What sort of projects do you enjoy? House repair or building? Painting? Doing a new garden this year? Planning a big event? Is it something you are looking forward to, or are you pushed into it due to circumstances? Where do you start? Do you start a garden mid-season? Do you just pick a weekend for redoing the roof on your house, or do you consider the weather, the season and risk of leakage due to rain or snow? Do you plan a partial project or is your vision for the whole project?
If you are doing a remodel on your house, the likelihood is that before any blue prints are put into place you have been thinking, envisioning, talking to others, dare we even say – dreaming. Then comes the plans. You talk it out, flesh out the details, get professionals involved and finally the blueprints are designed. Even then there will be tweaking of the details, sometimes all the way through the project. Regardless, you don’t do it without a plan, even if it is a simple (and possibly flawed) plan.
That being said, because you have a plan in place doesn’t mean that the follow through of the plan will go exactly as you want it to. Some of the builders may not be the best. For that matter, some of them may not show up to work on time, may not be reliable, and in some cases, will need to be replaced. Unfortunately, there are also those time when the started work might have been done incorrectly and will need to be redone by someone else.
When it comes to a remodel or a brand new build, once the physical work actually begins, only parts and pieces are worked on at a given time. You can’t do the framing and the painting at the same time. There is a process and an order to what area or areas are worked on first, second, etc. The same is true with a garden. You don’t plant the seeds before turning over the soil, considering the light and shade, the animals that may want to grab a quick meal, and the weather. When you are planning a big event, you don’t print the tickets before selecting the dates and venue, or before you have a planned purpose and the hope of the outcome.
We could keep going with these analogies now, but let’s dig a little deeper. Are you ready? Do you have a project in mind?
What if the project is you?
What if you and I are a project in and of ourselves? Meaning, we are on a journey, a life journey. We have goals and possibly even a direction, but do they match? What’s the plan? Have you even considered a plan? And how do you get the details in place? Better yet, do you care? Does God?
In doing a remodel or planning a garden, you have to consider the current conditions; What kind of structure do you have or what kind of soil or area is available. The same thing applies to working on yourself. You need to be real about who you are right now. What are your “current conditions?”
We are going to look at ourselves, each one of us as “The Whole Project” and take time to look carefully at who we are in the world and who we are in Christ.
Whole means complete; entire, full or total. It is all of; entire. In an unbroken, undamaged, or uninjured state. Healthy; a thing [person] that is complete in itself. Containing all the part or elements of a thing which are viewed as one. Undivided. Complete in itself and as a whole considered altogether; completely.
So we have the WHOLE pie. The WHOLE game. The WHOLE enchilada!! And you, the WHOLE person, the focus of The WHOLE Project.
Like the body of Christ is one whole working unit – (1 Cor. 12:12) so are you and I – (Luke 10:27). As an individual person, we are one body, soul and spirit and we have been given a mind of our very own. We are different parts working as one, individually and collectively.
Let’s go a little deeper. There are multiple parts of you. Not just your physical “you”, arms and legs, organs, head, fingers and toes, but the what and who you are as a whole. So you are a body (physical), but you are also mental (meaning you can think and you have a mind). You are emotional (having feelings and fluctuating emotions), but you also have your spirit and a spirituality about you that is distinctly yours. Your being also has a social aspect (we operate in relationships and daily interact with others). The final piece is that we live in a world filled with other people, family, culture, media and entertainment. So we have an environment we live in and around which impacts us; how we live, act, feel and make decisions. The environment becomes our influencer.
If you are like us, you probably tend to try to work on everything, or at least the end result, all at once. Our view is simply towards getting finished. We work, often diligently, with eyes fixed on the final part instead of finding out what you need to start with and how to proceed in order to get to the end of the planned project. If it is physical, you do crunches first instead of changing your diet and finding ways to burn more calories to try and get those abs to show. If it is mental, you try to act like what you want to act like without taking the steps to change your thinking first. And if it is spiritual, you try to change the outside before letting the inside be changed first.
Our society is coming out of a couple of decades of teaching on purity that have not sat well with everyone. We have seen it done appropriately as well as being a liiiii-ttle bit over zealous. Some people have been encouraged while others have been hurt and offended. Some have felt like they were outside of the group because they were feeling like their purity is gone so therefore the thinking comes in; 1) I must not belong here because I’m not pure, and 2) a separation takes places because we are only looking at physical (sexual) purity, but not purity as a whole.
Today, purity is considered an ugly word. Dare we even say, “dirty”. It’s unwanted. From our perspective of having been teaching purity in relationships for close to 15 years, we definitely can see that there has been a shift. There is a shift in cultural thinking and now we need to shift our approach to a new perspective. But does that mean we stop talking about purity? Do we need to be afraid of it? Nope. No way!! Our hearts can’t do that because we know the need. We have seen the changes in lives and we have experienced the redemption. Still, since our culture today has a skewed view of what purity is (the thinking that it’s based and focused mostly on our physical sexuality,) and also that if your not a virgin then your not pure, but everything else about you doesn’t matter, we have to look at ourself as a whole, and see purity as not just sex.
Dr. Juli Slattery has an insightful and eye opening new book called, “Rethinking Sexuality”. As we have read this book, we have found ourselves doing a lot of head nodding and sharing different sections together. The conflict that we have seen developing in the past few years is very well laid out by her words and expertise. One of the main concepts of the book is that we are ALL sexually broken. All of us. Same boat. Me. You. Your neighbor. The people at the grocery store. Everyone who goes to church along with everyone who would never even consider stepping inside one. We are all sexually broken. We are all “impure”.
What a freeing revelation to see that in print, to know that we are not crazy in our thinking and we are refueled and recharged to speak truth in love. So while we feel deep within our beings that we are on a journey towards purity and to lead others in that very direction, we want to make sure that we never lose sight of the big picture. Let’s journey together.
Have you felt that your choices, or choices of others against you have robbed you of your purity? Do you feel like a lost cause when it comes to living pure? Do you give in to things you don’t want to because you have given up on your purity? Then join us as we go through the Whole Project. Because we are all impure already, how can we live pure lives? That is what the Whole Project answers. It provides you with a plan that will help you recognize where you are at now and give you a goal including the steps towards that goal of living pure.
Everything we do needs a plan…what’s yours?