…or all of life is sacred.
Last night I spoke at an event called, “The Merge: Where faith, culture, and art meets.” For just a few minutes I spoke about the reality that all of life for the person of faith is sacred. This was in the context of being a person of faith in the public forum.
As the conversation after the talk developed it ceased to be a discussion about living life as a sacred whole and became a discussion about how Christians have conversations with non-Christians. It almost felt like a sales seminar. I have been thinking about this response to the talk (and my attempted questions after) trying to discern why this is what happened.
I think it is because people of faith in America, particularly evangelicals, have lost their sense of identity. We struggle to understand that living as a Christ-follower is to live this way,
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
We have come to believe that to “do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus” means that we must include some sort of gospel speech. But that’s not it. It is first to understand that all of life is sacred. All of life, every aspect of life is sacred space and time. Working, playing, sleeping, studying, it is all sacred.
Second, we must come to grips with the fact that being a person of faith in the public forum is to be one who lives the gospel. This means we live truth, grace, mercy, love, and faith. Jesus said,
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
One of the people in the room challenged the direction of the conversation last night. He said, “You say you don’t want this to be a sales pitch. But, you all are talking like it is a sales pitch and trying to figure out how sell people. If it really means so much to you, you don’t need to do that.”
He was right.
That’s it isn’t it? Is following Jesus who I am (who you are) or is it something that you put on? If it is who I am then I can go be a great architect or doctor or student or salesman. If it is who I am then my faith, my identity, will become clear to those around me. I don’t have to pitch Jesus. In the same way that I don’t have explain to everyone how much I love my wife or my kids, my love for Jesus needs to be demonstrated in my life.
When our love for Jesus is not demonstrated in our lives, that’s when we have to pull out the sales pitch.