I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
We humans have a rather silly tendency to compartmentalize our lives.
It would be wonderfully convenient if this tendency were limited to unbelievers; if, for example, we could point our collective finger and laugh at science as it grapples with where the platypus fits into the man-made categories of the animal kingdom. Then we could offer a smug smile when a whole new category is created to house this beast.
But in an honest moment, most of us have to admit that we compartmentalize, too.
We tend to have tidy little sectors of life which we believe do not affect one another. On one hand – our sacred places – we can agree that lying is evil and shake our heads in horror at the appalling falsehoods some government official or celebrity is caught in. A bare minute later, we participate in a little white lie of our own: dishonest reporting for a homeschool year in which the actual days of school fell dismally short of the state-mandated attendance requirement, or a decision to keep the wrong change from some transaction because the balance is in our favor.
Then there’s our holy side again at church on Sunday as we lift our voice to a praise song, one hand raised and tears running down our cheeks. Come next Friday night, we lift the same voice to quite a different song with lyrics that belittle the marriage relationship. Or we lower our voices to a friend as we tear our spouses apart in slander.
We can have a smug criticism for the corruption within Hollywood and yet funnel our dollars into movies and shows which aren’t “that bad,” thus we fund the very corruption we condemn.
My goodness, we really are a ridiculous spectacle when we stop to think of it! But of course, there’s grace to cover all that. No need to worry. Right?
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
In truth, there is no partition between what we say and do inside our worship gatherings and what we say and do in our workweek or our weekend labors or entertainments. If Christ has redeemed us, He has done so completely. We are either all His – or not.
This is not to say we will never stumble. But it is to say we will, by the Spirit of God, be brutally honest with ourselves and not call our conscious choices “stumbles.”
We will not divide up the arena of our lives so that one does not bleed into another. To believe we can even do such a thing is to believe a grave lie.
Instead, we can walk in naked honesty before God and our brothers and sisters in Christ. We can recognize that we are whole beings, and that one part affects the whole. All is sacred for those who are in Christ. All is secular for those who are not.
For those outside, we do not rage but weep. For our fellows on the inside, we are firm against sin but forgiving in love because we have been forgiven in love.
We set our faces against sin everywhere it lurks: in our own hearts, in our families, in the Church. We recognize our ability to choose and hold one another accountable to choose Truth.
Recognizing that we who are in Christ no longer belong to ourselves but to Him, we present our entire being to the Lord Our Righteousness for His good pleasure. Then, together, we rejoice in His Kingdom and His righteousness now and forevermore!
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.
… You are not your own, for you were bought with a price…
(1 Corinthians 6:19b-20a)