Saturday, January 6, 2007

Ordering Your Private World, Week One

This is the first of a weekly thread related to my adult Sunday morning Bible School class. Anyone, whether in the class or not, is welcome to join in on the comments. The class is based on the book, Ordering Your Private World, by Gordon MacDonald. The hotlink is to a revised, hardcover copy of the book--it is not necessary to own one to be a part of the class. There are also older copies available at Below are the notes I prepared for this week's class.

“In Western culture we produce huge numbers of books to help us organize our work, our calendars, our production schedules, our studies, and our careers. I have not seen much that speaks directly to the question of internal, or spiritual, organization.” (p. 7)

MacDonald notes that the public dimension of life may be pretty-well organized, but there is an inner dimension of the spirit he calls “the private world” which relates to our spiritual life, and he says that the ideal state of this “private world” is order.

Ordering the private world is part of how the indwelling Christ chooses to “abide” in us, and us in Him (John 15:4).

“To bring order to one’s personal life is to invite His (Jesus’) control over every segment of one’s life.” (p. 9)

MacDonald divides his treatment of the “private world” into 5 parts:
1. Our Motivation—are we “driven” or “called?”
2. Our use of Time.
3. The development of our Minds.
4. Our cultivation of a Spiritual Center to our lives.
5. The principle of Sabbath Rest.

NOTE: All of this discussion pre-supposes that the reason we want to order our private worlds is because we already have a relationship with Christ, and that we are seeking to grow in that relationship. Although anyone who stumbles upon this topic online is welcome to get involved, the whole concept doesn’t make very much sense without at least a general acceptance of Christian principles.

FOR THIS WEEK: Think about your general satisfaction (or lack thereof) with the “order” of your life in the five areas MacDonald identifies. What do you hope to get out of the class over the next few weeks?

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