Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Three-Legged Stool

My vocation is that of a credit analyst and an adjunct faculty member teaching financial fundamentals to managers.  When I began my career learning how to interpret financial health one of the “salty dogs” used the analogy of the three-legged stool.  Basically, the stability of this particular stool is dependent upon each of the legs.  Arguing over which leg is most important is superfluous because they are all equally important.  In the realm of discerning financial health I am concerned with the balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flows.  If one is off, the stool gets rickety.  Our personal lives have a similar analogy.
May your whole spirt, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; we are encouraged by the Apostle Paul.  Prior to this he also informs us that God sets us apart.  So we have a part and God has a part.  We can’t make ourselves holy.  We’ve been trying for centuries it inevitably devolves into legalism and works.  So what’s a brother (or sister) to do?
Spiritual disciplines – We must change the way we think about prayer, reading the word, and worshiping.  It’s not a time-bound exercise.  It’s an opening of our spirit to the realm of the Holy Spirit.  Don’t be adamant about “getting your time in” but don’t be lazy either.  We all have many things competing for our time and we must take control of it and do things that have the best return on investment. 
I’m a Soul Man – I’ve heard people say when a person becomes a Christian they throw out their brain.  I know that might sound harsh but there is a ring of truth to it.  I’ve heard others say, “they are so heavenly minded they are no earthly good.”  For many centuries the church was the epicenter of thought, philsophy, art, music, architecture, and science.  Somehow, someway we lost our way and facilitated the usurping of wisdom and knowledge from the church.  Our learning cannot be limited to “renewing the mind with the word” there is too much knowledge available for us to take this lazy shortcut.  Let's once again be the center of it all.  God created it - let's manage it.
Temple of the Holy Ghost - Don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do you do? Many Christians over eat, drink tons of coffee, get fat and die way too early. We think nothing about eating seconds and thirds of food we know is bad for us and pass out in a food coma and laugh about it.   We criticize and judge others that drink and pass out.  It’s time for judment to begin at the house of God.  Thomas Acquinas in Summa Theologica does a masterful job of explaining why gluttony is sinful.  We pray for healing and miracles and yet commit incremental suicide by fork and spoon. 
When any of these three areas are out of balance our entire lives are out of kilter.  Many Christians are super spirtual but couldn’t care less about education beyond Sunday school or Bible College.  One doesn’t need an extra degree but could easily read something that stimulates them intellectually. 
Our health is our responsibility.  We need to eat more like Daniel and less like Herod.  Let’s bring our lives into balance and preserve our whole spirt, soul and body and be blamess.  Let’s honor God on all three levels of our being – spirit, soul, and body.

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