Do You Have Spiritual Schizophrenia?

Do You Have Spiritual Schizophrenia?

Consider the following story of a Spiritually Schizophrenic manager.

He desperately wanted to have a life with more meaning and broader impact. He deeply desired to invest his life doing something that mattered most to God and assumed that this meant that God was callinghim to serve more inhis church, perhaps even as a staff member, helping to fulfill his church’s mission.

At that point one of his colleagues hit him with a barrage of questions:

  • “Tell me about your work–what has God been doing in your life Monday through Friday?”
  • “Who have you been influencing?”
  • “Have you ever considered that maybe God has plans for you in the workplace? Ministry plans through your job?”

The CEO responded, “Huh, well, I…I guess I haven’t ever thought of my actual ‘work’ in terms of mission or ministry before.”

Clarifying Spiritual Schizophrenia

A doctor would describe Schizophrenia as a psychological disorder which causes a person to have a split between the rational and emotional parts of the brain. The word “schizophrenia” comes from two Greek words, which literally translated means, “to split the mind.”

The CEO in the above story is a classic example of spiritual schizophrenia. He had a disconnect in his thinking, putting God/ministry and work/business in two separate compartments.

The Cause of S.S.

Spiritual Schizophrenia is an increasing epidemic. It is caused by a short circuit in our thinking that tells us that our work/business life is not spiritual and should be kept separate from God, our faith and our ministry. This condition has gone viral and has infected countless believers in their work life, essentially causing them to shut God off and live as Atheists during their work week.

The consequences are severe: a lack of enjoyment, instead of living for God 24/7; a dissatisfactionwith work; hypocrisy, which causes many people to reject Christianity, and the increased secularization of the work world, turning more and more toward selfish and destructive ends, to name a few.

The Cure for S.S.

The cure,as with many disorders and epidemics, begins with a huge shift in our thinking. As Christians and leaders “in” our work, we MUST BELIEVE…

1. Everything in the World is His. (Doesn’t that include our work?)
“…all things were created by Him and for Him.” (Col. 1:16b)
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it…” (Psalm 24:1)

2. Everything Has Intrinsic Value and are Acts of Worship if Done for God’s Glory.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31)
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…” (Col. 3:23)

3.We are All in the Ministry. (Whether Pastor, Plumber or a Consulting Firm CEO)
“All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…”(2 Cor. 5:18)

So, what do you think? Do you have any spiritual schizophrenic tendencies? Maybe the followingdiagnostic questions will help:

1. Do I behave one way at work and another way at home or church?
2. Do I rarely think about God at work?
3. Do I think that work is cursed or is just my job, or business?
4. Do I think pastors or missionaries are more blessed than I am?
5. Do I feel that my work does not matter to God and has little spiritual value?

Oh, by the way, the CEO I mentioned above? His name is Doug Spada and he is now the Founder & CEO of a ministry called WORKLIFE. KWM is partnering with WORKLIFE to help equip and empower leaders by providing you with resources to live more freely, avoiding the short circuits that can disconnect your faith in Christ from your work and ministry.

Content excerpted from Monday Morning Atheist, published by WorkLife Press.

Written by Dan Anderson, President and CEO of Kingdom Way Ministries. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Content distributed by WorkLife.org > used for non-profit teaching purposes only.

7 comments (Add your own)

1. Pamela wrote:
I found the book : " The practice of the presence of God" by Brother Lawrence, incredibly helpful in simplifying how to go about being in God's presence at all times. Thus avoiding spiritual schizophrenia. This issue is very prevalent in our world today, and i am glad this topic was brought up

Tue, November 4, 2014 @ 2:26 AM

2. Munyane wrote:
This message is relevant & on time for me. It's an answer from God. I was detesting my work, feeling that it's standing in my way for working for God. I was continually procrastinating & tense about my projects. But was on time for ministry duties. Now I realize how wrong I was.
Thank you

Tue, November 4, 2014 @ 11:15 PM

3. wrote:
This very thing hit me when I was trying to find purpose in my life and do something for the Lord. I am a mail carrier and I used to feel like I spent so much time at work or on the street delivering mail, that I would never amount to anything in God's eyes. Then one day, I spoke with a Christian customer of mine and she said something that never left me. She said, "What a great ministry you have as a mail carrier." It was as if the Lord said it to me Himself. From that day on, I didn't worry so much about doing things that the Lord didn't call me to do. There is no shortage of people who need prayer on my route or even in the office. God is good.

Wed, November 12, 2014 @ 12:30 PM

4. steve j wrote:
ok - so the ending threw me a curve here. i have often thought that full-time ... big-time ... big-numbers ... ministry was the ultimate way to serve God. ifonly i had the faith/guts/willingness to walk away from a 9-5 work-a-day job and accept the call into the real deal ... then ... then ... i could really serve The Lord. this story had me going - ok ... hmmm ... maybe that is not so true ... maybe i can ... at 59 years old - serve The Lord in an effective way right here in my professional world amongst all sorts of characters. maybe i can server God MORE in this environment than as a minister. and just as i am assuming that the guy in the story did this very thing and is going to tell us about it ... SLAM! ... he leaves the work world and starts a full-time ministry !

"Doug Spada and he is now the Founder & CEO of a ministry called WORKLIFE."

Doesn't the ending of this story rather negate the jist of the story itself ? Tell me about the guy who had this epiphany ... and stayed in.
Actually - I am that guy. I tried to leave - many times - and tried to be an ordained minister - and tried to hear a call into full-time ministery ... but it never happened. And i am just now accepting this as a major success ... a call ... an opportunity ... to talk to walk daily with ... atheist, agnostics, wanderers, seekers, believers, those of other beliefs ... and i now see this as exciting and rewarding ... challenging ... dangerous ... and just plain fun. All that - without starting a formal Ministry. Who knew ?

But best of luck to Doug anyway ...

-sj

Thu, March 19, 2015 @ 11:30 AM

5. Tracey wrote:
The counselor in me cringes at that article and the use of schizophrenia as the basis. It's like saying someone is OCD about wrapping presents correctly. It dilutes the real disorder.

Thu, March 19, 2015 @ 2:58 PM

6. Amanda wrote:
Although we need to behave like Christians at work and be and show Jesus, we do need to be careful that we dont consider work to be 'doing for God'. Man is condemned to work each day - this is not their ministry. Their ministry or gift is to build the Church and, alhough this might help you at work, it has a function within the body. Too many people ignore the church, don't keep a sabbath and say their work is for God!

Sat, March 21, 2015 @ 1:32 PM

7. Eli wrote:
This quote from Buddhist teacher Dhyani Ywahoo is relevant:

To see our work as prayer, and as an opportunityto bring forth a truth,is a great gift.

To know that even the busy world is a holy world, is quite a change of heart.

Mon, April 13, 2015 @ 2:02 PM

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