Transcend The Categories

Transcend The Categories

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything
in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

We have a tendency, and I am guilty of it too, to compartmentalize our lives. We like to try and separate all of the different things we do into nice neat little categories that have very little overlap. In some ways, this can be a good thing, when – for example – it allows us to leave work at work so that our time with our families is not overtaken by concerns about our careers. Spiritually speaking, though, compartmentalizing our lives is not a great idea. When we try to keep our spiritual life in a nice neat little box, we are missing the point and quite spectacularly.

My kids may try really hard to keep their vegetables and potatoes from getting mixed, but our faith life doesn’t work that way. That part of our selves that we consider to be spiritual is not and cannot be contained. To talk about our “spiritual life” is kind of like attending the school of redundancy school. Our whole life is spiritual. There is nothing you do that is not spiritual, because it involves you, a spiritual being. The nature of spirit is that it cannot be contained or quantified. It permeates everything.

When you are at work, you are a spiritual being at work. When you are at home, you re a spiritual being at home. When you are at church, or the Coney Island, or the golf course, you are a spiritual being at all those places. They do not define you. The spirit that is in you defines you.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Colossae about doing all that they do, whether in word or deed, in the name of Jesus. When you hear preachers talk about being ambassadors for Christ, it is this kind of idea: we carry Christ with us in the world, in everything we say and do. Jesus ascended to heaven and left us in his place, powered by the Holy Spirit; he told us to be his witnesses, to continue to bear his message and image into the world. That means that, when people see us, they should be seeing Jesus. They should be seeing Jesus in us, regardless of where we happen to be. If we are at a baseball game, when people look at us, they should be seeing what Jesus looks like at the baseball game. If our faith is compartmentalized, locked neatly away into a Sunday-morning box, we are failing to be the witness Jesus and the world so desperately need.

As we carry our faith into our whole lives, then, let’s be mindful of the picture of Jesus our words and deeds paint. Think about the story of Jesus your life is telling. Is it accurate? Is it true to the Jesus that you have seen? Everywhere we go and everything we do tells the continuing story of Jesus. We are the first and maybe only glimpse of Jesus those around us may see. Let’s make it a good one.

De-compartmentalizing,
Pastor Mike

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