I lived in a small upstairs apartment. Actually, this apartment was part of a large house. It had its own outside entrance and was not a bad situation. The owners of the apartment, an older man and his wife, lived below. They had long been retired and now made a little money by renting out this apartment. I didn’t know much about this couple. I did know they were Christians. They were a part of a church of the same tribe as myself. These people were there twice on Sunday and Wednesday evenings.
I had finished school within the previous six months. I was still single, somewhere between college and the rest of life.
A couple of friends came to visit me one weekend. Both of these guys stayed in the apartment over the weekend. One was on the couch and the other in a sleeping bag. These were great guys and longtime friends. We all had a great weekend together.
Monday morning, I left the apartment to get into my car. There on the windshield was a note. The note was from the landlord telling me that I was to vacate his apartment in two weeks. "It is not working out."
I was stunned. "Not working out?" That afternoon, I went to the man’s house to talk with him. He appeared to be very nervous. He finally said that the reason I would have to move out is because one of the friends who had visited me that weekend was black. "What? I’m not sure I understand" was my reply. I went on to say something like, "How can you do this? You are asking me to leave because one of these guys is black? I don’t get this. My friend is a former student at Pepperdine University and has preached in a number of churches. He’s a great guy. What I really don’t understand is that you are a Christian."
His reply? "That has nothing to do with this. That is church. This is business."
I left his house that day feeling angry.
Years later, I have a different reaction. Oh it still makes me angry to think about this. However, what has my attention now is the disconnect of this man between Sunday and Monday morning. This has my attention because I have seen how easy it is to do the same thing this man did almost thirty years ago. It is so easy to behave in ways that contradict one another. It is easy to be in church on Sunday morning and then act in a way that is foreign to what we talked about that morning.
The truth is that at the center of my life is my life with God. Out of this center, I live. This center impacts the other dimensions of my life which are very important as well. I am an emotional being, a relational being, a physical being, etc. I am a man, father, husband, minister, friend, citizen, etc. The center of my life, God, is to impact all of these areas as well.
The disconnect is dangerous. Without that center that impacts every other dimension of our lives, our faith is thin and fails to inform and shape the rest of our lives.
What is the most blatant disconnect that you have seen?