Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Our lives often feel fragmented. We feel fragmented when work takes precedent over other priorities like our faith and family. We feel fragmented when we are spending time with our children, but our minds keep wandering to the ten other responsibilities that we have to meet. We feel fragmented when we desire to follow Jesus, yet life continues to prevent us from giving him a total commitment.

Being fragmented reminds us that we are not living healthy and whole lives. A fragmented life is the normal way for people to live, and that is why most people do not see it as a problem, but it is not the way God created us to live. God created us to live an integrated life. An integrated life is a life that allows us to enjoy the moment and meet our responsibilities. It allows us to say “No” to good things, so we can say “Yes” to the priorities of our lives. An integrated life is infused with joy, hope, peace, and love.

The integration of our lives can only happen as we surrender our lives in faith to Jesus Christ. When we live by faith, Jesus heals our hearts and minds, which allow our us to make choices that result in a life that is integrated with faith, hope, and love. An integrated life is the result of surrendering our lives to God.

The ideal of the spiritual life in the Christian understanding is one where all of the essential parts of the human self are effectively organized around God, as they are restored and sustained by him.

Spiritual formation in Christ is the process leading to that ideal end, and its result is love of God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength, and of the neighbor as oneself. The human self is then fully integrated under God.

Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart, p. 31

We stop being fragmented and become whole through the process of spiritual formation. This is something that we need to be intentional about doing. Wholeness doesn’t magically occur in our lives after we are baptized and become a Christian. That is the mere starting point. Spiritual formation happens as we live by faith and intentionally do things that lead us to live like Jesus.


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