To live life with great significance, we must rid ourselves of the notion of a sacred and secular divide.
There are 168 hours in a week. Perhaps 40 of the hours will be spent at work. 56 hours might be spent sleeping– much needed for most. And 3 hours will be spent on Sunday mornings with your MeadowBrook faith family. Life can easily get divided and segmented, but Christians should be reminded that all 168 hours of the week will be spent living as a citizen of the kingdom of God.
Understanding kingdom life and viewing life as a citizen of the kingdom of God will help us to not feel angst as we try to balance our “sacred and secular” lives. Concluding that each of the 168 hours of the week is sacred moves us to live with significant purposes and allows us to have greater kingdom impact.
Every relationship is a relationship for discipleship. From relationships with family, to friends, to co-workers, to neighbors, every relationship is an opportunity to disciple for Christ. Sure, you can have discussions of common interests in news, sports, food, hobbies and thousands of others topics, but the greatest opportunity is not to shape the view of others related to sports, news or other topics. The greatest opportunity is to demonstrate and dialog about life in Jesus Christ and his kingdom. God has given us relationships with various people so that we might influence them with his word and kingdom.
Community is God’s mission field to be harvested. Sports, hobbies, fitness centers, classes, civic organizations, marketplaces and other aspects of life are often thought of as secular activities. They are often good and wholesome places and events, but considered secular by most. Christians who are involved in such activities are well positioned to work the mission field for a kingdom harvest—the fields are sacred.
Careers, jobs and businesses are the means and places of influence that provide unique kingdom of God living among those who live outside God’s kingdom of light. The hours of the week that you spend at work are your largest and greatest potential to influence people with the gospel. If you don’t see the hours of the week that you work as sacred, then you’ll miss out on God’s unique provision for you. Some may say, “My workplace is not God-honoring!” I understand; I’ve worked in such places too. Nevertheless, it is sacred because God’s presence is there with you and God’s light is shining in the midst of the darkness. In fact, the darker it is around you at work, the more brilliant God’s glory in you can be displayed.
Christian homes are more than private houses, they are places to purposefully demonstrate God’s goodness to others. The South has been known for its hospitality, but I am afraid that those days are bygone for many. However, Christians are to see their homes as sacred places to demonstrate God’s love, grace and goodness to family, friends and strangers. Christian homes are sacred houses of worship and houses of prayer. They are to be purposefully dedicated as places of healing and care, places of hospitality and compassion, and places of joy and peace. All of this sacred goodness requires a personal invitation from you to others that they may experience it.
Christian yards are God’s canvas on which he allows us to paint in beautiful creative ways. Perhaps most people wouldn’t think of yardwork as holy work, but it is, and it has been so since the beginning of time. Immediately following the creation of Adam, the Lord God planted a garden in Eden and made trees to spring up that were pleasant to the sight and good for food (Genesis 2:9). Part of God’s goodness to Adam and Eve was his provision of food and the beauty surrounding them. Yard work may be viewed as a drudgery by the culture, but Christians should view it as an opportunity to express God’s goodness and creative beauty. According to Romans 1, God uses creation to make himself generally known, so what is in our care, namely our yards, should reflect him well.
We each have 168 hours in the week. Many people divide the time up, compartmentalizing it as sacred or secular, work or pleasure, time given to others or time for self or in divided in some other way. Christians should view the 168 hours as time purposefully given to us by God. Choosing to live and express life as citizens of the kingdom of God, people who redeem time, will provide great opportunities for others and ourselves.
Let’s spend our time wisely.