Dr. Michael Stovall Edit Editweb

By Dr. Michael Stoval, Columnist

Christians tend to separate our lives into the secular and the spiritual. When we do this, we are actually denying God His rightful place as the Sovereign in our lives.  If God is the absolute, sovereign Creator of the universe who has revealed Himself and His absolute truth in the Bible. And if the Bible is sufficient for all of life and godliness, then every issue of life is a spiritual issue because how we respond and conduct ourselves is a direct reflection of the condition of our relationship with God. When my wife and I got married and moved to Wake Forest, NC for me to go to seminary, we moved into a two bedroom apartment. The day we moved in I hooked up our washer and dryer in the hallway laundry closet and started washing the towels and blankets we had used in our move. While the items were washing we were busy moving into our apartment. As I was assembling a bookshelf in the room across from the laundry closet I noticed that the washing machine sounded awfully noisy. I stepped to the laundry closet and began to move the pile of towels aside. When I did, I realized the carpet was soaking wet. What I learned was  I had not secured the water drain hose secure enough to the washing machine. When the machine began the drain cycle the water pushed the hose off the machine and the water was being dumped into the floor.  No big deal, right? Just clean it up and move on. No, I lost my cool. I was frustrated that my mistake was going to cost me more because I now had to get a carpet machine to clean up the mess. I remember having a screwdriver in my hand from where I had been working on the bookshelf and throwing it rather strongly toward the ground. It bounced up and stuck me in the leg. Now this may sound like a funny story, but there I was moving my newly wed bride into our apartment for me to go to seminary and I lost my cool over washing machine water. This was a spiritual issue because I was not reflecting the fruit of the spirit in terms of “joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness and self control.”  I had lost all of those when I reacted in the flesh rather than stopping and asking for God’s help to clean up my silly mess of water. Financial debt is not primarily a money problem. It is a spiritual problem because people have made choices out of their wants rather than their needs and now their debt is crippling their lives. The borrower has become a slave to the lender (Prov 22:7).Marital problems are primarily spiritual issues because marriage, at its core, is for the purpose of glorifying God.     A student who is being lazy with his studies has a spiritual issue because laziness is a lack of self-discipline. This does not mean that God is only glorified when we make straight A’s, but it does mean that if a student has a bad attitude his attitude dishonors God regardless of what his grades look like. The Bible calls laziness “slothfulness.” In athletics winning is not the most important thing. This does not mean that God does not care about how we perform. It means that athletes must determine to glorify God with how they practice, prepare and their attitude on the field. Every issue is a spiritual issue because there is no part of life that is not under God’s control!