When you hear the words sacred or holy what comes to mind? Generally, when people talk about something being sacred they are contrasting it with other things which are assumed to be secular. For instance, we use the term sacred music to refer to music with religious content. We talk about sacred literature such as the Bible or the Quran. We talk about certain places such as churches and synagogues as being sacred places. And we consider some days (Sunday, Christmas, or Easter) as more sacred than other days. At first blush, all this sounds fine. What’s wrong with looking at some things as more sacred than others? Well, for the Christian, this view has one major problem with it. It is destructive to our spiritual lives. What do I mean?
The problem with this sacred/secular dichotomy lies in the fact that as soon as you label certain things as being sacred or spiritual or holy, you relegate everything else to a box called secular. And, of course, if something is secular we assume that God has no interest in it. So, we end up compartmentalizing our lives. We make sure we do sacred things like go to church, read our Bible, and pray. But then we think that frees us up to do what we want in our so-called secular lives. For example, unless I’m a priest or a minister or a rabbi, surely God doesn’t care how I do my job. After all, that’s secular stuff, right? And God wouldn’t care about the books I read or the movies I watch or other things I do with my free time, would he, as long as I’m giving Him His due in the sacred realm? And if I’m fudging a little bit on my income tax God will look the other way because, after all, I do put money in the offering plate.
Do you see what I’m getting at with this? As soon as we label some things as sacred and others as secular it frees us up to think that God only cares about the sacred. And we end up doing things that will cripple our walk with God. In contrast to this view is the teaching of the New Testament. The New Testament is clear and unequivocal. For the Christian, there is no such thing as a secular life. All of life is sacred and, as such, God is concerned about all of life. Of course God cares if you go to church and pray and read the Bible. But He is just as concerned about how you do your job, how you spend your money, and what you do with your free time. There is nothing—absolutely nothing—that is outside of God’s care and concern. A believer is not a Christian one day a week but seven days a week. That’s why Paul told the Corinthian Christians, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). The great 17th century saint, Brother Lawrence, followed Paul’s admonition to the letter. Brother Lawrence once said that even when he fried an egg he did so to the glory of God. I used to wonder how one could fry an egg to God’s glory. But when one recognizes that an egg is a gift from God given to meet our nutritional needs, could anything be more natural than to eat it to the glory of God?
So, what would happen if you began to look on all of life as sacred? What would change if you did your job to the glory of God? What would be different if you looked on your leisure time as sacred? How would it change your most intimate relationships to see them as spiritual? Try an experiment—try treating all of life as sacred for just one week and see the difference it makes in your life. Take God out of church and bring Him with you wherever you go. It will change your life!