The Sacred and the Secular

“Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the Name of Jesus.” Colossians 3:17 NIV

“The sacred was never meant to be divorced from any part of your life.”

My thoughts today are about “the sacred and secular.”

People seem to compartmentalize daily life into nice and tidy, separate areas such as home, work, play, and church. Life just doesn’t work that way. Isn’t it best when all of those blend together nicely, each contributing and complementing the others? Shouldn’t what you are at home be the same when at work, and couldn’t what you are at church be the same as when at home or play? When you find balance and consistency in all areas of everyday life, you will be the happiest.

The sacred was never meant to be divorced from the rest of your life, nor can you successfully achieve that. It is meant to give meaning and dignity and purpose to all of your life. Wasn’t that the essence of Jesus’ teaching about being lights in the world, shining light where it is most needed and useful? “Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” See Matthew 5:13-16 NLT.

The sacred is meant to positively shape and influence the things people otherwise think of as secular. If not, the secular culture will seize the chance to become the change agent diminishing the effect and depreciating the value of anything that is sacred.

Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, “let it be (done) as a representative of the Lord Jesus.” Colossians 3:17 NLT. Let me suggest some ideas of what it could mean to do everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus. That could mean that what you do is on His behalf – that you are not living for yourself but rather for Him. How would that change what you do and how you do it? “Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people (or yourself).” Colossians 3:23 NLT.

I think that could mean that what you do is under His authority, unwilling to engage yourself in anything not under His authority. Jesus said, “I have given you authority . . to overcome all the power of the enemy, nothing will harm you.” Luke 10:19 NIV. Why would you ever want to do things that are apart from His direction and involvement? What would be the good of it? If God has not authorized it, why waste your life doing it?

I would also suggest that “in the Name of the Lord Jesus” means that what you do is with His partnership. I love this verse about the early disciples’ immediate efforts after Jesus returned to the Father, “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.” Mark 16:20 NKJV. What would your life look like – at home, work, play and church – if Jesus is working with you? What a difference from doing everything always on your own.

Doing everything in the Name of the Lord Jesus has the power to transform the secular into something sacred, and invests the sacred into exactly what would otherwise have been devoid of value and vacantly secular. There is no single moment or activity of your life that Jesus is not willing to be wonderfully included and fully invested. Jesus’ presence makes life sacred.

My prayer for you today is to invite Jesus to be the center of all you say and do.