Secular and Sacred
A library in Massachusetts posted a picture of a Chuck E. Cheese token with the following caption.
"This summer we've had a surge of folks attempting to pay fines and printing fees with tokens. Since they are not legal tender, we cannot accept them."
It's like trying to pay rent with Monopoly money. Some things have value in a game, but they won't work in the real world.
Sometimes faith feels like it works in the spiritual world but not in the real world.
I believe, but I have bills.
I pray, but I've got to pay.
I worship on Sunday, but I have to work on Monday.
Our Separation of Secular and Sacred
When faith feels like it doesn't work well in the real world, we separate the secular (regular life stuff) from the sacred (God stuff).
The Bible sees no separation between the two.
In an interesting passage about navigating spiritual decisions in real-world situations, Paul bookends his instruction with two critical observations.
For "the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof." So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:26, 31
Biblically speaking, we can't separate secular and sacred. It's all the same world.
I had a college professor that would often say, "Everywhere the Christian goes is sacred." His statement was an application of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
You have a body. But it is God's.
You have bills. But it's all the Lord's.
You have to work. But when you do it "as unto the Lord" even work is an act of worship.
You Need to Know
Know who you are. "I am redeemed by the Son of God, filled by the Holy Spirit of God, set apart for the glory of God."
Know whose you are. "I am a saint of God. I am a servant of God. I am sealed by the Spirit of God."
Know where you are. "I am in the world God created. I am in the will God predestined. I am doing the work God provided."
The only place that the secular and the sacred are separated is in our minds. Holy Spirit-filled Christians have the unique opportunity to see the world as it is; spiritual and physical.
In all we have to do (pay bills, go to work) we realize that's not all there is and that ultimately none of it is ours. Our world is created by Him (John 1:3), through Him, and it is all for Him (Col. 1:16).
We do physical things by employing Spiritual power.
We apply the wisdom of God's Word every day at work.
We pay, AND we pray for God's provision.
We have bills, but we see God's blessings.
There is no separation between secular and sacred for those who walk in the Spirit.
Bible Study and Challenge
Read 1 Corinthians 10:23-33.
- Do some research of this passage using a Bible resource tool. Here is a link to a helpful article.
- Make a list of principles from the passage. Apply them.
- Make a list of commands from the passage. Obey them.
Go through your day today and work on your awareness of the presence of God in all things. Seek His wisdom in uncertain circumstances. Apply His Word in difficult situations. Praise Him for beautiful and excellent things you see throughout the day. Where there is a need, pray about it. How does it change your approach to the day to practice the presence of God?