This originally was posted as a weekly devo on whillschurch.org.
Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest:
There is no such thing as a private life…God divides the private life of His saints and makes it a highway for the world on one hand and for Himself on the other. No human being can stand that unless he is identified with Jesus Christ.
This is the biggest obstacle for anyone who wants to really grow in Christ – the letting go of the fantasy that we have a private life.
Let me clarify a bit. There are parts of life that are not public. Cuddling on the couch with my wife. Listening to one of my kids process failure and hurt. Correcting the selfish behavior of a child. Helping a friend deal with loss. Repenting of my own failures. These are moments that are not public but neither are they private.
There are also conversations and thoughts that I either keep to myself or only share with trusted friends. Why? Some of them could harm other’s walk with Christ. Some of them are just stupid and not ready for public consumption yet.
Most of us think of “private” as this secret place where we can do pretty much what we want with no implications or fall-out in the public realm. That’s the kind of private Oswald was talking about. And that kind of place is called Fantasy Land. It doesn’t exist. That is an impossibility solely based on the way humans are designed. We are a tangled mess of emotion, thought, spirit, and body. What I think effects what I feel effects everything else.
What we do and think in private eventually plays itself out in public anyway. What is IN us will eventually show OUT of us.
The irony of our culture is this – we hear messages every day that tell us that our private life is our private life and it’s different than our public life. We’ll hear so much of this during the upcoming election year – that the private shouldn’t really matter in the public. Yet every reality television show proves different. “The Secret Life of an American Teenager”, Survivor, Jersey Shore,…heck even Basketball Wives blatantly shows us that the private never stays private and it ALWAYS effects the public.
But back to my original point in all of this – if we (Christ-followers) really want to grow in Christ, we have to get it out of our head that we have a private life. Or even that it is our life to begin with.
People who function with private and public departments in their being never become whole. At best, they live scared. Always wondering when the other shoe will drop. At worst, it all comes caving in on them…sometimes in very public ways.
It is a huge place of growth to get to this place of – my life is not my own. I’ve been bought with a price. (1 Corinthians 6:19).
When this happens…we’ll really be in a place to infiltrate.