power’ of God at work taking the broken pieces to make a unified whole, just as He once took a broken, breathless, deceased body and made it into a Savior who always lives to make intercession for us.

    Finally, we must gaze into the eyes of that Savior who loved the Lord His God with ALL His heart, ALL His Soul, ALL His mind, and ALL His strength. 

    When we find that we have been made spiritually whole, what has God commanded us to do? If I love the Lord with ALL my heart, what will I use my heart for? 

    Our ALL is more than a mere sum of our spiritual parts. You can’t just throw spiritual disciplines into your day like my grandmother threw leftovers into her soup. The Lord is the only One who can bring something out of nothing, and our Spiritual Integrity comes from Him.

Join me beginning tomorrow, March 2nd, as I explore Spiritual Integrity this Lenten Season. We are all looking for wholeness. Let’s find it in Jesus together. 

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