Saturday, June 8, 2013

More on "holity"

I have further thoughts on "holity" that didn't quite fit in the page for it. I originally planned to include these in that page, until I realized it needed to define the word more than anything.

I mentioned not wanting to write just a Christan blog. That's not to diss those who do write Christian blogs. There are reasons why that's not such a great idea for me.


I have to guard against compartmentalizing my life into "spiritual" and "not spiritual." Maybe a lot of Christians do, but it's been such a strong tendency for much of my life that I still find it rearing its ugly head.

I looked for a definition of the word "compartmentalization" and found it's used in psychology, which I didn't know. Wikipedia says: "Compartmentalization is an unconscious psychological defense mechanism used to avoid cognitive dissonance, or the mental discomfort and anxiety caused by a person's having conflicting values, cognitions, emotions, beliefs, etc. within themselves."

I don't think I achieved pathological levels with it, but I think this could describe the nominal and/or weak Christian who does things during the week that they hope no one at church hears about. Yes, that has been me from time to time, of course. And that's a huge reason to guard against it—because compartmentalization can lead to hypocrisy.

On a milder level, though, it can mean merely thinking that there's church/spiritual life and then there's "real life," and that they don't have a lot to do with each other. That my job, my hobbies, my activities during the week, my Facebook wall, my friends outside church, are somehow separate from my spirituality. This is a lot  more insidious and hard to detect, and yet it can probably lead to the hypocrisy I mentioned in the last paragraph.

That's what I want to guard against. It would be too easy to chat about knitting without ever thinking about God. So what's wrong with knitting? Nothing, in and of itself. And yet, I observe some things in the knitting community that I'd like to write about sometime from a spiritual standpoint.

And sometimes I just want to write about knitting, or gardening, or whatever. Like I said on the definition page, it'll be the whole of the blog, ALL the posts, that combined will show who I am (especially after I've been at it a while).

Spiritual vs. Secular

The other swing of the pendulum from compartmentalization is the idea that if you're a Christian, the only thing you should talk about or think about or read or do is overtly Christian ideas, books, activities. Perhaps that's how some people guard against compartmentalization—but that's no reason to go too far in the other direction.

God created the whole world and everything in it. He created our creativity and our intellect and our appreciation for beauty. He created sheep and their wool, and created them so they're better off if they get sheared every spring. That wool is amazingly versatile. We can use it only to keep warm, but how much better if we also use our talents to make warm items that are also beautiful? Part of the "image of God" in us is that he made us creative, like He is.

That's just one example of "holity"... the sort of holistic approach I'm talking about and hoping to achieve.

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