One of the most unhelpful ways to approach your life is by dividing it into two parts: your secular life and your sacred life. When we do this, we define our secular life with things like eating, drinking, watching sports, TV or movies, exercise, going to the park, etc.
Then, we define our sacred life with things like attending church, serving our family, reading our Bible, prayer, going on missions’ trips, etc.
Thus, everything in our life ends up in one of two categories. Instead of a unified life, we end up with a divided life. Our lives get compartmentalized, and we end up teaching ourselves there is a time to be serious about God and there are times to “take a break” from Him – almost like hypocrisy where we behave worldly at times and godly at others.
A.W Tozer, in his book The Pursuit of God, explains the needless dilemma of living with these two compartments, “Most Christians are caught in its trap. They cannot get a satisfactory adjustment between the claims of the two worlds. They try to walk the tightrope between two kingdoms and they find no peace in either. Their strength is reduced, their outlook confused and their joy taken from them. I believe this state of affairs to be unwholly necessary. We have gotten ourselves on the horns of a dilemma, true enough, but the dilemma is not real. It is a creature of misunderstanding. The sacred-secular antithesis has no foundation in the New Testament (The Pursuit of God, pg. 170).”
There is no scared and secular. It is all sacred, because even eating and drinking is an act of worship (I Corinthians 10:31). This doesn’t mean that everything you do has equal value. Eating a hot dog and proclaiming the Gospel does not carry the same spiritual value.
I can remember being asked as a teenager to come up with a list of priorities and then committing myself to them in order of importance. So, my list looked something like this
A priority list like this one is not helpful and can’t be reconciled with the concept of God being th object of worship in all things. When you have a priority list like this one with God at the top, you suggest to yourself that #2-#5 can be fulfilled without God’s guidance.
Instead of priority listing, why not a pie-chart where God is in the middle? It should be that God is 1st in my church and God is 1st in my family and God is 1st in my school and God is 1st in my friendships. That is I Corinthians 10:31. Paul is saying worshipping God should be in every activity in life.
The most “mundane” activities as we see them – eating and drinking – are redeemable activities for worship. A person is in a constant state of either honoring or dishonoring God. You cannot be living another way; your life either pleases Him or displeases Him (Colossians 3:17). How does one glorify God? Well, that question has 1,000 answers! We can glorify God by loving Him supremely above all others; we can glorify God by trusting Him when things are rosy or dark; we can glorify God by always expressing thanks to Him for the grace in our life; we can glorify God by obeying His Word with passion and pleasure.
John Hannah uses the illustration of a forest to answer this question. He says that when we are unsaved, our lives are like a forest with dense vegetation, vines and weeds. If you were to get a bird’s eye view of what you see, there would be no clearing or no end in sight. The vines and weeds represent the sin(s) that so easily entangle us. When Christ comes into our lives and gives us the ability to become holy, we are able to finally defeat sin. Holiness kills off sin. So now, if you got a bird’s eye view of our lives, you would see clearings.
You want to know how to bring God glory? Clear the weeds and vines out of the jungle.