Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sacred or Secular?

As I was driving my son to school this morning we started discussing the subject of, for lack of a better term, spiritual time management. The idea is that the more religious (or spiritual, for you progressive Christians out there) activities one takes part in throughout the day the more godly that person is. So, the idea is that if you fill your day with Bible reading and praying and building orphanages (only Christian orphanages!) then you are more holy than the poor schmuck who has to work at a secular job 10 hours a day, and then go home to take care of his family and their needs before squeezing in a few Bible chapters at the end of the day and drifts off to sleep saying his nightly prayers.

The message I was trying to send to my son was that this is wrong. We shouldn't think like this. We shouldn't be dividing our day into two categories; one for religious activities and the other for everything else. There is no biblical precedent for this mindset - at least none I can think of.

Someone who truly loves Christ brings Him along. I know this sounds flippant, but hear me out. I'm not talking about taking Him along like a child would smuggle a stuffed animal on a trip, by cramming it into a backpack or lunchbox. Rather, I envision calling up a close friend to go on a long drive or to take care of some unpleasant business. You do this for company, for help. These kind of friends are the ones you are so close to that you know a 3 hour car ride will feel like minutes, that you won't feel embarrassed when you have to do some menial task in their presence. The Bible says that there's a Friend who sticks closer than a brother. That Friend, for us, is Jesus.

Jesus died on a Roman cross in your place, so what makes you think He stops at the door when you go to work at a retail store, or that He doesn't accompany you when you're plunging a toilet, or that He ever leaves you... EVER?

With this knowledge we should make every effort to erase these lines we draw between the sacred and the secular. For the Christian who really loves his or her Lord there don't need to be any such categories. So, my challenge to you, reader, is this: instead of toiling to make sure the sacred activities outweigh the secular, realize that every activity is sacred and treat them as such. Sacred, sanctified, holy... these words all mean the same thing - set apart for a special reason or purpose. Our lives, our entire lives as followers of Christ, are set apart for a special reason and purpose.

The Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, accompanied by Christ, and observed by the Father every second of every day. For these reasons all that we do, everywhere we go, is in His presence and sight, and therefore should be treated with the same awe and reverence as Moses had at the burning bush.

This knowledge should do two things: First, it should cause us to cut some things out because they just don't fit with a holy life. I'll use myself as an example - Jesus is with me on the I-15. 'Nuff said. Second, it should help us to stop striving to tip the scale of daily activities on the holy side.

Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

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