"Look, I pray on Sunday, It's what you're supposed to do on church day," Kevin stated. "On Monday, it's business. Don't mess up my life asking me to mix the two."
All I wanted was for him to consider introducing his employees to Faith Notes. Frankly his words stunned me.
Somewhere in his past, Kevin, like many of us, began compartmentalizing his life, his identity. Each compartment has shaped its own version of Kevin. He has become a handful of different people: a churchman, a family man, a businessman, a networker, a public and a private guy. His calendar organizes it all and keeps his identities separate. Some would say he is gifted at it, but the real Kevin, the original Kevin, has gotten lost somewhere among all the copies.
As Kevin walked away, he turned and said, "I'm doing pretty well keeping everything separate and that's the way I like it."
Kevin is actually trying to keep the creator God locked up inside a day called Sunday. That way he gets his religious obligations dealt with early, and he can be whatever he needs to be during the week.
He has become a corporate Kevin playing difference roles as needed, but in the process life has grown more difficult and crowded. Integrity (God's version of Kevin) has vanished. Copies and caricatures complicate everything and peace is an illusion.
But, in defiance, Kevin rocks on. Until ...
Eric had gone to great lengths to make sure that his spiritual world and his fantasy world stayed separate. None of his Christian friends even knew about this club.
"I really wanted a bit of reprieve from my everyday life," Eric confessed. "I just wanted to get away from having to be so 'nice' for a while. I felt I deserved it. After all, I was a full-time student, worked on the side as a waiter, and led a student ministry boasting over 250 people in attendance. Around campus I felt I always needed to live up to the image of being a spiritual leader."
Eric did care deeply for his fellow students; he just wanted some relief from all the pressures. "I wanted the opportunity to live at least an evening without having to measure up to some unattainable standard."
Life was growing complicated and hazardous. He wanted to live a while in his fantasy world, but he also wanted to return from his ventures unscathed and undiscovered.
Eric put it this way…"I smugly rolled over in bed, feeling pretty good about my performance and slightly enjoying the rush that accompanies risks like I was taking. Then I noticed tears in the girl's eyes. 'I thought you were different,' she said."
His carefully conceived plans had failed. His worlds had collided. And with those five words everything changed. Now, he recognized her; she was a new student. In that moment the world unraveled.
Hours later Eric walked into his Pastor's office feeling disillusioned, damaged, and disqualified. After emptying his load of guilt and battling the temptation of minimizing his flaws, he sat there prepared for the worst.
On that day Eric found a path to healing and a mentor to help. As Eric got up to leave Rick said, "God doesn't build a man, Eric, he breaks him."
In the valley of brokenness, Eric found the God of grace who is a master at using valley moments to make people stronger, stronger in the broken places.
Over a number of years, God has helped Eric discover the peace of integrity — learning to be the man God wants in every compartment of life, regardless what other people want.
Your task this week is more complicated than reading a book. It's more challenging than another Bible study group, or more prayer time. Your task, with the help of the Holy Spirit, is to find the real person inside, the one emerging from brokenness.
The point is, brokenness, your brokenness, is the first step on your real-world path to peace.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all–surpassing power is from God and not from us (2 Corinthians 4:6-7 NIV).