For me, Ordering Your Private World (OYPW) is one of the best books I have read in the last thirty-years on what it means to live with integrity, authenticity, and openness to the Spirit of God, as a father, husband, pastor and human being.
Warning: Do not read this book if you prefer to live unruffled at the level of mediocrity. OYPW shatters our propensity to live with private and public selves. We spend time propping up the public self for many reasons: it’s good for business; we can create a persona that makes people shower us with accolades, or deep down we are afraid of what people might think if they actually saw us from the inside out.
This explains why many of us ignore the private world—that uncharted region of the soul that no one actually sees—that we don’t even know, except for our Creator. But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7.
Not long ago a young woman told me how surprised she was at the many fans and followers who loved and adored her much-acclaimed father. She later remarked, “I don’t understand why they love him so; he’s a different person at home.”
OYPW helps the reader integrate these often-divergent worlds so that the follower of Christ might be “holy,” in the real and complete sense of the word.
Do not read this book if you are afraid of being challenged in several key areas of your life.
•I’m living at too fast a speed.
•I am awash in too many choices, and I’m not good at saying no.
•I’m overwhelmed by the complexities of my organization.
•I compare myself to other people…and I always feel like I lose.
•I think that technology and talent can solve my problems, but they can’t.
•I am tempted to think that all I have to do is preach to people and they come around.
•I have not expected the force of the anti-faith culture I’m living in.
•I am not seeking times of deep reverence, prayer, in the presence of Jesus.
•I fritter away my time on things that do not matter in the eyes of God.
•I live with self-pity instead of dwelling in the full and rich grace of God.
•I want to stop living with secrets, lies, and fears.
But do read this book if you are interested in growing in grace and in the knowledge of Christ.
Do read this book if you are ready to live a life with significance and steward the time you have on this earth.
If you are a pastor, parent, man, woman, teenager, believer, unbeliever, or just a person seeking to harness your gifts, your time, your energy in full-hearted devotion to Christ, then this is the book to read or in some cases, re-read.
What’s your greatest challenge in ordering your inner private life with your outer public life?