A few years ago I was given a very helpful illustration to help me understand the way all the areas of my life are connected. A friend explained to me that my life was like a house, with many rooms representing the areas of life such as work, home, family, friendships, hobbies, etc.
I have a tendency is to look at all of these areas and think of them as autonomous unto themselves, having no relationship to the others whatsoever. This is common in men, the ability to section off areas of life into neat little boxes (I think it’s been said that men are waffles, women are spaghetti). Men like to think that who we are at work doesn’t really have anything to do with who we are at home. After all, they are completely different rooms, we reason. But of course we are wrong. It’s all connected.
Using this illustration of a house, let’s say we start a fire in the living room. We would never reason that the rest of the house was safe because it was just the living room that was on fire. In order to save the house, we would hastily move to put out the fire no matter where it was.
The point is that every area of our lives is connected because we are who we are everywhere we go. We are foolish to believe otherwise. Who I am at work will affect who I am as a husband. Who I am in private will affect who I am around other people. It is simply a fact of life that you are who you are, as sure as objects affected by gravity will fall. As I said before if you are a man and have a tendency toward absolutes, you will be challenged by this, I know I am. The funny thing is that I think I am fooling everyone about who I really am or how I really feel about something. But the truth is that most people can see me better than I think.
After getting this illustration I understood integrity a little better. I made a decision to always strive to be a person who held the same standards of honoring God in every room of the house.
How about you? Are there any rooms that are on fire in your life? If you don’t put out the fire, your whole life will eventually be a pile of ashes.