A Divided Heart Creates a Compartmentalized Spiritual Life

Psalm 86:11

Teach me your way, Lord,
    that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
    that I may fear your name.

Years ago I sat in church and listened to my pastor give a message on compartmentalizing our life (See Pastor Rocky, I listened). He had a chest of drawers sitting on stage as a prop and showed us how we compartmentalize our life. One drawer was the “work” drawer. Another was the “Family” drawer. Again, another was “friends” drawer and a “church” drawer and lastly “hobbies” drawer. In each drawer there were compartments as well.

What he was implying was that in every area of our life, we determine who we are and how we will act making us different when we’re in different places among different people. We don’t act the same when we’re with our friends as we do when we’re in the house with our family. We don’t behave the same when we are at work as we would when we are at church. We create compartments in our life and each compartment experiences a different us.

Maybe I remembered this message so well because I recognized the compartments in my life at the time. How I was on stage was not how I was in the home, how I was at the rodeo was not how I was in church, how I was at work was not how I was around my small group.

But God never created us to have a divided heart. In fact, just the opposite, I would say. He expects our lives to be centered around him and by doing so, his Spirit in us is an overflowing into all the other compartments in our life.  Notice how the psalmist writes it. “…give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name.” We Christians tend to have a healthy fear of God on Sundays but what about Monday morning when we’re cussing the sun or the Saturday night when we’re “living it up.” Hardly is there every a fear of God in those compartments of life. I would dare say because either God is not part of those moments or we’re not sensitive to His spirit in those moments.

Proverbs 9:10 says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” I would imagine God desires for us to have a fear, a reverent fear, not a fleeing type of fear, a fear that knows our place in creation. When we begin to fear the LORD then our compartments will become God-centered and our hearts will be undivided. We will be the same person regardless of where our feet take us because we are living a God-centered life in every aspect.

I challenge you to pray for discernment and ask God to show you where your heart is divided. When He shows you, begin letting the Spirit overflow into every compartment of your life.


About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged

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