Possibly one of the hardest challenges for the modern-day 1st world Christian is to stop compartmentalising his/her life. By that, I mean that we live a Christ-like way of life within our comfortable circle of church friends. And the minute we step away from the comfort of those brothers and sisters, we enter into the world without the same boldness that we have amongst our church friends. Why do we do that?
Inherently, I suspect it is our fear of rejection.
Humans are built to be in community, regardless on where you land on the extro-intro-version scale. Isolation and abandonment is the one of the worst forms punishment. Hence why we fear rejection and isolation. And in this modern, secular world (or city that I) that we live in, being outwardly Christian may mean you risk the abandonment or isolation.
Personally, I haven’t experienced much ‘abandonment’ per se. That would be a strong word to use. However, have I been faced with awkward situations where my faith has been questioned and I was compelled to stand on the opposing side of a spiritual view with a good friend? Most definitely.
Did that make me uncomfortable? Absolutely.
Did I fear judgement from my friends who do not follow Jesus, even though I know the only judgement I should fear is God’s? (Especially those who are like, “Comon’, Jo. You? Christian?”) Yup, sometimes I still do.
Did that make me waver and live a ‘compartmentalised’ life, where I only speak of the Gospel to my family in Christ whom I am comfortable with? Yes. Often.
Nonetheless, over time that ‘often‘ became a constant nemisis and shame for me . Openly taking up Holy Yoga as ministry work has been a huge step forward for me. As a results of this,I have observed five important phenomenons:
1. With practise comes more strength and steadfastness
By living out Word and Deed in every aspect of your life through God, He powers you with strength. By law of the 10 thousand hour rule; by practising, it gets easier. There is absolutely NO reason to live a compartmentalised life. Do it afraid and with courage from Him.
“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel because it is by the power of God that brings salvation to those who believe, first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles.” Romans 1:16-17
2. People can’t actually repel Christ-likeness. So, don’t be discouraged to live out Word and Deed.
What I’ve learnt over the years is the Truth of salvation. Jesus’ teachings cannot be faulted. If only I can be more like Him! People love Jesus-like people. People are just attracted to kind, compassionate, loving, patience people. Folks, why would we be afraid to live out a life that others love and frankly, need?
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:1-2 NIV
3. Good friends will appreciate that you practise what you preach. There is no false pretence.
One of the worst things you can do IS TO COMPARTMENTALISE your life. Either you believe you have been saved by Grace and live it out in joy or you don’t. It is counter productive to be selective in who you rejoice with. Live it out! Spread the Good News!
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.” ~Ephesians 4:3-7 NIV
4. Your non-Christian friends will respect you and come to an acceptance. (so long as you remember that you don’t dial the call from God! They will be called in His time. Don’t annoy your friends by playing God. Just pray for them.)
“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” ~ Romans 2:1 NIV
5. When all of the above is established and becomes the norm, there will be a sense of true liberation. Pleasing God is a command and He will protect us on our journey. Stop compartmentalising your Christian life today! Make your every day a ministry life.
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” ~Galatians 5:1 ESV
May this encourage you to seek Him. It’s not an easy road but it is a joyous and deserving one. The gift of salvation is precious. Be thankful.
Be. Very. Thankful.